I spent the day birding along the Ottawa River and south east of Ottawa. It was a great day and the weather conditions were more like October. In fact it was the first time I’ve every birded the eastern sewage lagoons in December. Normally everything is frozen and covered by snow.
Geese numbers were high and I estimated 25,000 Canada Geese, mainly at Andrew Haydon Park, Moodie Drive ponds and Embrun. Highlights included one Ross’s Goose at Winchester along with 10,000 Snow Geese including a neck banded individual, UP 63 and one female Northern Pintail. At Embrun an adult Greater White-fronted Goose was in the large flock of Canada's along with 300 Snow Geese, 4 Northern Shoveler and two Gadwall. Other birds of note included 1 Ruddy Duck at the Moodie Drive ponds, 3 Common Loons off Andrew Haydon Park, one Horned Grebe, one Long-tailed Duck and one Double-crested Cormorant off Deschenes Lookout. At Chrysler on American Pipit was observed in a field with 20+ Horned Lark.
Birds of prey included 6 adult Bald Eagle, 5 Rough-legged Hawk, 4 Red-tailed Hawk, and 2 Northern Harrier. A second Double-crested Cormorant was observed at Nepean Sailing Club. East of Casselman the Lafleche Landfill site had a good selection of gulls, around 2000 + including 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 4 Iceland Gulls, and 3 Glaucous Gull among the 100s of Herring Gulls. I also had an odd looking gull and not sure of the species yet.
Along Smith Road off Milton road near Navan a flock of 60+ Sandhill Cranes were feeding in a cornfield.