Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June 28, 2009 Birding the eastern Ontario Sewage Lagoons

Today, June 28th, spent most of the day birding various sewage lagoons across eastern Ontario. Our first stop, the Alfred Sewage Lagoon, was by far the most productive, with many family groups of ducks! With the recently erected observation tower, it is now easy to view many species of waterbirds without disturbing them. Highlights were 44 Ruddy Duck, 16 Redhead, 1 Snow Goose, numerous Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal and Wood Duck. Other species of note included, Common Moorhen, American Coot, American Bittern, Marsh Wren and Virginia Rail. Along Peat Moss Road, 2 Gray Partridge were noted in a plowed field. Further along we made a brief stop at Alfred Bog Boardwalk and heard a few Clay-coloured Sparrows. Unexpectedly, we had to take a bit of a detour, enroute to Riceville, due to bridge construction. Once there, we found the other Clay-coloured Sparrow location with 12 singing males. We also found a few Field, Vesper, White-throated, Chipping and Song Sparrows. While travelling from the Alfred Bog to St. Isidore sewage lagoon, we observed a couple of Northern Harrier, 1 Merlin and lots of Bobolinks in uncut fields along the road. There was little activity at the St. Isidore sewage lagoons, but we had plenty of vocal rails with 6 Sora and 4 Virginia. The remaining stops, including Casselman, St. Albert and Embrun were quiet except for 1 Solitary Sandpiper at St. Albert. All in all it was an interesting day.

Good birding, Bruce

Early morning at Alfred Sewage Lagoon

The American Bittern is easily overlooked in the tall vegetation.

The Swamp Sparrow is a common sight in its wetland habitat and is easily recognized by its musical trill.

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