Friday, July 31, 2009

Update: Carp River flooding and Fall migration July 31, 2009

Flooding along the Carp River.

An immature Bald Eagle watches over the flooded fields.

Ben Di Labio scanning the flooded fields along the Carp River.

The breeding season is now almost over and fall migration is underway. Around Carp we've been seeing a few new migrant warblers including Northern Waterthrush, Black-throated Green, Yellow, Chestnut-sided and Blackburnian Warbler. Overhead there have been small groups of Bobolink, a few Solitary Sandpipers and Upland Sandpiper migrating south. On July 27th birded along Opinicon Road at Chaffey's Lock and had a nice feeding flock of warblers and vireos including 1 Yellow-throated Vireo and 1 female Cerulean Warbler. There were numerous American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat and Red-eyed Vireo. At another stop along the road had 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 1 Golden-winged Warbler and 2 Red-shouldered Hawk. Lots of action! With water levels high along the Ottawa River shorebirds have been difficult to find but the heavy rains in late July produced excellent habitat along the Carp River for a brief period before the water levels dropped.
On July 25th at Almonte Sewage Lagoon there was a nice variety of shorebirds including 1 Greater and 36 Lesser Yellowlegs, 42 Least Sandpiper,4 Semipalmated Sandpiper, 1 Pectoral Sandpiper and 1 Semipalmated Plover. On July 28th my son Ben had 40+ Lesser Yellowlegs and 4 Greater Yellowlegs along the flooded Carp River in Carp.
On July 29, 2009 Ben and I counted 36 Lesser Yeloowlegs 9 Greater Yellowlegs, 22 Pectoral Sandpiper, 2 Short-billed Dowitcher, 2 Semipalmated Sandpiper and 23 Killdeer in the flooded fields at Carp. We also observed 8 Common Tern sitting in the field with 400+ Ring-billed Gulls. While studying the shorebirds we saw an immature Bald Eagle sitting on a fence post nearby and a adult Peregrine Falcon flew over and flushed all the birds! Also on July 29th we observed a Great Egret feeding with 3 Great Blue Herons along the Carp River near Kanata. At dusk we heard 2 Whip-poor-wills calling along the Carp Ridge. A great day birding!
Remember to keep your bird feeders full, this is a great time to be feeding birds, we've had a family of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and a family of Northern Cardinals.
A Yellow-throated Vireo having lunch at Chaffeys Lock.

Watch for Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at your feeder.

Many of the ducks are now going into "eclispe" plumage and are more challenging to identify.

Young Canada Geese feeding along the Ottawa River.

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