Thursday, September 10, 2009

Changing Seasons September 10-14, 2009

Over the past week, south bound migration has been slow but steady in Eastern Ontario. No great days but scattered flocks of warblers and other migrants have been found in various locations. My Sunday, September 13th ``Local Hot Spots`` trip was interesting due to a combination of high water levels and the stretch of beautiful sunny days.The water level along the Ottawa River continues to slowly drop and is attracting some shorebird action. Our group birded the Shirley's Bay area and finally had a few shorebirds that actually found some exposed mud at the dyke. At the dyke we observed 4 Greater Yellowlegs, 6 Spotted Sandpiper and 2 Solitary Sandpiper. A big surprise was observing 3 species of raptors in one tree! 2 Merlin, 1 American Kestrel and 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk. An amazing sight. As we moved along to the Dunrobin area, we saw a flock of 12 Eastern Bluebirds along 5th Line road as well as 25 Chipping sparrow, 2 Palm Warbler, 1 Pine Warbler and 5 Eastern Meadowlark. The most unusual find was an Eastern Bluebird with white "eye patches". (see photo)
Numbers and variety of waterfowl are beginning to change with a few northern species starting to appear. On Saturday, September 12th, in the Moodie Drive pond area, I observed 50+ Ring-necked Duck, 11 Lesser Scaup, 1 Common Goldeneye and 7 Ruddy Ducks. On September 10th, Ben and I observed 2 Snow Geese along Richardson Side Road near Kanata.
Over the weekend, Great Egrets were still being observed at Shirley's Bay and along the Carp River at Richardson's Side Road and Virginia Rails were seen along Moodie Drive.
This is the time to begin filling the feeders. Yesterday, our 5 niger feeders had over 50 American Goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches and Downy Woodpeckers.

Juvenile plumaged Lesser Yellowlegs.

Spotted Sandpiper without spots. Note the white shoulder spur.

The Killdeer is easy to recognize by its 2 black breast bands.

"Puddle ducks" are starting to show up along the river as water levels begin to drop.

An odd looking Eastern Bluebird with white eye patches.

American Goldfinch numbers are on the rise.

The Virginia Rail is an uncommon sight in wetlands.

These secertive birds are usually very shy.

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