Friday, September 3, 2010

September 3, 2010 Birding along the Ottawa River

The Shirley's Bay area was again the highlight of birding along the Ottawa River today. This morning, I was very surprised to see the Whimbrel still feeding along the mudflat. Normally Whimbrel just pass through the area and rarely stop. Other shorebirds included 7 Baird's Sandpiper, 3 Pectoral Sandpiper, 11 Semipalmated Sandpiper, 7 Least Sandpiper and 5 Semipalmated Plover. The Great Egret numbers continue to increase with 18 feeding along the shoreline along with 25+ Great Blue Heron. One of the immature Bald eagles was seen flying over the back bay. A quick stop at Andrew Haydon Park produced 5 Baird's Sandpiper, 1 Sanderling, 6
Common Tern and 1 Black Tern which has become quite an uncommon bird in recent years.

Directions: Shirley's Bay: From Ottawa take Hwy. 417 west to the Moodie Drive exit and turn north (right) on Moodie Drive and continue to Carling Ave. Turn left at Carling Ave. and follow Carling to Rifle Road. Turn right (north) on Rifle Rd. Park at the lot at the end (boat launch).
Walk back to the road, and continue through the gate on the Department of National Defense property. There is a trail on your right (clearly marked with vehicle "No Entry" signs) which heads into the woods, and, eventually to the dyke. There is lots of POISON IVY along the dyke.

OFFICE BEFORE ENTERING THE DYKE AREA-- Call (613) 991-5740 and request permission to visit the dyke area for birding.

1 comment:

Chris Bruce said...

Around mid-morning the birding at Shirley's Bay changed when a Merlin came around and started harassing the shorebirds on the mudflats. The Whimbrel off into the distance and some of the other shorebirds you mention here disappeared too. I didn't see any Least or Pectoral Sandpipers, and I saw half the number of Semipalmated Sandpipers and Great Egrets. A Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Harrier were circling around over the mudflats and there were 2 immature Bald Eagles flying around the back bay. At the other end of the dyke, near the island, I saw what appeared to be a White-winged Scoter and a Horned Grebe off in the distance. They both were a bit too far to ID with confidence, but the Horned Grebe was actively diving, and the white wing patch and white facial patch on the White-winged Scoter were clearly visible. There were also 2 Northern Pintails feeding at the edge of the mudflats halfway along the dyke.