Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 11-18, 2011 More local birding in the Ottawa area.

Despite cool and even cold over night temperatures, rain, snow flurries and hail the north bound migration is slowly making its way to eastern Ontario. amazingly we hit a high of +28c (humidex) on April 11th but that was short lived. We've been below seasonal highs since that afternoon and it isn't looking much better at least for another week or two. Regardless, the birds are slowly moving back north and a few of our wintering species such as Common Redpoll and Bohemian Waxwing are lingering late in the area. Today I spent a couple of hours birding at Britannia Conservation Area and observed 2 species of warbler, 1 Pine and 3 Yellow-rumped, hopefully more on the way. Other migrants included Hermit Thrush, Golden-crowned Kinglet, White-throated Sparrow and Fox Sparrow. With the cooler temperatures swallows were concentrated over Mud Lake and the Filtration plant property fly catching. A total of 5 species were found, all the regular ones but didn't find any Purple Martins.
I checked a number of marsh/swamp habitat in the Dunrobin area and heard/saw 6 Virginia Rail and 1 Sora. A pair of Virginia Rails were very active calling and feeding in the open. I was able to watch them for a while as them picked at the muck and appeared to be eating a small snail and some other aquatic larve. Anyway an interesting study.

The Virginia Rail is a common breeder/migrant in eastern Ontario.

It is easy to recognize by its distinctive territorial call, a kid-kid-kidick-kidick.

Though shy, you can sometimes get great views of these secretive birds.

This pair was very tame and spent much of the time feeding in the open.

While watching the rails the next thing I noticed the were copulating.

Unfortunately it was difficult to capture this and it lasted only seconds.

The pair disappeared into the cattails.

1 comment:

Nicole MacP said...

Awesome pictures! Love the one where the bird is calling!