Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 30, 2011 Buff-breasted Sandpiper near Osgoode.

Hi Everyone

Shorebird migration continues throughout eastern Ontario and our first Buff-breasted Sandpiper of the season was observed on a sod farm near Osgoode by Bob Cermak and Bruce Di Labio. The Buff-breasted was first spotted by Bob and was present for at least 2 hours as it fed along the edge of a bordering field with tall grass. At first it spent most of its time in the taller grass and was hard to see view but finally made its way to the short sod grass and put on a great show. The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is a rare to very rare fall migrant throughout eastern Ontario with Presqu'ile Provincial Park being one of the best locations where the bird is almost annual. Best time to see this sandpiper is during late August and September. No reports yet from the park but I'm sure one will be found soon. Away from Presqu'ile most inland records are from sod farms, plowed fields and occasionally sewage lagoons or drier mudflats along the Ottawa River.
I checked both Alfred and Casselman Sewage Lagoons during the afternoon and found 100+ shorebirds at Alfred including 4 Baird's Sandpiper. Unfortunately a Peregrine Falcon flew in and spooked all the shorebirds as I was just setting up my scope and most left the area. There were few ducks in the west cell but still a couple of Ruddy Ducks. While scanning the surrounding field I observed 2 Sandhill Crane and a juvenile Bald Eagle. There was still construction going on in the east cell where the shorebirds were feeding. At Casselman I didn't see any shorebirds and there was lots of construction acitivity in the east cell so no access to the lagoon.

Good birding, Bruce Directions from Ottawa:

From Ottawa take Highway #416 South. Take Roger Stevens Drive (County Road #6) toward Kars and Osgood. Following #6 cross the Rideau River and then cross River Road. Shortly #6 turned left off of the road to Osgoode. You are now on Snake Island Road. In five kilometers or so Snake Island Road (#6) crosses Manotick Station Road. In approximately 200 yards there is a sod farm field on the left (north west). Please respect private property.

Adult Peregrine in presuit of shorebirds.

East cell at Alfred Sewage Lagoon still under construction but good shorebird habitat.

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