Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 19/20, 2012 Local birding in the Ottawa area.

The water levels along the Ottawa River continue to drop. With all the exposed mudflats, shorebirds are dispruted over a large area. There are no large concentrations yet as the weather has been too sunny and hot. No significant rainfall has also reduced the chance of a grounding. Most shorebirds are likely moving over eastern Ontario and not stopping. No reason to! I've noticed a definite increase in the number of terns in the area, mainly Common with a few Caspian Terns feeding at Shirley's Bay and in the Constance Bay area. No Black Terns yet but likely soon. With the low water levels, herons are easy to find almost anywhere along the river, mainly Great Blue, Green, and Black-crowned Night-Heron with a few Great Egrets. Still numerous families of dabbling/diving ducks including Mallard, American Black,Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser. The Red-headed Woodpeckers at Constance Bay are nesting and hopefully young will be seen soon. This is the 11th consecutive year that they have nested in the "old burn site". Most of the trees have now fallen and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before these woodpeckers move on to another location. Since their discovery in June 2002 there has been only a couple of other nesting sites found in the Ottawa-Gatineau district.

The Great Blue Heron is a regular breeder along the Ottawa River
at Shirley's Bay.

Up to 5 families of Hooded Mergansers have been observed along the Ottawa River between Britannia and Shirley's Bay.

A family of Mallards move along the shoreline at Shirley's Bay.

An adult Red-headed Woodpecker waits for a insect to fly by.

Dramatically low water levels along the Ottawa River at Constance Bay.

Another view from The Point looking east.

A Gar Pike was a surprise along the causeway at Shirley's Bay.

A family of Wood Ducks quickly look for cover.

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