Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27, 2012 Shorebird watching along the Ottawa River.

Shorebird watching along the Ottawa River continues to be good with 14 species between Shirley's Bay and Andrew Haydon Park.  Highlights at Shirley's Bay included the adult moulting Long-billed Dowitcher, 1 juvenile Stilt Sandpiper, 14 juv. Semipalmated Plover, 3 juv. Solitary Sandpiper, 1 juv. Baird's Sandpiper and 1 White-rumped Sandpiper along with 100+ Semipalmated and Least Sandpipers. Both adult and juvenile Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs were present too. At least 12 Great Egrets and  6 Caspian Tern were feeding while  1 Bald Eagle, 1 Merlin and 1 immature Cooper's Hawk flushed many of the shorebirds and other waterfowl.
At Andrew Haydon Park there was a flock of  12 juvenile Short-billed Dowitcher that were feeding at the west end of the park for a while before flying east to the Ottawa Beach are of the park. Also a flock of 6 adult Back-bellied Plover were observed flying south over the area.
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 causeway. There is lots of POISON IVY along the causeway.

OFFICE BEFORE ENTERING THE SHIRLEY'S BAY AREA-- Call (613) 991-5740 and request permission to visit the causeway area for birding.

Juvenile Short-billed Dowitchers.

The Short-billed Dowitchers were very active feeding along the shoreline in their probbing style of feeding.

In flight the dowitcher shows a distinctive white wedge from the tail to the middle of the back.  

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