Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31, 2012 Great shorebirding today between Shirley's Bay and Britannia Pier.

The shorebirding along the Ottawa river continues to be impressive with a number of good sightings today. At Shirley's Bay 2 Red-necked Phalarope were present along with 2 Baird's Sandpiper, 1 White-rumped Sandpiper, both Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper , Spotted Sandpiper, and Semipalmated Plover.  The birds were very nervous taking flight numerous times due to a Northern Harrier. At 10:25am a Whimbrel was observed at Andrew Haydon Park (Ottawa Beach) and the very cooperative juvenile Buff-breasted Sandpiper was feeding on the mudflats west of Britannia Pier near the end of Scrivens Road. Two juvenile black-bellied Plover were observed resting on the exposed shoal near the pier.
Good birding,Bruce
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.
Directions: Britannia Pier: Most easily accessed via Britannia Beach; from the 417W, turn right onto Greenbank Road and follow to the end, going straight at the intersection with Carling Avenue. Continue straight and park at Britannia Beach. The mudflats can be accessed through several small pathways to the left or west of the beach.

The Buff-breasted Sandpiper is a very rare fall migrant in the Ottawa district.

Most sightings are only for a few hours or a day but this individual has been present since August 29th.

Usually associated with plow fields or sod farms this bird has been feeding out on mudflats searching for aquatic insects.

A juvenile Semipalmated Plover.

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