Friday, November 2, 2012

November 1, 2012 Black-legged Kittiwakes along the Ottawa River

Great day birding today! After searching for rarities the past few days finally had some luck. The highlight was 3 first winter plumage Black-legged Kittiwakes.
While scanning over the Ottawa River at Constance Bay I observed a kittiwake as it slowly made it way down river at 10:50 a.m. The was very little activity in general but I kept looking for a while than took a break for lunch at my parents place nearby. After lunch I was back at it scanning and within minutes of my arrival at 11:50a.m., 2 more immature Black-legged Kittiwakes flew by heading down river. During the next hour I observed 21 Brant, 45+ Long-tailed duck, 14 Black Scoter, 2 Surf Scoter, 8 White-winged Scoter, 2 Red-necked Grebe, 3 Horned Grebe, 14 Evening Grosbeak, 3 Common Redpoll, and 7 White-winged Crossbill. Sometimes it pays off just staying in one spot and waiting!
 The Black-legged Kittiwake is a very rare visitor to the Ottawa district and eastern Ontario. The majority of  records are from late October to mid December but they have shown up as early as late August. Most records are single first winter birds and there are at least two observations of multiple birds, 3 immature at Shirley's Bay on November 12, 1983 and of 3-4 immature mid August 2008 at the Moodie Drive Ponds.  
 Before I arrived at Constance Bay I birded along the 5th Line Road near Dunrobin and found a flock of 100+ Bohemian Waxwings resting in a couple of trees and 2 Eastern Bluebirds feeding on Staghorn Sumac fruit.

Good Birding, Bruce

A Greater Yellowlegs feeds along the edge of the shore at Constance Bay.

With little shoreline available this  juvenile Black-bellied Plover was searching for food under  oak leaves.

A flock of Bohemian Waxwings sit preening during the early morning.

The Bohemian Waxwing is an erratic winter visitors to eastern Ontario. Based on the number in this flock, 100+, we may have a good winter.

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