Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 10,2015 Northern Fulmar at Ottawa!

Hi Everyone 

After an incredible fall of continues. Today a Northern Fulmar, was discovered early afternoon on Lake Deschenes off Andrew Haydon Park by Jon Ruddy. After finding the bird Jon put out an alert immediately and the chase was on. Fortunately I was close by in Carp and was able to get there quickly and within an hour 30+ birders were on the fulmar. The bird spent most of its time resting on the water but did take flight a couple of times. To see any tubenose inland is amazing! These birds are from the Atlantic Ocean and a very rare sight inland. After watching the fulmar for a while it finally took flight and was wandering around Lake Deschenes before finally drifting east and we lost sight of it as it passed over Deschenes Rapids at around 3:20 p.m. and went out of sight. It was seen down river later off Mousette Beach in Hull, Quebec. Amazingly there are 3 previous records of Northern Fulmar for Ottawa. On November 12, 1984,  Richard Brouillet, Don MacKinnon and I watched in amazement as a Northern Fulmar flew over a cornfield in Woodlawn as it headed east. On December 14, 1994,  there was a small flight of fulmars inland from the Gulf of St.Lawrence and numerous fulmars were found between Quebec City and Ottawa.  One individual landed on a lawn in Limoges, Ontario and was finally caught on December 16 and sent to a rehab center before being released in Nova Scotia. During this time I found two Northern Fulmars at the Cornwall Power Dam on December 14. 
The late Richard Poulin of Ottawa observed a Northern Fulmar flying over Hwy 417 near the Carling exit on December 7,1995. 
Below are a number of distant photos I took today of the Northern Fulmar found by Jon Ruddy this afternoon. Congratulations Jon! and a lifer for Jon too! 

The Northern Fulmar is resting on the water to the left. Note the very white head and dark mantle. 

The Northern Fulmar is a seabird and has a distinctive flap and guide flight with wings stiff like shearwaters and other pelagic species. 

This individual is a light morph which is common on the Atlantic Ocean. 

Northern Fulmar in flight.

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