Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14,2015 Eastern Ontario Rarities update

Hi Ontbirders

The birding in Eastern Ontario continues to be unpredictable and exciting. It doesn’t appear to be slowing down too soon. The weather forecast for the next few days is above seasonal temperatures and no snow. All waterways are still ice free.
The Smew was observed at first light today along the St. Lawrence River just east of Long Sault along Hwy 2 at Fickes Road. The Smew flew west and disappeared. Fortunately for a few of us while scanning the river it was spotted flying back, landing briefly in the same location before taking flight again and heading west along the river. A number of us searched various areas but no luck. The bird may return at dusk and I’d check tomorrow at dawn.  
The Pink-footed Goose was observed at the sod farm off Laflèche Road late morning and was still present into the afternoon. There were no geese along Laflèche Road when we arrived but shortly after a small flock landed followed by 5-8 thousands and the PFGO was spotted. Lots of patience is required to find this goose.
The Mountain Bluebird was present this morning and early afternoon at the intersection of Century Road and Goodstown Road south of Richmond.
The Bullock’s Oriole was again observed in Pakenham and I observed it feeding in its favourite apple tree at the south west end of Dalkeith St. at 3:15p.m.
Good luck,

SMEW directions:  Seen from Highway 2 between Cornwall and Long Sault Just west of Fickes Road, there is a short, open stretch of river that is viewable from the highway.  There is also a bike path here.  This is a busy stretch of road, so it may be best to park on Fickes Road and walk the short distance to the west.

Pink-footed Goose directions: Take Hwy 417 east from Ottawa past Casselman and take exit 58.
Turn right (south) on Hwy 138 towards Cornwall. Laflèche Road is the first road on the right.

Mountain Bluebird directions: Take Hwy 416 south or north to Exit 57. West on Brophy to Eagleson and south on Eagleson/McCordick to Century Rd.. West on Century to intersection of Goodstown.

Bullock’s Oriole directions: From Ottawa take Hwy 417 west to Kinburn Side Road. After exiting turn left and follow to CR 29. Turn left and as you enter the village of Pakenham watch for Waba Road on your right.  Turn right and then left on Dalkeith St.

The Smew was only seen briefly before flying west along the St. Lawrence River.  Smew photos courtesy of Jacques Bouvier. 

Only a few fortunate birders got to see the Smew before it disappeared near Long Sault.

Pink-footed Goose with Snow Geese. 

Mountain Bluebird spent much of its time feeding along the fence line and flying down to the ground to pick up grubs. 

The female Bullock's Oriole continues to favor one apple tree at the southwest end of Dalkeith St. 

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