On Sunday my fiancé and I attended Ottawa’s first ComicCon, so I wasn’t able to go out until late in the afternoon. This time I headed over to the Bruce Pit, hoping to find some shorebirds, marsh birds, and maybe even some early odonates. I didn’t see any shorebirds (though I did hear a Spotted Sandpiper calling “weet, weet, weet” at one point) and the only dragonflies I saw were Common Green Darners, but a pair of Virginia Rails near the bridge helped to make up for their lack. I didn’t hear or see any other migrants or unusual species, although one very distant duck looked suspiciously like a male Green-winged Teal to me. By the time I walked around the pit to where I had spotted him, he was gone.
When Labour Day weekend arrived I couldn’t wait to get out. At this time of year I like to stop by the parking lot at the Rideau Trail on Richmond Road to look for migrants before heading elsewhere; it’s been wonderfully productive in the past for warblers, vireos, Winter Wrens, Swainson’s Thrushes and other terrific birds. However, the only bird at the edge of the parking lot was a singing Red-eyed Vireo, so I walked around to see if any migrants had arrived yet. They had: I found a small group of warblers and chickadees foraging together along the path beneath the hydro towers, including a Black-and-white Warbler, an American Redstart, a Chestnut-sided Warbler and a Black-throated Green Warbler (all of which do breed in our region). I also heard an Eastern Wood-Pewee and a Song Sparrow singing in the same area.
The sun was shining on Saturday when I woke up so I decided to head over to the Bruce Pit to look for shorebirds. Because the water levels are so high at Shirley’s Bay and along the Ottawa River there haven’t been many shorebird species reported this spring. I thought the Bruce Pit might be a good spot to check since there is usually good shorebird habitat all along the bottom of the “pit” and it is close to home.