Archive | August 13, 2011

Shorebird Migration at Shirley’s Bay

I spent the following weekend at Shirley’s Bay and Mud Lake. On Saturday, Melanie and I went birding together and started off our morning with a trip to the Shirley’s Bay dyke to look for shorebirds. We were not disappointed – we tallied 13 species, and 41 species total! Although it was only the first week of August, shorebird migration was in full swing! Our first shorebird species was an American Woodcock in the woods about halfway to the dyke. There were a few puddles on the path, and I was busy watching these instead of the vegetation next to the path. I was taken completely by surprise when a bird flew up from my feet and disappeared into the woods! I got enough of a glimpse of it to see the really long bill, the shape (it was definitely a snipe or a woodcock) and rusty red colours on the underside. Given its location (i.e. the middle of the woods rather than open marsh or fields) and the rusty colouration, it was certainly an American Woodcock…my first lifer of the day!
Continue reading

Hurdman in early August

I went to Hurdman Park twice in my first week back to work after my holiday; I hadn’t been there in a while and I was curious as to whether much had changed since I’d been away. During my visit it became clear that summer is definitely waning here in Ottawa – the birds are no longer spending energy on singing and defending territories. I heard a cardinal, a couple of Song Sparrows and a Red-eyed Vireo singing, but the Warbling Vireos, Yellow Warblers, American Redstarts, Least Flycatchers and Common Yellowthroats have already ceased. I noticed one redstart foraging in the woods along the feeder path, but saw none of the usual Eastern Kingbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, Baltimore Orioles, woodpeckers, nuthatches or Yellow Warblers. I assume that the chicks have all fledged and the birds have left their nesting areas in search of more abundant food sources in order to prepare for the long journey south soon to come.

Continue reading