On my mother’s and stepfather’s last day in Ottawa I took them to Jack Pine Trail. It wasn’t as sunny as it had been during the rest of the long weekend, and the mosquitoes were annoying. Now that migration is over and the birds are busy nesting and defending territories, they have become harder to see. As usual, we heard more than we saw, including Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Great Crested Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Black-throated Green Warbler, Scarlet Tanager and Purple Finch. We managed to see a Swamp Sparrow in the marsh by the first boardwalk, a Common Yellowthroat at the third boardwalk, and an Ovenbird between the two. The yellowthroat was singing in a small tree right next to the boardwalk and even consented to have his picture taken:
As we only walked the middle loop, we didn’t venture to the meadow to look for Field and White-throated Sparrows. We heard four different Ovenbirds singing in different sections of the trail, and by playing my iPod I was able to coax one into view so Doug could see this tiny, thrush-like warbler. While neighboring male Ovenbirds sing together, they certainly don’t like each other to venture into their territories! When one male starts singing, the second will join in immediately after. They pause, and then sing one after the other again, for up to 40 songs.
I spotted this pretty blue flower growing in the woods and stopped to take its picture. I don’t recall seeing it at Jack Pine Trail before and am not sure what it is.
I took Mom and Doug to the Moodie Drive quarry pond next to see if any interesting ducks were around. We found several Canada Geese (including a pair with babies), six Gadwall, and two Ring-necked Ducks. Six Turkey Vultures were sitting on the grassy mound opposite the gate, a Brown-headed Cowbird was singing on a fence post, two Chipping Sparrows were sitting the pine tree beside the gate, and a Killdeer was standing on a dirt mound to our right. We also saw two Eastern Kingbirds fly by and a Spotted Sandpiper on the sandy shore opposite the gate.
Our last stop of the day (and of the trip) was the Richmond Lagoons. They were quieter than expected, with no new species to be added to the trip list. A small flock of shorebirds picking their way along the muddy shore of the second lagoon were too far to identify without my scope, although I’m guessing they were probably Semipalmated Sandpipers or Least Sandpipers.
We had a great weekend, and tallied 87 species. My mother added six new birds to her life list: Ring-necked Duck, White-winged Scoter, Virginia Rail, American Bittern, Tennessee Warbler and Clay-coloured Sparrow. As a new birder, my stepfather Doug ended up with a lot more life birds, even without visiting the Bill Mason Center and Petrie Island. Here, then, is the final tally of the birds we identified over the long weekend:
Great Blue Heron
Eastern Wood-Pewee (heard only)
Alder Flycatcher (heard only)
Great Crested Flycatcher
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
House Wren (heard only)
|Veery (heard only)
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Pine Warbler (heard only)
Black-throated Green Warbler
Vesper Sparrow (heard only)