The Victoria Birding Weekend Part III

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:

Common Yellowthroat

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:

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Ring-necked Duck
White-winged Scoter
Ruffed Grouse
Double-crested Cormorant
American Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Turkey Vulture
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Virginia Rail
Semipalmated Plover
Spotted Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Black Tern
Common Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Hairy Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee (heard only)
Alder Flycatcher (heard only)
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
House Wren (heard only)
Eastern Bluebird
Veery (heard only)
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Black-and-white Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Pine Warbler (heard only)
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow (heard only)
Savannah Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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