Sunday, February 12, 2017

Eastern Ontario fieldwork this week

This past week, I headed out to Morrisburg, with my colleague, James Barber, Thursday through Saturday, for some field work, north of the St. Lawrence.  Having said this, it wasn't all 'work' and we managed a good haul of eastern Ontario birds too.

I left Waterloo early on Thursday (Feb. 9th) to pick up James in Kingston. On my way I saw a dead Barred Owl, 3km east of the Port Hope Onroute.  I had heard rumblings of owls throughout the Ottawa area and this was certainly an indication of more to come.

Picking up James in Kingston, we were soon bound for Morrsiburg.  Just before getting off the Hwy. we picked out a nice adult Red-shouldered Hawk, again, just east of the Morrsiburg Onroute, as well as a single Northern Shrike -- a species I've had a really hard time getting west of Toronto over the last 2-3 winters.

James and I did a few hours of field work until 4:30 or so, and were heading back when we picked out an eagle just over the 401.  Coming to a stop revealed it to be an adult Golden Eagle! Here's a pic. James managed:
Friday, we were out for the whole day bush-whacking in the cold (-17 C!!), doing some ELC; our best bird during the day was a female Red-bellied Woodpecker near Finch.  As we were finishing and coming back to Morrisburg, we wandered some of the roads north of the 401 and found this beauty, just before dusk (also photographed by James)!

I hadn't seen a Great Gray Owl in quite some time (last was 2013) --- it is always a treat to see one of these and hopefully I'll see a few more this winter!

Saturday, we were only in the field until 10:30am or so, and then started making our way home.  On our way though we had 2 more Northern Shrikes, the Red-shouldered Hawk near Napannee and another Barred Owl -- this time alive (I had managed to make a detour to visit Mike and his family near Peterborough).


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