Nadia, Matt and I went to Gatineau Park for a hike. The highlight for me was when we went to the visitor centre where they have some huge feeders. There were tons of little birds--redpolls and finches and chickadees--so I set about seeing if I could find a siskin or something. They were all pretty fidgety, so when they all took off I thought it was because I moved. Then this bigger bird came swooping through, and I thought it was a dove. But it snatched one of the birds and perched right in front of me with its prey...it was a hawk! It all happened very fast and I'm not completely sure what it was--it was pretty much all grey, with a banded tail with white at the tip, and was between the size of a dove or a small pigeon, so I thought maybe a sharp-shinned. I went running into the visitor centre with my story to tell everyone what they missed!
We did Laurieault Trail. What type of woodpecker pecks exclamation marks? Clearly a very excited one....
I convinced Sandy to take me on the OFO trip with him. This is really not the birding I'm used to for two main reasons:
1) I never get up that early. (Meet at 7:30?!?!)
2) We were looking at birds that only superman could see with his naked eye. A lot of scoping. I'm still not sure how they find them in the first place...just stop and hope I guess. Normally I just drive along and stop when I see something.
Anyways, it was good to have all those eyes and expertise since I probably wouldn't have seen any of the stuff. Plus I didn't have to look anything up because they'd all named it before I even got my eyes on the thing.
So we started out looking for sandhill cranes. I never actually saw the things but I wasn't too worried about it. I was more worried about how damn cold and windy it was. Some snow geese and Canada geese were on the other side of the road, but soon took off after the cars all pulled over. There were a few blue morphs.
#127: Northern Pintail; East of Ottawa; April 3, 2011. They were pretty well camouflaged!
There was also a redhead that I got a look at through the leader's scope. As we were about to head out, in came a flock of Canada geese, and everyone noticed that there was a greater white-fronted goose among them! Finally, my chance! After many agonizing and frustrating minutes of searching for it, I found it in the scope and also managed to grab a shot before it went back out of sight. Not the photo I was expecting, but I'm very happy I finally saw one!
#128: Greater White-Fronted Goose; East of Ottawa; April 3, 201. Can you pick it out?
#129: Evening Grosbeak; Edge of Larose Forest,East of Ottawa; April 3, 2011
I'm waiting to take the jump and buy a birding app for my brand spankin' new awesome iPhone. This thing is going to be a great birding tool (ontbirds always updating at my fingertips, maps, birding guides....awesome!). But $30 for the big birding apps...ouch!