Tuesday, May 7, 2013

on the chase (#249-250)

Seems I'm going to alternate Kauai posts with local posts. Geez, I'm getting so behind. I'm going to try and stay on top of this in the near future. But still haven't filed my taxes...

So, there have been some interesting reports in Ottawa lately, and we've decided to chase just a few of them. Of course, anytime something is reported, do you think we can find it?

The first one was a violet-green swallow at the Britannia Filtration plant (did I not just talk about not relying on range maps?). This bird was way out of range. We showed up after work and there were several other birders present. The swallows were flying pretty high up and definitely not landing or sitting still anywhere for you to get a good look. We decided to give up on that and head home. On the road out though, we noticed some people watching the dogs and geese, an area that we don't look to closely at. We noticed one goose that was remarkably different.
I had heard of this particular goose before and it is apparently a hybrid Canada/domestic goose. Notice the orange bill and orange feet. The other geese didn't seem to mind and it fit in well (unlike the black-bellied whistling duck among the mallards).

This weekend on the way back from Chelsea we decided to stop at Bates Island to see the kayakers/surfers/SUPers in the rapids.
Then I remembered the swallow colony under the bridge. We may not have spotted the violet-green, but there is still a reliable swallow in Ottawa we have left to count--the cliff swallow. They are so fast and hard to shoot but we spent a good 30-45 minutes on the bridge trying to get a shot.
Matt managed to bang a few off that at least let me positively ID them (white spot, square tail) even though it's established that it's a cliff swallow colony. The white spots on their foreheads were easy to see when you watched them.

#249: Cliff swallow; Island Park Bridge, Ottawa, May 5, 2013

On the way home we decided we'd stop and check a few other things out. 
Matt pulled off this amazing shot!
We stopped to see the owls which have had owlets since the last time we saw them, and they are getting pretty big. They are unbelievable cute! The nest is right in the sun and it was incredibly hot. Mom was panting the whole time.

little one getting courageous, hanging its head out the side!
Nearby we heard a loud squawking and Matt and I looked at each other in question. It was a Cooper's hawk! So many great birds in one spot! Turns out I never counted a cooper's...I think I've seen them but I really have a hard time differentiating them from sharp-shinned. This one I am confident about.

#250: Cooper's Hawk, Ottawa, Ontario, May 5, 2013
The frogs in mid-afternoon sounded like they were screaming! We found this one nice and close and he kindly posed!
Today we went after a blue-winged warbler...no luck. That's ok, lots of birds are on the way!

Stay tuned for Kauai Part 3!


Cathy said...

As a new bird watcher, your pictures are so exciting to me.

Last year I began putting out feed and had alot of chickadees, sparrows and finches. This year its feeling quiet. I have put out a variety of feed and other than a large amount redpolls last month, May has been brutally quiet. Hopefully once the weather stabalizes, it will bring more birds around.
Your pictures are wonderful. I look forward to seeing more

deepdowndawn said...

Hi Cathy! Thanks for stopping by and reading. It was so nice to read your comment. It's always nice to hear about other people catching the fever :)