Fifteen birders showed up on a glorious early autumn day to take part in our fall trip to Oka Park. Cloudless skies, temperatures climbing to 22°C and a smooth as glass surface on the Ottawa River were very different from the high winds and/or rain which have so often plagued this outing in past years.
Bird numbers were definitely on the low side both from a species and individual point of view. Perhaps the good weather leading up to the day meant that early migrators had passed on and a new wave had yet to take their place. We walked the beach area and the trail to Lac de la Sauvagine. Then a smaller group moved on to the path down to La Grande Baie where even there the number of waterfowl seemed much lower than usual.
Bird of the day was a cooperative Baird's Sandpiper on the beach which was a good sighting considering shorebirds were few in number and there were many non-birders strolling the shoreline taking advantage of the weather. This particular bird seemed oblivious to them.
Mary Ellen may disagree with our "sighting of the day" as she had a few of her own...(read between the lines as this is Oka Park well known for a certain section at the east end of its beach!)
Although the birds were low in number we had a very enjoyable outing with good company and spectacular weather. Thanks to everyone who came out. - Wayne
Our complete list of 46 species included: (Note that many ducks went unidentified at La Grande Baie due to distance, lighting conditions, and of course the famous floating boardwalk.)
Canada Goose - 200+, Wood Duck - 6, Gadwall - 6, American Black Duck - 10, Mallard - 20, Green-winged Teal - 12, Ring-necked Duck - 40+, Scaup Species - 100 (High flying flock), Hooded Merganser - 14, Pied-billed Grebe - 1, Double-crested Cormorant - 2, Great Blue Heron - 5, Great Egret - 1, Turkey Vulture - 2, Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1, Greater Yellowlegs - 1, Semipalmated Sandpiper - 3, Baird's Sandpiper - 1, Ring-billed Gull - 200+, Mourning Dove - 8, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 3, Downy Woodpecker - 2, Hairy Woodpecker - 4, Northern Flicker - 2, Pileated Woodpecker - 1 (heard), Eastern Wood-Pewee - 1 (heard), Red-eyed Vireo - 1, Blue Jay - 4, American Crow - 12, Black-capped Chickadee - 15, Red-breasted Nuthatch - 1, White-breasted Nuthatch - 7, Golden-crowned Kinglet - 12, Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 3, Veery - 1, Hermit Thrush - 2, European Starling - 1, Northern Parula - 1, Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1, Magnolia Warbler - 2, Yellow-rumped Warbler -20, Pine Warbler - 4 (Mostly heard), Song Sparrow - 4, White-throated Sparrow - 6, Red-winged Blackbird - 12, American Goldfinch - 6
Bernache duCanada - 200 +, Canard branchu - 6, Canard chipeau - 6, Canard noir - 10, Canard colvert - 20, Sarcelle à ailes vertes - 12, Fuligule à collier - 40 +, Fuligules espèces - 100 (en vol), Harle couronné - 14, Grèbe à bec bigarré - 1, Cormoran à aigrettes - 2, Grand héron - 5, Grande Aigrette - 1, Urubu à tête rouge - 2, Épervier brun - 1, Grand Chevalier - 1, Bécasseau semipalmé - 3, Bécasseau de Baird - 1, Goéland à bec cerclé - 200 +, Tourterelle triste - 8, Pic maculé - 3, Pic mineur - 2, Pic chevelu - 4, Pic flaboyant - 2, Grand Pic - 1 (entendu), Pioui de l'Est - 1 (entendu), Viréo aux yeux rouges - 1, Geai bleu - 4, Corneille d'Amérique - 12, Mésange à tête noire - 15, Sittelle à poitrine rousse - 1, Sittelle à poitrine blanche - 7, Roitelet à couronne dorée - 12, Roitelet à couronne rubis - 3, Grive fauve - 1, Grive solitaire - 2, Étourneau sansonnet - 1, Paruline à collier - 1, Paruline à flancs marron - 1, Paruline à tête cendrée - 2, Paruline à croupion jaune -20, Paruline des pins - 4 (entendu), Bruant chanteur - 4, Bruant à gorge blanche - 6, Carouge à épaulettes - 12, Chardonneret jaune - 6