NeilyWorld  Birding Ottawa - Southwest - Dunrobin & Carp Ridges


CARP RIDGE AT THOMAS DOLAN PARKWAY

Spring: ***  Summer: ***  Fall: **  Winter: **

        Independent Directions to this Site: From Highway 417 (The Queensway) take exit 138 (Eagleson/March Roads). If travelling west, the 0.6 km offramp dumps you right or north onto March Road. If driving east, a 0.5 km offramp brings you to Eagleson Road, where you will turn left or north onto it to March Road (its northward extension) and in 0.5 km join the westbound offramp traffic. Both groups will now follow March Road, or Regional 49, north, then northwest, 8.1 km to to a 90 degree lefthand turn and the junction for Dunrobin Road. Take a right onto Dunrobin Road and continue northwest 7.5 km to Thomas Dolan Parkway at Dunrobin. Turn left or southwest on it and proceed 4.3 km to Stonecrest Road. This is a good starting point for birding the Carp Ridge on Thomas Dolan Parkway.
        Dunrobin & Carp Ridges Route Directions: From 4104 Torbolton Ridge Road backtrack to the southeast 1.9 km to Kinburn Side Road. Take a right and go 1.3 km southwest on Kinburn Side Road to Stonecrest Road. Turn left or southeast onto Stonecrest Road and proceed 6.4 km to Thomas Dolan Parkway. This is a good starting point for birding the Carp Ridge on Thomas Dolan Parkway.
Google Satellite Map of Carp Ridge on Thomas Dolan Parkway Area
Google Satellite Map of Carp Ridge on Thomas Dolan Parkway Area

         Site Description and Birding Information: Park on the left at the junction. There is sufficent space to get your car off the road here. Directly across the junction, to the southeast of it, there is a crude trail leading roughly along the fence line. It is usually necessary to circumvent the flooded ditch by going a few feet to the right. About 100 metres in, the scarce Golden-winged Warbler has been a regular breeder in recent years. Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, both rare, have been found here infrequently.
         Back to the car. Follow Thomas Dolan Parkway southwest and drive c. 0.9 km to a marshy area. The section just driven can be very rewarding to bird on foot, especially for migrant land birds in spring. The marshy area is another regular spot for the scarce Golden-winged Warbler, especially on the right or northwest side of the road. A Northern Hawk Owl spent January to March along the following stretch in 1993.
Marshy Area along the Thomas Dolan Parkway
Marshy Area along the Thomas Dolan Parkway

         Continue southwest along Thomas Dolan Parkway for c. 1.5 km. Although there are no formal trails through this area of light forest and rock outcrops, you can park along the roadside, using caution, of course, and go exploring.
Rock Outcrops and Woodland along the Carp Ridge on the Thomas Dolan Parkway
Rock Outcrops and Woodland along the Carp Ridge on the Thomas Dolan Parkway

         There are many small ponds to add spice. Field Sparrows are common breeding birds and the scarce Eastern (Rufous-sided) Towhee has a small but regular population along this section. The most regular and easily accessible spot for the latter is on either side of where you are currently parked. Listen for the "Drink your te-e-e-e-e-ea" song or the "To-wheee" call. They will often answer a reasonable imitation. Whip-poor-wills can be heard here from early May to mid-September, dusk or dawn being the best times to check. This is also one of the few areas where Common Nighthawks may be seen hunting insects near dusk in the heat of summer.
Pond in Rocky Terrain along the Thomas Dolan Parkway
Pond in Rocky Terrain along the Thomas Dolan Parkway
Ponds in Rocky Terrain along the Thomas Dolan Parkway

         Continue another c. 0.8 km southwest along Thomas Dolan Parkway. Here at the bottom of a deep gully, is beaver pond. The dead trees here have been used by nesting Pileated Woodpeckers. It is a good spot for warblers in migration.
Gully on the West Side of the Carp Ridge along the Thomas Dolan Parkway
Gully on the West Side of the Carp Ridge along the Thomas Dolan Parkway

         Rare birds seen at this site include: Great Gray Owl (1 in the invasion of 2004-05 on Jan. 17, 2005), Blue-winged Warbler & Brewster's Warbler (May 16, 2006).
        Dunrobin & Carp Ridges Route Directions: From the last sub-site mentioned, continue c. 0.5 km southwest to the Carp Road (Regional Road # 5) and turn left or southeast onto it. This is a good starting point for our next site, the Carp River Floodplain.
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Copyright 2000 - 2009     Larry E. Neily
Last update:  October 29, 2009