NeilyWorld      Birding Ottawa - Rare Bird Summaries

This is the NeilyWorld rare bird summary. Click to see information on the official RBA's and Listserv's in the Ottawa area.

Go to Birding Ottawa Past Years' Rare Bird Summaries.
Go to Birding Ottawa Current Year's Rare Bird Summary.
Return to Birding Ottawa Table of Contents.

Click on the bird's name in the Sightings Highlights section for more details and directions.
If the location has its own page, you can access more details and directions by clicking its link.


RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: at 695 Golden Line Road ((from Sept.) December 27, 2001 to at least January 5, 2002)
LONG-BILLED MURRELET: at Ithaca, N.Y. (December 17 to at least 20, 2001)
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: at 315 Pleasant Park Drive (December 1 & 2, 2001)
LARK SPARROW: at Hinch Road, near Kingston (November 24 to at least December 22, 2001)
HARLEQUIN DUCK: at Strathcona Park (November 20 to at least January 13, 2002)
GYRFALCON: at the Central Experimental Farm (November 8 & 20, 2001)
DICKCISSEL: on Bel-Air Drive and Checkers Road (November 5th to at least the 24th, 2001)
CATTLE EGRET: on Carp Road at McGee Side Road (November 5-6, 2001)
CATTLE EGRET: at Burnside Pits (November 4, 2001)
GYRFALCON: at Burnside Pits & area (November 3-4 & December 1 & 5 & 18, 2001)
WESTERN KINGBIRD: at Britannia (October 30 & November 4, 2001)
& Dechênes Rapids (Quebec) (November 1 to 7, 2001)
VERMILION FLYCATCHER: at Montreal, QC (October 28 to November 2, 2001)
NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW: at Bruce Pit (October 13 - 15, 2001)
NORTHERN GANNET: at Britannia Point (October 8, 2001)
PARASITIC JAEGER: at Lake Doré (Sept. 30 - Oct. 16, 2001)
PARASITIC JAEGER: at Ottawa Beach (September 26, 2001)
EARED GREBE: at Casselman Sewage Lagoons (Sept. 1, 2001 to at least Sept. 2, 2001)
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER: at Embrun Sewage Lagoons (July 25, 2001)
TRICOLORED HERON: at Innes Point (May 11 - 14, 2001)
LITTLE GULL: at Britannia Point (May 29, 2001)
RUFF: at Maxville Sewage Lagoons (May 2, 2001)
GLOSSY IBIS: at Bourget (Apr. 20 - 23, 2001)
ROSS' GOOSE: at Riceville (Apr. 16, 2001)
BLACK VULTURE: north of Kanata (March 25 & Apr. 28, 2001)


         RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER:   A Red-bellied Woodpecker was seen on the December 27th Carleton Place Christmas Bird Count at 695 Golden Line Road, where it has apparently been coming to the feeders since September. Seen as recently as January 5th. Take Highway 7 west towards Carleton Place and turn right on Ashton Station Road. After the overpass, this becomes Golden Line. The bird comes to feeders that can be seen from your vehicle by parking on the road in front of the house. There is no need to go onto the property and the bird is apparently easily spooked if people are outside the house. This woodpecker comes several times a day at no specific time. Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers seem to be there constantly.      Return to Main List

         LONG-BILLED MURRELET:   Though it is somewhat farther away (around 5 hours by car from Ottawa), it is a great bird. A Long-billed Murrelet has been seen daily since December 17, from Stewart Park at the south end of Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, N.Y. A Northern Gannet has also been at this location December 19 and 20.       Return to Main List

         RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER:   A Red-bellied Woodpecker was seen on December 1st and 2nd at 315 Pleasant Park Drive in the Ottawa suburb of Rideau Park. The directions are as follows, from Highway 417 (exit 117) go south on Riverside Drive for 0.5 km to Industrial Avenue. Turn left or east on Industrial and go 0.2 km to Alta Vista Drive. Turn right or south onto Alta Vista and drive 2.1 km to Pleasant Park Drive. Turn left or east onto it and go 0.3 km to # 315.      Return to Main List

         LARK SPARROW:   The Lark Sparrow has been seen from November 24th through to at least December 22nd, along the hedgerow track just west of 1151 Hinch Road, north of Napanee, Ontario. It is often seen with a flock of Dark-eyed Juncos and Am. Tree Sparrows. It is best to observed by scope from the end of the lane. The directions are as follows, from Highway 401 (exit 582) go northeast on County Road 5 for a very short distance to County Road 18, which goes northwest another short distance to County Road 1. Go northeast to Newburgh Road, then northwest to Hinch Road and southwest to house #1151. Coming from Toronto, leave Highway 401 at exit 579 at Napanee, then proceed north on #41 for about 6 kms. to Sharps Corners Rd. Turn right here and go about a km. until you reach a T-junction, where you turn left onto Hinch Street. Just west of # 1151 is the track between a row of split rail fences on the right side.      Return to Main List

         HARLEQUIN DUCK:   A female Harlequin Duck has been seen in the Rideau River from Strathcona Park from November 20th through to at least January 13, 2002. Look through the flock of Mallard, Black Duck and Common Goldeneye and along the shoreline. This is almost certainly the same bird beginning its third winter in this spot.      Return to Main List

         GYRFALCON:   A gray/brown-phase Gyrfalcon was seen from McCooey Lane at the Central Experimental Farm on Thursday, November 9th at 1100 hrs. It was chasing pigeons in the area between Merivale & Fisher. It was observed flying off in a south-westerly direction. On the 20th, also around 1100 hrs, a gray phase bird (same one?) flew northward over the Fletcher Wildlife Gardens. These areas are quite close to one another.      Return to Main List

         DICKCISSEL:   This female-plumaged bird was seen from November 5th through to at least the 24th. Originally seen (off-and-on) in the back yard feeding station at 2195 Bel-Air Drive in Bel Air Park (community name). The feeders can be seen from the street, though the owners are birders and friendly. Since then, found to be regular at 1096 Checkers. The bird has been seen there with a flock of House Sparrows in the cedar hedge and at the large plexiglass feeding station near the street. From the Queensway, aka Highways 417, take the second Woodroffe Avenue exit if you are coming from the east or the only exit if you are coming from the west (exit 127 south). Go 0.5 (from the east) or 0.3 (from the west) km SSW on Woodroffe southbound to Iris Street. Turn left or east on Iris and drive 0.1 km to Checkers Road. Turn left or NNE on Checkers and proceed 0.3 km to Bel-Air Drive. Park near the corner. This bird may still be in the area somewhere and may winter here.      Return to Main List

         CATTLE EGRET:   This bird was seen at 1330 hrs, and again near dusk, on November 5th at Carp Road and McGee Side Road in a pasture with cattle. From the junction of Highways 416 and 417, go 13 km southwest to the Carp Road north (exit 144). Go northwest 5 km to McGee Side Road. This is about 5 km southeast of the village of Carp. It was still at the same farm on the 6th.      Return to Main List

         CATTLE EGRET:   An immature Cattle Egret, short yellow bill, dark greenish legs; was seen around 1000 hrs on November 4th at the Burnside Pits. It persistently tried to land in the water with the gulls. But, after several attempts, finally landed on the shoreline. Shortly after, the gulls took off and the egret disappeared. The suspicion is that it wants to associate with the gulls. Therefore, it may still be in the proximity of the pit. From junction of Highways 417 and 416, go south on 416 8 km to the Fallowfield Road exit (66) and go west 0.9 km to Moodie Drive. Turn left or southeast onto Moodie and follow it south for 5 km to the Burnside Pits, the second gate on left after the Cambrian Road intersection. Do not enter the property or park so as to interfer with quarry operations.      Return to Main List

         GYRFALCON:   The latest sighting of this bird, presuming it is the same one, was on Dec. 18, 2001 at the Valleyview Little Animal Farm on 4750 Fallowfield Road. It was harassing the pigeons at the farm and was seen perched on a hydro pole as well as in flight. This location is about 5 km north & west of the previous sightings. A white phase Gyrfalcon, presumably the same bird, was also seen was seen at the Burnside Pits on both December 1st and 5th as well. On the 1st, it came in shortly after noon and spent most of the time flying around, harrasing everything in sight. Although the waterfowl and gulls were annoyed, there was never any display of panic. The Gyr occasionally perched on the shorelines, and once in a bare aspen. On two occasions it was observed feeding briefly on gull carcasses. After approx. one and a half hours, it flew west, and out of sight. On the 5th, it was seen flying over the pits, heading north. This immature (first year) white-phase Gyrfalcon was first found on November 3rd at the Burnside Pits and was seen by many observers most of the next day. On the 3rd the bird was viewed at close range (30-40 metres). It remained perched on a sand pile, flying out twice, and returning each time before flying toward the Nepean Dump to the north. It was huge, slender, and extremely pale. It appeared slightly larger and heavier than the Herring Gulls that were mobbing it. To reach the Burnside Pits from junction of Highways 417 and 416, go south on 416 8 km to the Fallowfield Road exit (66) and go west 0.9 km to Moodie Drive. Turn left or southeast onto Moodie and follow it south for 5 km to the Burnside Pits, the second gate on left after the Cambrian Road intersection. Do not enter the property or park so as to interfer with quarry operations.      Return to Main List

         WESTERN KINGBIRD:   A Western Kingbird was seen at 10:10 AM on October 30th at Britannia Conservation Area. It was found on the path on the east side of Mud Lake, between the filtration plant and the bike path. The most direct route to the bird is to walk east along the north shore of Mud Lake, south of the filtration plant. When you come to a narrow path heading south near the east end of the lake, follow it south for 50+ metres. When you pass a large White Oak on your left and enter a grove of sumacs, you will be in the area where it was seen. A path leads to the left from here, and it was followed east along this path before sight was lost of it. It was very active and difficult to follow. Seen for about 5 minutes. Not seen here again. However, probably the same bird has been seen both November 1st to the 6th near Deschênes Rapids - Quebec. From Autoroute l'Outaouais or Highway 148, take the Chemin Vanier exit. Turn left or south onto Vanier and go 3.9 km to the end of the street at the Deschênes Rapids, where there is a small parking area. The bird was seen several times along Rue Lamoureux, a block north of the Deschênes Rapids, to the east of Vanier. Watch for the bird in an open area between Lamoureux and Osgoode, the next street to the north. It has more recently been seen on the west side of Vanier and closer to the river, along its edge and on the small islet just offshore. On the 4th of November, it was seen flying across the river back into Britannia. But on the 5th to 7th, it was back in Deschênes. Check Rare Birds of Quebec for daily updates.      Return to Main List

         VERMILION FLYCATCHER:   A Vermilion Flycatcher was at Parc de la Pointe-aux-Prairies, at the eastern end of Montreal Island. Directions are: route 40 east, exit 83 and go north on St-Jean-Baptiste to Gouin Blvd. Then right (east) on Gouin to the park, which is at 12300 Gouin Blvd. Check at Pavillion des Marais. On leaving the parking area, go past the building, cross the paved trail and follow the little trail of still-green field and examine the edges of the marsh and fields. It is often seen near the grove of cedars. The first winter male was first seen at 1:00 pm on Sunday, October 28th and stayed to November 2nd. Check Rare Birds of Quebec for daily updates.      Return to Main List

         NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW:   A Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow was seen at 4 PM on the 13th of October, at the Bruce Pit. From Hwy 416, take the Hunt Club exit (72) and turn left or north onto Cedarview Road. The Bruce Pit is well-signed on your right, and there is a large parking lot. Walking north from the parking lot, follow the trail down the slope to the very end of the snow fence. The bird was seen in a small area of cattails on the west side of the pond at the end of the fence. Still present on the mornings of the 14th and 15th and seen by many birders.      Return to Main List

         NORTHERN GANNET:   A Northern Gannet was seen at 2:05 PM on the 8th of October, flying upriver at Britannia Point. Observed from the ridge east of the Yacht Club between Cassels & the river at the Britannia Conservation Area. It passed between both Dechênes Rapids - Ontario and Dechênes Rapids - Quebec sites.      Return to Main List

         PARASITIC JAEGER:   This immature light phase bird has been very cooperative and stayed at Lake Doré since September 30th. Still present as of the 17th of October. Best seen from Point Church Road on the southeast side of the lake. Scan the lake carefully to spot it cruising around.      Return to Main List

         PARASITIC JAEGER:   This bird was observed around 10:15 AM on September 26, 2001 from the spit at Ottawa Beach. It was seen flying in circles and eventually headed upstream. Since it was undoubtedly headed downstream eventually, it is to be hoped that it will pass later in the day or in subsequent days. No seen later, ... so far.      Return to Main List

         EARED GREBE:   This first-fall bird was discovered around 1 PM on September 1, 2001 in the west-most pond at the Casselman Sewage Lagoons. Still present, in the same pond, the morning and evening of the 2nd. To reach this excellent birding spot, take Highway 417 to the Casselman exit (66) and turn left or NNW at the end of the exit ramp onto Route 7 or Rue Principale. Follow Rue Principale 1 kilometre to Laurier (just before the large church in town) and turn right onto it. Proceed 2 km generally north on Laurier then turn right at the T-junction. The dirt road into the lagoons is immediately on the right. Park so as not to block the road. This grebe may follow the pattern of the Embrun bird in 1990, and stay for a while.       Return to Main List

         SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER:   Seen all day on July 25, 2001 at the Embrun Sewage Lagoons. Not seen the next or subsequent days. To reach this excellent shorebird lagoon, take Highway 417 to the Limoges turnoff, Limoges Road or Township Road # 5. Go south on it to Regional # 3 or Notre Dame Street east of Embrun. Go west on # 3 to St-Joseph Road and go south on it to Route 400. Go east on 400 to the lagoons, the flycatcher was seen along the fence and in the adjacent fields.       Return to Main List

         LITTLE GULL:   Three were seen off Britannia Point at the Britannia Conservation Area on May 29. This was the first record for Ottawa.      Return to Main List

         TRICOLORED HERON:   Seen at Innes Point (May 11 - 14). This was the first record for Ottawa. This area is offlimits to all but a handful of banders. So you want to take up banding, eh!      Return to Main List

         RUFF:   Seen at the Maxville Sewage Lagoons on May 2, 2001. Maxville is just outside the Ottawa circle, to the east.      Return to Main List

         GLOSSY IBIS:   Seen in the flooded fields at Cobb's Lake Creek near Bourget from Apr. 20 - 23.      Return to Main List

         ROSS' GOOSE:   Five of these birds, seen only as single previously in the Ottawa area, were found at Riceville (Apr. 16). They were with an unpresidented gathering of 10,000 Snow Geese, which were present from the 15th to the 20th.      Return to Main List

         BLACK VULTURE:   Seen at the end of Fourth Line and Herzberg Roads and on Berry Side Road on March 25, 2001. This was Ottawa's first. Probably the same bird was seen subsequently at Innes Point (Apr. 28), may stay in area for a time.      Return to Main List

Go to Birding Ottawa Past Years' Rare Bird Summaries.
Go to Birding Ottawa Current Year's Rare Bird Summary.
Return to Birding Ottawa Table of Contents.

Vermilion Flycatcher at Parc-Nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies October 29, 2001
Vermilion Flycatcher at Parc-Nature de la Pointe-aux-Prairies October 29, 2001
Photo: Yves Leduc

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