NeilyWorld      Birding Ottawa - Rare Bird Summaries


   2003 RARE BIRD SUMMARY
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.
Check the Birding Ottawa 2003 - 2004 Winter Specialty Status page.
Check the 2003 - 2004 Winter Finch Forecast courtesy Ron Pittaway.
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.


   SIGHTING HIGHLIGHTS

GYRFALCON: at Lac Leamy, QC (December 27, 2003)
GREAT GRAY OWL: on Highway 15 south of Smiths Falls, ON (Dec. 9, 2003)
NORTHERN HAWK-OWL: at Almonte, ON (Dec. 8, 2003 to at least Jan. 9, 2004)
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK: SW of Pakenham, ON (Nov. 21? to at least Dec. 28, 2003)
SLATY-BACKED GULL: at the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre, S. of Pembroke, ON (Nov. 12 to 27, 2003)
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER: on McCordick Road, south of North Gower, ON (Nov. 18 to at least Dec. 25, 2003)
GYRFALCON: on Amherst Island, ON (November 21, 2003)
NORTHERN GANNET: on Wolfe Island, ON (Nov. 21, 2003)
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD: on King Pitt Road, near Kingston, ON (Nov. 21, 2003 to Jan. 7, 2004)
HARLEQUIN DUCK: at Strathcona Park (November 15, 2003 to at least November 27, 2003)
CAVE SWALLOW: on Soup Harbour Road, at Point Petre, ON (Nov. 8-10, 2003)
VEGA GULL: on Bankfield Road, S. of Ottawa, ON (Nov. 2, 2003)
BLACK VULTURE: at Prince Edward Point, ON (Nov. 1, 2003)
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE: at Ottawa Beach, ON (Oct. 31, 2003)
WESTERN KINGBIRD: at Pembroke, ON (October 30 to at least November 2, 2003)
CATTLE EGRET: flock of 13 at Picton, Prince Edward County, ON (Oct. 16, 2003) and a flock of 12 at north of Trenton, ON (Nov. 5, 2003).
NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW: at Britannia Pier, ON (October 6, 2003)
AMERICAN AVOCET: at Amherst Island, ON (Oct. 3 - 15, 2003)
PURPLE GALLINULE: at the Shirley's Bay dyke, ON (Sep. 28, 2003)
(& the same or another found injured Nov. 30, 2003 in the Westboro, ON area)
AMERICAN AVOCET: at Winchester Lagoons, ON (Sep. 28 - 29, 2003)
FRANKLIN'S GULL: at Cobden, ON (Sep. 28, 2003)
ROSS' GOOSE: at Wellington, Prince Edward County, ON (Sep. 25 - 26, 2003)
PARASITIC JAEGER: at the Shirley's Bay dyke, ON (Sep. 23, 2003)
BLACK VULTURE: at Prince Edward Point, ON (Sep. 20, 2003)
FORSTER'S TERN: at the Shirley's Bay dyke, ON (Sep. 18 to at least Sep. 20, 2003)
AMERICAN AVOCET: at Chesterville Lagoons, ON (Sep. 14 to at least Sep. 20, 2003)
COMMON EIDER: at Prince Edward Point, ON (Sep. 13 to Sep. 28, 2003)
GREAT EGRET: at the Bruce Pit (Sep. 11, 2003)
WESTERN SANDPIPER: at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Brighton, ON (Sep. 1 - 4, 2003)
POMARINE JAEGER: at Prince Edward Point, ON (Aug. 30, 2003)
EARED GREBE: at Alfred sewage lagoons, ON (Aug. 23 - 25, 2003)
GRAY KINGBIRD: at Amherstview sewage lagoons, ON (July 26, 2003)
CASPIAN TERN: at Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa, ON (July 24 & 27, 2003)
LAUGHING GULL: at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Brighton, ON (July 5, 2003)
NORTHERN WHEATEAR: at Point Petre, Prince Edward County, ON (Jun. 23, 2003)
AMERICAN AVOCET: at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Brighton, ON (June 8, 2003)
SNOWY EGRET: on Amherst Island, ON (May 21 - 24, 2003)
BREWSTER'S WARBLER: on Huntmar Road, west of Ottawa, ON (May 20, 2003)
GREAT EGRET: on the Rideau River between Merrickville and Andrewsville, ON (May 19, 2003)
GLOSSY IBIS: along Moodie Drive, Ottawa, ON (May 17, 2003)
WHITE-WINGED DOVE: at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Brighton, ON (May 15 - 17, 2003)
PAINTED BUNTING: near Ashton, ON (May 12 and 13, 2003)
RUFF: at the sewage lagoons at Embrun, ON (May 10 to at least May 13, 2003)
GREAT EGRET: at Ottawa Beach, ON (May 10, 2003)
EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE: at Marysville, ON (May 5 to at least May 24, 2003)
SNOWY EGRET: flying over Carp, ON (May 3, 2003)
MISSISSIPPI KITE: from O-train between Walkley and Heron Roads in Ottawa (May 1, 2003)
EURASIAN WIGEON: near Masson, QC (Apr. 30 to at least May 4, 2003)
TUFTED DUCK: at the far end of the Shirleys Bay dyke (April 30 to at least May 7, 2003)
ROSS' GOOSE: at Cobbs Lake Creek at Russell Road (Bourget) (April 12, 2003)
ROSS' GOOSE: at Bear Brook at Frank Kenny Road (March 26, 2003)
HARLEQUIN DUCK: off Parc Brébeuf (March 15 to 29, 2003)
NORTHERN HAWK-OWL: just west of Luskville, QC (c. March 10, 2003)
GREAT GRAY OWL: at Otter Lake, ON (March 1, 2003)
NORTHERN HAWK-OWL: south of Perth Road Village, ON (February 17 - 21, 2003)
NORTHERN HAWK-OWL: along Mountain Road, NW of Kingston, ON (February 7-8, 2003)
HARLEQUIN DUCK: at Point Petre in Prince Edward County, ON (January 28, 2003 to January 31, 2003)
ROSS' GULL: at Rochester, NY (January 9 to January 12, 2003)
GYRFALCON: on Wolfe Island, ON (January 8, 2003)
VARIED THRUSH: at Prinyer's Cove, east of Picton, ON (January 7 to at least March 8, 2003)
NORTHERN HAWK-OWL: along Highway 60 in Algonquin Provincial Park, ON (December 29, 2002)
HARLEQUIN DUCK: at Strathcona Park (November 21, 2002 to at least February 22, 2003)


   SIGHTING DETAILS

         GYRFALCON:   A Gyrfalcon was seen on December 27, 2003 flying over the Gatineau River at Lac Leamy, Gatineau, QC, heading south toward the Ottawa River. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Lac Leamy page. Received via ONTBirds 3:52 PM, Jan. 2, 2004, thanks to Gordon Pringle, Ottawa (the Ottawa/Gatineau RBA).      Return to Main List

         GREAT GRAY OWL:   The owl was seen December 9, 2003 between Smiths Falls and Portland, ON. It was close to Highway 15, about halfway between Portland and Smiths Falls. It was searched for the morning of Dec. 10 without success. Directions: Take Highway 417 west to the Highway 7 exit (145), then take the Hwy 7 exit to the right or west. Follow it over the 417 and head south on Hwy 7. Drive 20 kilometres southwest to Carleton Place and Highway 15. Turn left or SSE on Hwy 15 and go a further 40 kilometres or so through Smith's Falls to the Otter Lake area. A Great Gray Owl was seen near here on March 1, 2003 (see below). Received via ONTBirds 5:13 PM, Dec. 12, 2003, thanks to Bob Sachs, Kingston.      Return to Main List

         NORTHERN HAWK-OWL:   A Northern Hawk-Owl was seen on Dec. 8, 2003 on Clayton Road near Almonte, ON. It was seen twice the following week, Dec. 16 and 18, not far away, at Old Union Hall Road and Ramsey Concession 7. And then, was seen on Dec. 20 at the Almonte Sewage Lagoons and on Dec. 21 along Old Union Hall Road near Ramsay Concession 6. And most recently, has been seen from Dec. 27 through Jan. 9, at 283 Old Union Hall Road. Take the 417 west to exit 155, March Road (Regional 49), and proceed 15.5 km through beautiful downtown Almonte to Regional 29. Continue west on Wolf Grove Road. After passing Almonte Sewage Lagoon on your right (the Dec. 20 location of the owl), turn right or northwest afteer 1.5 km onto Ramsay Concession 8. Follow it for 0.4 km to Camelon Road and turn left or southwest. Follow Camelon 1.3 km to Ramsay Concession 7B and then drive northwest 1.0 km on 7B to Old Union Hall Road. Check near the intersection. Then turn left or southwest onto Old Union Hall and go 1.3 km to Ramsey Concession 6. Clayton Road, where the bird was first noted, is the next northwest road parallel to Old Union Hall, about 1.1 km via 7B. The sightings closest to Almonte, including Concession 7B, are inside the 50 km OFNC checklist circle. The junction of Old Union Hall and Concession 6 is just outside. Received via ONTBirds at 1:36 PM, Dec. 9, 2003, thanks to Bruce Di Labio, Carp.      Return to Main List

         BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK:   Note: As of Sunday, December 28, at 5:00 PM the feeder where the grosbeak is visiting will be relocated. The new location is NOT accessible to birders. Please respect the decision of the property owners, who have been very cooperative. The bird has been seen with a small flock of Evening Grosbeak, so it may still be possible to see it in the surrounding trees from the road without disturbing the homeowners. A 1st or 2nd winter male Black-headed Grosbeak was seen from around Nov. 21 to at least Dec. 9, 2003, and again from Dec. 12 to at least Dec. 28, 2003, SW of Pakenham, ON. For Ottawa listers, note that both feeding stations are outside the Ottawa Checklist circle by 2 or 3 kilometres. It was last seen at the Jurmain's at 305 Klondike Road on Dec. 9. The Jurmain's graciously hosted many birders, mosted of whom saw the bird, from the warmth of their living room. Thank you, Bob and Iris. The second location, not far away, has hosted the bird from Dec. 12 to at least Dec. 24. At 339 Bellamy Road the feeding station is easily visible from the road. From Highway 417 take exit 155 and go southwest on March Road. Follow March Road 16.1 km to Almonte. Go through the town and turn right or northwest onto Christian Street or County Road 29. Follow 29 for 10 km toward Pakenham and turn left or southwest onto Cedar Hill Side Road. Drive 4.3 km to a "T" junction. Turn right or northwest onto 6th Concession Pakenham, which turns into Bellamy Road, 2.2km to number 339. Received via phone (Ottawa RBA) at 7:00 PM, Nov. 28, 2003, thanks to Louise Campagna, Ottawa. Second location update received via ONTBirds at 2:34 PM, Dec. 18, 2003, thanks to Bruce Di Labio, Carp.      Return to Main List

         SLATY-BACKED GULL:   A Slaty-backed Gull was seen at the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre on County Road 56, also called Woito Station Road, south of Pembroke, ON on November 12 and again on November 24 to 27, 2003. The bird is in immature plumage, approaching its 2nd winter. The bird was not reported until the 24th because of the difficulty in identification. For those who'd like to see pictures of this bird before going there, they are available for viewing on the Pembroke Field-Naturalists' website on the Slaty-backed Gull page. Check them out. If you decide on the trek, call ahead (613-735-7537) to the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre and ask for Elizabeth. She has some rules and wants everyone to check in at the entry office. You shouldn't leave your car unless you are wearing certified safety boots. Please follow the rules so as not to ruin access to this site. It is also a good idea to stay in your car and use it as a blind, driving near the gulls very slowly. Stay out of the way of the bulldozer unless you like getting flattened. Scope from the window, although binoculars are sometimes enough. Other gulls at the landfill are Herring, Great Black-backed, one Ring-billed and one 1st winter Thayer's. The dump is closed Saturday afternoon and Sunday. To get to the landfill, drive north of Eganville staying on Highway 41 for about 14 km, then turn left onto B-Line Rd. Go about 2 km up the Line travelling around a curve to the left and at the end of the curve turn left onto County Road 56, also called Woito Station Road. The landfill is on your right about 3 km down County Road 56. When arriving at the weigh scale, you wait for the green light and then drive up on the scales to check in. It's a good opportunity to see how much your vehicle weighs, too. The weight is above the window. The best time to visit is between 11 AM and 1 PM. Received via ONTBirds 7:48 PM, Nov. 24, 2003, thanks to Chris Michener, Golden Lake.      Return to Main List

         RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER:   A Red-bellied Woodpecker was seen from November 18 to at least Dec. 25, 2003 on McCordick Road, south of North Gower, ON. This bird can be seen from the road at 6848 McCordick Road, visiting the feeders at this address and the two adjacent properties, as well as in the trees along the road. Please do not enter the properties; the bird can be seen from the road. Please park along the road and be respectful of the residents. A Brown Thrasher is coming to the same area. Received via ONTBirds 8:28 PM, Nov. 24, 2003, thanks to Gordon Pringle,Ottawa (the Ottawa/Gatineau RBA).      Return to Main List

         GYRFALCON:   A gray-brown Gyrfalcon was seen on November 21, 2003 about 3 km west on the First Concession Road on Amherst Island. Seen perching on several telephone poles and fence posts. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Amherst Island page. Received via ONTBirds 6:52 PM, Nov. 22, 2003, thanks to Gerald Paul, Kingston.      Return to Main List

         NORTHERN GANNET:   A juvenile Northern Gannet was seen flying northwest at Button Bay on Wolfe Island, near Kingston, ON around noon on Nov. 21, 2003. Received via ONTBirds 8:25 AM, Nov. 21, 2003, thanks to Bob Sachs, Kingston.      Return to Main List

         RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD:   A male Rufous Hummingbird has been seen coming to a feeder at 24 King Pitt Road, near Kingston, ON from around the Nov. 21, 2003 to Jan. 7, 2004. It was quite rufous-brown all the way up the back and breast, eliminating the similar Allen's Hummingbird. The Yandt's, the home owners, advise that the bird has been seen frequently leaving the feeder and flying up into the large cedar that is to the west of the feeder. It comes at around 15 minute intervals and may require some patience to get a definitive look. They have recently put up a heat lamp to keep the feeder from freezing. Directions: from Highway 401 take exit 623 and go south on Highway 15 to the T-junction at Highway 2, and then east on it to King Pitt Road. Then south on King Pitt Road to number 24 at the end of the road. The owners are birder-friendly. They request that visiting birders not block the streets or driveways. Please visit in small groups, 5 or 6 persons at a time are welcome to watch the hummingbird feeder on the south side of the house from a distance of 20 ft. A good vantage point is the row of rocks at about that distance south of the feeder. Received via ONTBirds 8:25 AM, Nov. 21, 2003, thanks to Bob Sachs, Kingston.      Return to Main List

         HARLEQUIN DUCK:   A female Harlequin Duck was again seen in the Rideau River from Riverain Park, directly across from Strathcona Park on November 15, 2003 to at least November 27, 2003. Look through the flock of Mallard, Black Duck and Common Goldeneye and along the shoreline. This is almost certainly the same bird beginning its fifth winter in this spot. Received via ONTBirds 9:11 AM, Nov. 30, 2003, thanks to Gordon Pringle,Ottawa (the Ottawa/Gatineau RBA).      Return to Main List

         CAVE SWALLOW:   A Cave Swallow was found dead in a garage on Soup Harbour Road, at Point Petre, Prince Edward County, ON on Nov.10, 2003. It had been seen two days earlier fluttering about in the building, but was not identified at the time. See the Prince Edward Point site page for further information regarding the area. Received via ONTBirds 3:10 PM, Nov. 17, 2003, thanks to Terry Sprague, Picton.      Return to Main List

         VEGA (SIBERIAN) GULL:   A difficult to indentify gull, previously thought to be a Slaty-backed Gull, has finally been determined to be an adult Vega Gull in winter plumage was seen, along with a mixed flock of gulls, including both Great Black-backed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, on Bankfield Road, south of Ottawa, ON on November 2, 2003. The bird was first found aound 11:00 AM in a grassy field on the south side of Bankfield Road, just east of Highway 416. Later, about 3:30 PM, it was rediscovered on the north side of Bankfield, in the plowed under corn fields about a kilometre east of Eagleson Road. This is a relatively new species, having been until recently considered a subspecies of the Herring Gull. See the Bankfield Road site page for further information regarding the area. Received via phone (Ottawa RBA) 11:40 AM, Nov. 2, 2003, thanks to Mark Gawn and Bob Gorman, Ottawa.      Return to Main List

         BLACK VULTURE:   A Black Vulture was seen among the Red-tailed Hawks and Turkey Vultures near the banding station at Prince Edward Point, ON at 11:40 AM on November 1, 2003. It has not been seen since. One was also seen here Sept. 20, 2003. See the Prince Edward Point site page for further information regarding the area. Received via ONTBirds 2:58 PM, Nov. 3, 2003, thanks to John Blaney, Belleville.      Return to Main List

         GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE:   Two Greater White-fronted Geese were seen, along with 130 Brant, among the thousands of Canada Geese on the Ottawa River off Ottawa Beach in Ottawa, ON at 11:30 AM on October 31, 2003. Received via ONTBirds 2:20 PM, Oct. 31, 2003, thanks to Dave Moore, Ottawa.      Return to Main List


         WESTERN KINGBIRD:   A Western Kingbird has been seen from October 30 to at least November 2, 2003 in downtown Pembroke. It can be seen along the Kiwanis Walkway in front of and also east of the contruction site of the new Miramichi Lodge. The vacant field on the east side of the construction is a favourite perching and flycatching territory for it and also in the riparian zone along the river. It flies up frequently to return to the same or a different perch. It may sit still for a little while, though, so allow some patience time. Access the walkway either by walking west from the westend of the west parking area at the marina or walking east from the parking area at Riverside Park. There is a tourist booth across from the 'Irving Big Stop' at Highway 41/17, if you need a map or directions. Basically, head for Pembroke Street West, which follows the river. Received via ONTBirds 2:40 PM, Oct. 31, 2003, thanks to Chris Michener, Golden Lake.      Return to Main List

         CATTLE EGRET:   A flock of 13 Cattle Egrets was seen at Picton, Prince Edward County, ON at 3:30 PM on Oct. 16, 2003. They were seen feeding in a small pond beside the No Frill's grocery store in Picton. The No Frill's store is located on Main Street (Highway 33) on the western outskirts of Picton. See the Prince Edward Point site page for further information regarding the area. Received via ONTBirds 5:20 PM, Oct. 16, 2003, thanks to Audrey Heagy posting for David Okines. A flock of 12 Cattle Egrets was seen Nov. 5, 2003 between Stirling and Frankford on Highway 33, 15 to 20 km north of Trenton; a mere 40 km as the Cattle Egret flies. Observed at 3 PM in a pasture opposite number 1081 Highway 33. Quite probably the same birds. The latter information received via ONTBirds 8 AM, Nov. 6, 2003, thanks to Peter Van Der Gulik.      Return to Main List


         NELSON'S SHARP-TAILED SPARROW:   A Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow was seen at 10:15 AM on October 6, 2003 in the shoreline vegetation about 100 metres west of the Britannia Pier. It was very secretive but sat up briefly when pished. A small number of Swamp Sparrows were also present. Rubber boots are recommended. See the Britannia Pier page for directions and further information. Received via phone (Ottawa RBA) 11:30 AM, Oct. 6, 2003, thanks to Louise Campagna, Ottawa. Additional information via ONTBirds at 1:30 PM, Oct. 6, 2003, thanks to Bruce Di Labio, Carp.      Return to Main List

         AMERICAN AVOCET:   An American Avocet was seen from the gravel bar at the north end of the Kingston Field Naturalists property at the east end of Amherst Island, ON on the morning of Oct. 3, 2003. Still present on Oct. 6th, seen in the second pond and later on the south shore 100 metres from the stile. Still present on Oct. 15th. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Amherst Island page. Received via ONTBirds 11 AM, Oct. 3, 2003, thanks to Bob Sachs, Kingston.      Return to Main List

         PURPLE GALLINULE:   A juvenile Purple Gallinule was videotaped around 8 AM on Sep. 28, 2003 at Shirleys Bay, ON. It was seen along the shore of Shirleys Bay between the parking lot and the base of the dyke. The bird was seen to walk from the water edge into the nearby brush. It had a fluid, careful walking gait. It seemed tired, or relaxed, not excited at all. Long bright yellow legs, yellow end of bill, and bright white undertail patch, intermittently covered by its bobbing tail, were seen. Generally rail-like in appearance, yellow-greenish-brown body. No visible side markings. The bird climbed a small tree, then sat in a crotch of the tree about 8 feet above the ground. It allowed approach to within about 20 feet, then flew west into the forest a short distance. Its flight could be described as somewhat similar to that of a Green Heron. Seen for about 15 minutes by two observers. It was searched for the following day, but not found. See the Shirley's Bay Dyke page for directions and further information. Received via phone 6 PM, Sep. 28, 2003, thanks to Gordon Pringle, Ottawa.
         An immature Purple Gallinule was found injured in the Westboro area on November 30, 2003. It evidently had mild impact injuries but is recovering very well at the Wild Bird Care Centre on Moodie Drive. If it was the same bird, it makes one wonder where he hid for the last two months.      Return to Main List

         AMERICAN AVOCET:   An immature American Avocet was found at the Winchester Sewage Lagoons near Winchester, ON on the morning of Sep. 28, 2003. It was in the southeastern cell at around 9 AM. Also seen in the afternoon of the 28th in the south central cell. Still present on the 29th. This bird is countable on Ottawa Checklist area lists, since Winchester is just inside the 50 km circle (as opposed to the Chesterville Lagoons, which are just outside). For further information and directions to this site, visit the Winchester Lagoons page. Received via phone (Ottawa RBA) 11 AM, Sep. 28, 2003, thanks to Mark Gawn, Ottawa.      Return to Main List

         FRANKLIN'S GULL:   A first winter Franklin's Gull was found in Muskrat Lake, Cobden, ON early morning on Sep. 28, 2003 among many other gulls. Take Highway 417, then Highway 17 after it become two lane, west for around 110 km to Cobden (between Renfrew and Pembroke). The dock is just down the hill from the traffic lights. Received via ONTBirds Sep. 28, 2003, thanks to Chris Michener, Golden Lake.      Return to Main List

         ROSS' GOOSE:   A Ross' Goose was found in the harbour at West Lake, Wellington, Prince Edward County, ON on Sep. 25 - 26, 2003 among a flock of Canada Geese. Take exit 566 from Highway 401 south on Highway 49, 32 km to Picton. Then turn right or west on Highway 33 and go 19 km to Wellington. There is an LCBO at the corner of the street to the dock. If it cannot be seen from the dock, back up the road a bit beside a bait store where a better view can be had. See the Prince Edward Point site page for further information regarding the area. Received via ONTBirds Sep. 27, 2003, thanks to Albert Boisvert, Belleville.      Return to Main List

         PARASITIC JAEGER:   A light phased Parasitic Jaeger was seen on the morning of Sep. 23, 2003 at Shirleys Bay dyke, ON. See the Shirley's Bay Dyke page for directions and further information. Received via phone (Ottawa RBA) Sep. 23, 2003, thanks to Louise Campagna, Ottawa.      Return to Main List

         BLACK VULTURE:   A Black Vulture was seen slowly soaring above the observatory at Prince Edward Point, ON around noon on September 20, 2003. It eventually drifted of to the north and has not been seen since. See the Prince Edward Point site page for further information regarding the area.      Return to Main List

         FORSTER'S TERN:   A winter plumaged Forster's Tern was found around 5:00 PM, Sep. 18, 2003 at Shirleys Bay dyke, ON. It was flying around between the dyke and Innis Point. Also seen on the 20th from the end of the dyke, off toward Innis Point, with a number of Common Terns. See the Shirley's Bay Dyke page for directions and further information.      Return to Main List

         AMERICAN AVOCET:   An American Avocet was found at the Chesterville Lagoons near Chesterville, ON on the morning of Sep. 14, 2003 and was still there at dusk. It was in the smallest northerly cell, currently furrows of grass with sludge between. Still present until at least the 20th. Unfortunately for Ottawa checklist area listers, this set of lagoons is just outside the 50 km circle. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Chesterville Lagoons page.      Return to Main List

         COMMON EIDER:   An early, immature Common Eider was seen swimming about offshore from the point all day, Sep. 13, 2003. Still present until at least the 28th. It has been seen down to about 50 metres offshore at times. It was last looked for (and seen) at 5:30 PM near the lighthouse. See the Prince Edward Point site page for further information regarding the area.      Return to Main List

         GREAT EGRET:   A Great Egret was seen at the Bruce Pit, south of Ottawa, ON at 0900 hrs on September 11, 2003. See the Bruce Pit Trails site page for further information regarding the area.      Return to Main List

         WESTERN SANDPIPER:   A bright juvenile Western Sandpiper was found in the early morning of Sep. 1, 2003 at Owen Point in Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Brighton, ON. The bird was still there as of Sep. 4th and was being seen fairly easily - but be aware, there are several long-billed Semipalmated Sandpiper's as well. The Western Sandpiper is obvious with extensive, bright red edgings on the back forming two bright stripes of red, plus an obviously long slightly decurved bill with a fairly fine tip. The Western Sandpiper seems to be feeding mostly on the north side of Owen Point, quite close to observers, and as is often the case, is frequently wading belly-deep in the small pools within the algae flats. On the 2nd, the Western Sandpiper was seen on the north side of the last look-out on the Owen Point Trail. Sightings were frequently interupted by falcon forays which constantly scattered the shorebirds. As many as 18 or 19 species of shorebirds are present. Access this area by the Owen Point Trail. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Presqu'ile Provincial Park page.      Return to Main List

         POMARINE JAEGER:   An adult Pomarine Jaeger was seen flying past Prince Edward Point, ON on August 30, 2003. See the Prince Edward Point site page for further information regarding the area.      Return to Main List

         EARED GREBE:   A moulting adult EaredGrebe was ddiscovered on the morning of Aug. 23, 2003 in the east cell of the Alfred sewage lagoons, ON. It was associating with a group of Ruddy Ducks. It was last seen on Aug. 25th. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Alfred Bog and Sewage Lagoons page.      Return to Main List

         GRAY KINGBIRD:   A Gray Kingbird was seen on the morning and afternoon of July 26, 2003 at the Amherstview sewage lagoons, ON (page 36, quad D54 MapArt Ontario Road Atlas or page 44, quad N3 MapArt Street Atlas of Eastern and Northern Ontario) on the northwest side of Taylor Kidd Road in a tree believed to be a dead elm. It has not been seen since.      Return to Main List

         CASPIAN TERN:   An adult Caspian Tern was seen July 24, 2003 at Andrew Haydon Park, Ottawa, ON. It was resting on the small exposed sandbar at the east end of the park, adjacent Ottawa Beach, along with 4 Semipalmated Plover, 4 Semipalmated Sandpipers and 2 Bonaparte's Gulls. It was seen again on the 27th. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Andrew Haydon Park page.      Return to Main List

         LAUGHING GULL:   An immature Laughing Gull was found with a group of Ring-billed Gulls at 6:30 PM on July 5, 2003 at the Natural Beach (Beach # 4) in Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Brighton, ON. Access this area by the Owen Point Trail. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Presqu'ile Provincial Park page.      Return to Main List

         NORTHERN WHEATEAR:   A Northern Wheatear was seen at Point Petre, Prince Edward County, ON at 7:45 PM on June 23, 2003. It has been seen since. See the Prince Edward Point site page for further information regarding the area.      Return to Main List

         AMERICAN AVOCET:   An American Avocet was found June 8, 2003 at Beach # 3 in Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Brighton, ON. Access this area by the Owen Point Trail. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Presqu'ile Provincial Park page.      Return to Main List

         SNOWY EGRET:   A Snowy Egret was seen at the gravel bar on the Kingston Field Naturalist's property on Amherst Island, ON from May 21 to 24, 2003. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Amherst Island page.       Return to Main List

         BREWSTER'S WARBLER:   A Brewster's Warbler was found May 20, 2003 on Huntmar Road, west of Ottawa, ON. It was seen around 500 metres east of Huntmar Road along the railroad tracks, on the north side of said tracks. A Brewster's Warbler is a distinctive hybird resulting from a Golden-winged and a Blue-winged Warbler mating. Both species have bred at this site for a number of years now, though Blue-winged Warbler is very rare. This bird was heard singing a Blue-winged Warbler song.      Return to Main List

         GREAT EGRET:   A Great Egret was seen on the Rideau River between Merrickville and Andrewsville, ON on Heritage Drive on May 19, 2003. No further reports.      Return to Main List

         GLOSSY IBIS:   A Glossy Ibis was found around 7:00 AM, May 17, 2003 along Moodie Drive, Ottawa, ON. It was seen in the marsh on the west side of Moodie just south of the Nortel complex South Ring Road. It was not seen there later in the day. See the Moodie Drive Marsh & Trails page for directions and further information.      Return to Main List

         WHITE-WINGED DOVE:   A White-winged Dove was found May 15, 2003 at 83 Bayshore Road at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, Brighton, ON. A Yellow-headed Blackbird was seen here on the same day. Both birds were subsequently seen on the 16th and the White-winged Dove was still present on the 17th. Not seen since. For further information and directions to this site, visit the Presqu'ile Provincial Park page.      Return to Main List

         PAINTED BUNTING:   A Painted Bunting has been coming to a feeder from May 12 and 13, 2003 at 421 Amberwood Road near Ashton, ON. It has not been seen since. To reach this spot follow Highway 7 southwest from Ottawa to the Ashton Station Road, turn left or southeast onto it and go 2.9 km through the town of Ashton to 9th Line Road. Turn right or southwest on 9th Line and go to the first left, Campbell Side Road. Turn left or southeast on Campbell and go to the T-junction with Glen Ashton Road. Turn left onto Glen Ashton and go to the first road on the right, Dewar Side Road. Turn right onto Dewar and go to the T-juction at Amberwood Road. Turn left at Amberwood, # 421 is the 4th house on the right, just before the bend. The house is in a heavily wooded area, and difficult to see from the road. The owner will tolerate birders in the laneway to view the feeder in the front yard (not visible from the road), but warns "Beware of the Dog". This species gives rare bird committees difficulties, because it may be an escapee as easily as a vagrant.      Return to Main List

         RUFF:   A Ruff was seen in the middle and north-east ponds at the Embrun, ON sewage lagoons on May 10 to at least May 13, 2003. It was seen mostly with a small group of Lesser Yellowlegs. It sometimes sheltered in the low shrubbery along the edge and therefore patience is in order when searching for this bird. Some observers have concluded that the lack of a ruff is likely due to the bird being a first year male, late molting. For more information on this site, go to the Embrun Sewage Lagoons page.      Return to Main List

         GREAT EGRET:   A Great Egret was seen at Ottawa Beach on May 10, 2003. Last seen in flight. No further reports. For more information on this site, go to the Ottawa Beach page.      Return to Main List

         EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE:   A Eurasian Collared Dove was seen at Marysville, ON, between Belleville and Kingston from May 5 to at least May 24, 2003. It was discovered in the area of the Marysville Catholic Church along Highway 2. It was seen on top of the church and on top of the house just west of the church as well as on the north side of the highway on the hydro lines and the spruce trees at the house across from the church. The bird called frequently. The bird appears to be roosting in a pair of large willows west of the blue house on the north side of Highway 2. Take Exit 566 on Highway 401 and go south on Hwy 49 to Old Hwy 2 and then right on Hwy 2 for 2.7 km to the Marysville Catholic Church. This species has been rapidly expanding north and west from Florida, where it became established in the 1980's. It has been seen as close as Derby Hill (May 15, 2001). Another has been found at Rondeau Provincial Park on May 8, 2003. Expect it to be resident soon.      Return to Main List

         SNOWY EGRET:   A Snowy Egret was seen flying over Carp, ON on May 3, 2003. It was headed in a westerly direction over Donald B. Munro Drive. It was not relocated.      Return to Main List

         MISSISSIPPI KITE:   A Mississippi Kite was seen from the O-train between Walkley and Heron Roads in Ottawa on May 1, 2003. It was headed in the general direction of Vincent Massey Park. This is the first of this species to be recorded in Ottawa.      Return to Main List

         EURASIAN WIGEON:   A male Eurasian Wigeon was found along the Ottawa River on April 30, and seen at least to May 4, at the Rivière des Outaouais Conservation Area - Lac Carpentier & Petite Baie Clément Sector, west of Masson, QC. Take Hwy 50 from Hull east to the Masson / Buckingham exit (166). Go south towards Masson and turn west onto Hwy 148, then proceed for c. 5 - 5.5 km. Look for the signs to the Conservation Area and go south on Rue du Ruisseau past the mobile homes to the end of the gravel drive. There are 2 forks on the gravel road, both allow excellent views of this marsh area. It has also been seen at the Marais aux Grenouillettes Sector. Watch for the signs along Highway 148 to access these marshes.      Return to Main List

         TUFTED DUCK:   A male Tufted Duck was seen off the far end of the Shirley's Bay Dyke in Ottawa on April 30, 2003. It was seen again from May 1 to at least May 7 with a flock of Lesser Scaup and a few Bufflehead from the parking area at the end of Rifle (formerly Range) Road at the Shirley's Bay boat landing. The bird is a well marked male, but has a slightly shorter tuft than most birds of this type. The bright white sides (with the somewhat Ring-billed Duck curves) and the dark back, along with the tuft, distinguish this bird. A good scope and patience may be needed, especially when the birds are diving or sleeping. The bird has been visible from the boat launch area, so there may be no need to enter the DND property to access the dyke. If you choose to do this, please follow the instructions under the Warning section of the Shirley's Bay Dyke page. This is the first of this species to be recorded in Ottawa.       Return to Main List

         ROSS' GOOSE:   A Ross' Goose was found with a large flock of Snow Geese at Cobbs Lake Creek at Russell Road (Bourget) east of Ottawa, ON on April 12, 2003. The flock was located off Johnson Road.      Return to Main List

         ROSS' GOOSE:   A Ross' Goose was found east of the road and north of the bridge over Bear Brook at Frank Kenny Road east of Ottawa, ON on March 26, 2003. It flew west toward the Bear Brook at Milton Road and the Bear Brook at Trim Road sites, so these should also be checked. They are adjacent this site, with the flooded area extending between them.      Return to Main List

         HARLEQUIN DUCK:   A female Harlequin Duck was found off Parc Brébeuf, Gatineau, QC on March 15, 2003. It was still present on March 29. It was reported as being seen from Parc Brébeuf in the Remic Rapids (but check the Little Chaudière Rapids directly off Parc Brébeuf too) along with a displaying pair of Barrow's Goldeneye's. It is probably the same bird that was seen on the Rideau River from Riverain Park, directly across from Strathcona Park from November 21, 2002 to at least February 22, 2003.      Return to Main List

         NORTHERN HAWK-OWL:   The owl was found c. March 10, 2003 along chemin Alarie, off highway 148, just west of Luskville, QC. It was most recently seen c. the 12th, but was not relocated on the 16th.      Return to Main List

         GREAT GRAY OWL:   The owl was seen March 1, 2003 near Otter Lake, ON. Take Highway 417 west to the Highway 7 exit (145), then take the Hwy 7 exit to the right or west. Follow it over the 417 and head south on Hwy 7. Drive 20 kilometres southwest to Carleton Place and Highway 15. Turn left or SSE on Hwy 15 and go a further 39 kilometres through Smith's Falls to Otter Lake Road. The bird was seen about 1.5 km south of here on Highway 15, about two kilometres north of where one first comes upon Otter Lake, sitting on a overhead wire beside the highway.      Return to Main List

         NORTHERN HAWK-OWL:   The owl was seen February 17, 2003 in a tree at the back of the driveway of house # 5011 Country Road (CR) 10, south of Perth Road Village. It was seen again on the north side of Rutledge Road (CR 5), about 1 km west of CR 10, at 5 PM, February 21, 2003. It was located between #1075 Rutledge to the east and #1129 to the west. A spotting scope was needed as the bird was very far away. To reach this area from Ottawa, take Highway 417 west to the Highway 416 exit (132). Follow 416 SSE 80 km to Highway 401. Turn right onto 401 and go 108 km to CR 10 (exit 617). Take CR 10 north c. 20 km toward Westport. Rutledge Road or CR 5 goes to the west here. The first sighting was very close to Perth Road School, where a Northern Hawk-Owl was seen for several days in mid-December. This seems to indicate that the owl may have spent the winter in this area, and that the main portion of its territory is well away from the road.      Return to Main List

         NORTHERN HAWK-OWL:   The owl was seen February 7, 2003 along Mountain Road, 10.6 km east of the feedmill in Tamworth, NW of Kingston, ON. On Feb. 8 it was seen on Mountain Road, about 100 metres past house # 2018, 3.6 km east of the Carrol Sideroad. To reach this area from Ottawa, take Highway 417 west to the Highway 416 exit (132). Follow 416 SSE 80 km to Highway 401. Turn right onto 401 and go 128 km to Route 4 (exit 593). Take Route 4 northwest 34 km to Tamworth and Mountain Road. Turn right or northeast onto Mountain Road.      Return to Main List

         HARLEQUIN DUCK:   A male Harlequin Duck was at Point Petre in Prince Edward County, ON from January 28, 2003 to January 31, 2003. The bird was with large flocks of Oldsquaw (Long-tailed Duck) during both sightings. To reach Point Petre head towards Cherry Valley (Route 10) out of Picton, then follow Route 24 to the end at Point Petre. A right-of-way to the shore is available between the light house property (right) and the Department of Defence radio towers (left). The Harlequin Duck was observed on January 28 directly in front of the light house and on January 31 farther east along the shore within Soup Harbour. The Ice Banks can be dangerous this time of year so it is best to remain on the rocks or gravel beaches. See the Prince Edward Point site page for further information regarding the area.      Return to Main List

         ROSS' GULL:   (Note: This bird was not seen on the 14th, when cold temperatures had eliminated open water from the bay.) A first-winter Ross' Gull was seen late January 9, 2003 at the south end of Irondequoit Bay, Rochester, NY. The bird was watched until dusk from LaSalle's Landing off Empire Boulevard and from the west side using the parking area off Orchard Park Boulevard. The bird was present again on January 10 and 12. On the 12th it had moved north from the original south end location to the next large area of open water, still south of the Route 104, Irondequoit Bay Bridge. Directions for the previous sightings: Take I-590 north to Empire Boulevard. Go east on Empire. Very shortly there is a traffic signal at Winton Street. Go through Winton but almost immediately turn left onto Orchard Park Boulevard. Stay on Orchard Park as it turns right and heads down toward the bay. At the bottom, go straight ahead into the fisherman's parking lot. The bird was seen a little to the right of here. For the 12th's sightings follow the original directions and exit Rt 590 at Empire Boulevard heading east, then turn off on Orchard Park Boulevard - first left after the Winton Road stoplight, and follow it to the bottom of the hill at the bay. Instead of entering the small parking lot at that point, follow the road left (north) along the edge of the bay past the Irondequoit Fish and Game Club, around a hard right turn. After a few hundred yards, the road will turn left and start up Glen Haven Road (no road sign to note the name change). If you park along the road near that point, you will note a service road / trail to the right to the edge of the bay. Follow that to the bay. The south end of the open water is straight out and the whole open water area is in view. The Ross' Gull rests there, on the water or the ice.      Return to Main List

         GYRFALCON:   A gray phase Gyrfalcon was seen on January 8, 2003 by 16 North Leeds Birders stopped around the Simcoe Island ferry lane around 10:00 AM and again, by others near the ferry to Simcoe Island around noon. The Gyrfalcon has hung around the east end of Wolfe Island for a few hours and may stay or move over to Simcoe Island. To reach this site, take the toll ferry from Kingston to Marysville on Wolfe Island. Turn right or southwest on Highway 96 and go 6 km to the ferry to Simcoe Island.       Return to Main List

         VARIED THRUSH:   A male Varied Thrush has been seen regularly at a feeder at Prinyer's Cove, about 27 km east of Picton. The bird first appeared on January 7, 2003 and has been seen up to at least March 8th. A female Varied Thrush has also been seen, but less often. The bird can seen at 383 Prinyer's Cove Crescent. It is mandatory that birders park well off the road and not block any driveways. The Varied Thrushes are most dependable in the morning when one appears on the average of every half hour. At the same feeder there is also a Red-bellied Woodpecker. Follow the driveway in and take the path on the left side of the double garage. The birds are easily spooked so do not approach any closer than the back of the garage where they can be easily viewed at or beneath the feeder on the right side of the house when they arrive.The owner of the home is Rita Chapman and she initially reported the birds. From Picton, take Highway 33 for about 10 km almost to the Glenora Ferry, then turn onto County Road 7 and follow to Lake-on-the-Mountain and a further 17 km to Prinyer's Cove Crescent (right on a corner). For more information on Prince Edward Point, go to the Prince Edward Point page.      Return to Main List

         NORTHERN HAWK-OWL:   The owl was seen at 3:45 PM on December 29, 2002, perched on a dead stub in the Cache Lake Marsh at kilometre 23 on Highway 60 in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. For more information and directions go to the Algonquin Provincial Park page.      Return to Main List

         HARLEQUIN DUCK:   A female Harlequin Duck was again seen in the Rideau River from Riverain Park, directly across from Strathcona Park on November 21, 2002 to at least February 22, 2003. Look through the flock of Mallard, Black Duck and Common Goldeneye and along the shoreline. This is almost certainly the same bird beginning its fourth winter in this spot.      Return to Main List


Go to Birding Ottawa Past Years' Rare Bird Summaries.
Go to Birding Ottawa Current Year's Rare Bird Summary.
Check the Birding Ottawa 2003 - 2004 Winter Specialty Status page.
Check the 2003 - 2004 Winter Finch Forecast courtesy Ron Pittaway.
Return to Birding Ottawa Table of Contents.


Black-headed Grosbeak - SW of Pakenham - Nov. 30, 2003
Black-headed Grosbeak - SW of Pakenham - Nov. 30, 2003


Western Kingbird - Pembroke - Nov. 1, 2003
Western Kingbird - Pembroke - Nov. 1, 2003


Purple Gallinule - Shirleys Bay - Sep. 28, 2003
Purple Gallinule - Shirleys Bay - Sep. 28, 2003
Photo by George Hollinsworth, Courtesy John Walmsley


American Avocet - Winchester Lagoons - Sep. 28, 2003
American Avocet - Winchester Lagoons - Sep. 28, 2003


American Avocet - Chesterville Lagoons - Sep. 14, 2003
American Avocet - Chesterville Lagoons - Sep. 14, 2003


Eurasian Collared Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove


Varied Thrush
Varied Thrush


Northern Hawk Owl
Northern Hawk Owl


Harlequin Duck
Harlequin Duck


Copyright 2000 - 2015     Larry E. Neily