Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley
Mississippi River at Pakenham

Open House MVFN Birding Observation Tower, Almonte Lagoon, Sept 6, 2017

The following account of the open house day was written by Michel Gauthier

Nine nature enthusiasts showed up at the Almonte Lagoon observation tower on Wednesday to participate in the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists Birding Open House. They came from Almonte, Ottawa, and Perth. Club members Ken Allison and Michel Gauthier were on hand to help them identify the different species.

Although the event started at three o’clock sharp, someone forgot to tell the birds: the picking was proverbially slim. Our birders, always the optimists, remained glued to their scope and binoculars. Other than for the ever-present Canada geese and mallards, the great majority of expected bird species for this time of the year refused to make an appearance. The birders persisted, as you can see in the following picture of (from left to right) Frank Campbell, Ronald Vandebeek, and Sheryl-Elaine Grazeau.

Persistent birders (L-R) Frank Campbell, Ronald Vandebeek, and Sheryl-Elaine Grazeau. photo Michel Gauthier

Persistent birders (L-R):  Frank Campbell, Ronald Vandebeek, and Sheryl-Elaine Grazeau. photo Michel Gauthier

At approximately four o’clock, other birds began to fly in. So many, in fact, that by the end of the event at 5 o’clock, our participants had identified 30 species, among them the blue-winged teals in the photo below. Persistence paid off and turned a so-so birding day into a successful one.

Blue-winged Teal. photo Michel Gauthier

Blue-winged Teal. photo Michel Gauthier

Following is a list of the birds identified:

Species Count
Canada Goose 64
Wood Duck 9
Blue-winged Teal 25
Mallard 5
Green-winged Teal 6
Hooded Merganser 5
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 2
Bald Eagle 2
Pectoral Sandpiper 1
Solitary Sandpiper 2
Lesser Yellowlegs 1
Ring-billed Gull 40
Mourning Dove 1
Chimney Swift 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 8
American Crow 3
Common Raven 2
Barn Swallow 4
Black-capped Chickadee 2
Gray Catbird 1
Cedar Waxwing 20
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
Song Sparrow 3
Baltimore Oriole 1
Red-winged Blackbird 11
American Goldfinch 4

 

Invitation to the next open house:

The Mississippi Field Naturalists invite you to the next Birding Open House at the Lagoon, which will take place on Sept 13, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. To get there from Almonte, take Wolf Grove Road (County Rd. 16) towards Middleville, 2 km. Turn north onto Ramsay Conc. 8 at the Auld Kirk church and cemetery, and travel approximately 100 m to the trailhead. The trail entrance is on Ramsay Conc.  8 across the road from, and just past, the cemetery. A small yellow sign marks the entrance.

 

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FULL-SIZED  CALENDAR WITH DETAILS

MVFN natural history talks:  7:30 pm on third Thursdays of Jan, Feb, March, April,  Sept, Oct, and Nov at Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St. Almonte ON. All welcome! Non-members $5. 

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