Today marks the start of a weekend adventure to the Ottawa valley with my friends Nigel Banks and Paul Berkloo. Our first destination was Presqu’ile Provincial Park to find some birds. Migration season has started and our hope was to catch some of the shorebirds that usually pass through the area during this season. The first bird we found? A robin.
LOL yup no other birds in sight but robins. We knew there had to be different birds around so we continued further into the park towards the lighthouse. Exploring the lighthouse area by foot we did see some swans and a few ducks but they were so far out in the water and hiding amidst the ice that we just couldn’t get anything decent. We were lucky enough to run into a birder who told us of an area further eastward along the shore that would have lots of swans and various duck congregating together. After getting some directions we jumped in the car and headed out of the park. Along the road we saw some Cedar Waxwings flying in and out of the brush.
I caught a few shots but branches and awkward shadows kept getting in the way. We moved on from here and headed to this apparent gold mine of birds. He wasn’t kidding around; as we turned a corner into a small cove all you could see were waterbirds.
Swans, Cackling Geese, Redheads and Goldeneyes all swimming around each other not paying each other any mind. It was amazing. I had never seen so many different birds mingling together as though they were at a cocktail party. Fantastic – I didn’t know where to point my camera first. The only issue was isolating each bird to get some shots.
Too soon we had to leave and make our way over to the ferry terminal for Amherst Island. There was one bird I hopped to still photograph today and that was the Snowy Owl. We weren’t long on the island before we saw our first Snowy. Nestled in some snow on a field I’m surprised we saw it at all. We continued searching for more as we drove along the shore road. We looked high and low for another snowy and in the process we glimpsed an American Kestrel but still no snowy until far in the distance, we spotted one sitting at the top of an old tree.
Finally! But why did they all have to be so far? Well it seems luck was not on our side and we headed back to ferry terminal. From here we drove to Ottawa and the next leg of our journey.