NeilyWorld Birding Ottawa - Southwest - Ottawa River West: Ontario
Spring: * Summer: * Fall: ** Winter: *
Independent Directions to this Site: From Highway 417 (The Queensway) take exit 129 (Greenbank & Pinecrest Roads). If travelling west, the 0.3 km offramp dumps you right or north onto Pinecrest Road. If driving east, a 0.3 km offramp brings you to Pinecrest/Greenbank Road, where you will turn left or north onto Pinecrest Road and in 0.4 km join the westbound offramp traffic. Both groups will now follow Pinecrest Road north 1.0 km from here to Carling Avenue. Continue straight through onto Greenview Avenue (the continuation of Pinecrest to the north) and follow it for 1.2 km to the parking lot at Britannia Beach. Britannia Pier is adjacent the beach.
Ottawa River West: Ontario Route Directions: From Deschênes Rapids - Ontario return to Britannia Road from wherever you parked on Cassels Street. Proceed south along Britannia Road 1.3 km to Carling Avenue. Turn right on Carling and go 0.2 km to Pinecrest/Greenview. Turn right or north onto Greenview Avenue. Follow it for 1.2 km to the parking lot at Britannia Beach. Britannia Pier is adjacent the beach.
Street Map and MS Virtual Earth Satellite Image Map of Britannia Pier Area
Site Description and Birding Information: Purple Sandpipers love to hang out on rocky shores and jetties. This site is the premier spot in the Ottawa area to see this species, usually in the first week of November. The passage window for these birds in Ottawa seems quite consistant and fairly narrow over the years. The last week of October and the first two in November account for nearly all local sightings. However, in 2007 reports were from the latter half of November, with a flock of 14 on Nov. 21 - some remaining to the following day. Exceptional here was a bird seen here Dec. 6, 2001, a late record for Ottawa.
View of Britannia Pier Jetties
Check the shore and near shore areas west of the jetty area, especially in fall. The marshy vegetation can hold interesting species, the margin can have shorebirds and the water may be covered by waterfowl. The shore from here to the next site, Ottawa Beach can be productive. The bike path provides easy access.
View to the West of Britannia Pier
Rarities found here include: Northern Wheatear (an immature at the base of the jetties - October 12, 1995) and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow (along the shore west of the pier - October 6, 2003), a migrant Boreal Chickadee (jetty - Oct. 27, 2005), Greater White-fronted Goose (along the shore west of the pier - Oct. 28, 2005), Long-tailed Jaeger (Aug. 11-12, 2007).
Additional information on this and nearby sites is available at the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club website's Britannia page.
Ottawa River West: Ontario Route Directions: From the Britannia Beach parking lot, return south on Greenview Avenue 1.2 km to Carling Avenue. Turn right or west on Carling and go 1.3 km to the turnoff for a parking lot on the right or north. Turn right into the lot. This is the next site, Ottawa Beach.
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Copyright © 2000 - 2009 Larry E. Neily
Last update: October 28, 2009