NeilyWorld Birding Ottawa - Southwest - Ottawa River West: Ontario
MARCH VALLEY (FOURTH LINE) - KLONDIKE
Spring: ** Summer: ** Fall: ** Winter: ***
Independent Directions to this Site: From Highway 417 (The Queensway) take exit 138 (Eagleson/March Roads). If travelling west, the 0.6 km offramp sends you right or north onto March Road. If driving east, a 0.4 km offramp brings you to Eagleson Road, where you will turn left or north onto it and in 0.5 km join the westbound offramp traffic on March Road (it changed names as you went under the overpass). Both groups will now follow March Road north 1.0 km to Herzberg Road. Turn right or north on Herzberg. As March Road bends to the left you actually end up going the same direction you were before the turnoff. Follow Herzberg north for 1.1 km, where it bends left and becomes Terry Fox Drive. Turn right onto Terry Fox and follow it for 1 km to March Valley Road. Turn right or north onto it and go down the hill 0.5 km to the old Fourth Line Road.
Ottawa River West: Ontario Route Directions: From the deadend at the north end of Herzberg Road, return to the "main" road, where Herzberg becomes Terry Fox Drive, and turn right onto Terry Fox. Follow it for 1 km to March Valley Road, turn right or north onto it and go down the hill for 0.5 km to the old Fourth Line Road.
Map of the March Valley Road - Klondike area
Site Description and Birding Information: This is another site that has suffered from development recently. On the west side of the road there is a new golf course going in and on the east side the DND has deemed it necessary to scar the landscape with a new perimeter road, new buildings, more fences and regular noisy patrols. So much for the combined Crown Game Preserve - DND Shooting Range.
Despite all this this site is still worth checking, though a shadow of it's former self. The expanses of open areas to the east of March Valley Road were wintering grounds for several raptors, including Rough-legged Hawks and some years Short-eared Owls. It remains to be seen if they can cope with the interference. A Northern Shrike or two can usually be found along the road each winter. Watch for some ponds along the road which may harbour shorebirds in season.
Ditch along March Valley Road Open All Winter
Fields Beyond DND Fence
Go right on the old 4th Line all the way east to the deadend at Herzberg. This eastern segment may have Eastern Bluebirds in summer and Northern Shrike or Bohemian Waxwing in winter. 1.7 km from Herzberg, there is a drainage ditch which sometimes harbours herons and ducks and remains open except in severe cold snaps. A Snowy Egret was found here on May 8, 1993.
At the 1.8 km mark going northwest on March Valley (Fourth Line), Klondike Road heads southwest to the left. Habitat along Klondike is much the same, but worth checking as well. Northern Mockingbird has been seen at Klondike and Sandhill Roads. Red-headed Woodpeckers may still breed in the woods to the north of Klondike. (Farther southwest on Klondike - 3 km from March Valley, near 2nd Line Road, is an Osprey nest, to the right on the hydro pylon).
Just west of Klondike, on the right, is the eastern Duck Club feeeding station. Not as attractive a setting as the western one, but worth a quick check. One kilometer past Klondike Road there is a low section with large old willows. This is sometimes flooded in early spring and occassionally the road is closed. This area can be good in migration, especially in spring.
Just west of the willows, watch for Northern Shrike on the right, this is a favourite spot. At 2.6 km past Klondike Road listen at dusk in the early spring for American Woodcock.
Old Willows along March Valley Road
Western Duck Club Feeders on March Valley Road
3.1 km past Klondike Road you will see the western Duck Club feeders on your right or northeast of the road. A good variety of small birds can be found here in winter. Their predators as well. Barred Owl has often been seen here, sometimes roosting above the feeding station. A Northern Goshawk was seen repeatedly during the 2004-05 winter. A small flock of the recently introduced Wild Turkey has taken to hanging around here in winter.
Another 0.1 km and you will have reached Riddell Road. A night in March and April in particular, this is an excellent owling stop.
Rare birds seen at this site include Snowy Egret (May 8, 1993), Black Vulture (Ottawa's first, March 25, 2001 at the Sandhill Road end of 4th Line), Great Gray Owl (3 in Feb. 1992; up to 13 from Dec. 18, 2004 to at least Mar. 21, 2005; and one February 18, 2006 - they are best seen near dawn and dusk, or on cloudy days; but some may usually be seen even on sunny days.)
Ottawa River West: Ontario Route Directions: At the northwestern end of March Valley (Fourth Line) Road you are facing a T-junction at the next site Riddell Road.
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Copyright © 2000 - 2009 Larry E. Neily
Last update: October 28, 2009