NeilyWorld Birding Ottawa - Southwest - Rideau River West Side
Spring: * Summer: * Fall: * Winter: ***
Independent Directions to this Site: From Highway 417 (The Queensway) take exit 118 (follow the signs for Nicholas Street). Avoid doing this during rushhour! Go northwest 1.3 km to Laurier Avenue and turn right or northeast onto it. Proceed 1.2 km to Range Road and turn right or southeast onto it. Travel 0.4 km southeast on Range and turn left or northeast at Somerset Street East into the parking area of Strathcona Park.
Rideau River West Side Route Directions: From Porter Island, return to St. Patrick Street and cross it, following Cobourg Street southeast 0.6 km to Rideau Street. Turn left or northeast onto it and immediately (0.1 km) turn right or southeast onto Charlotte Street. After 0.5 km turn right or southwest onto Laurier Avenue East, then immediately (0.1 km) turn left or southeast onto Range Road. Travel 0.4 km southeast on Range and turn left or northeast at Somerset Street East into the parking area of Strathcona Park.
Map of the Strathcona Park area
Site Description and Birding Information: This park is fairly open, with many large trees. Look for open canopy birds during migration. There are good views of the Rideau River here, including a small section of rapids, where a female Harlequin Duck has stayed each winter since 1999-2000. It had returned again by November 15, 2003 for its fifth winter here, but something untoward may have happened to it, as it was not reported after Nov. 27. A male Barrow's Goldeneye was found here on November 17, 2004. A hybrid male Barrow's X Common Goldeneye was seen here from Feb. 6 to at least Feb. 21, 2005. A male Barrow's Goldeneye was seen here fairly regularly in the winters of 2006-07 and 2007-08. Other less usual overwintering waterfowl are sometime found here, such as Wood Duck, Lesser Scaup, Hooded, Common & Red-breasted Merganser. At either end there is some less open habitat. A bicycle path follows the river. The southern area is adjacent the northern area of Strathcona Heights Park. It still has a few trees because of the steep slope and gives some local habitat for tired migrants.
Common Goldeneye Feeding at the Rapids - Dec. 1, 2007
Rare birds seen here include: Harlequin Duck (wintered in 1999-2000, 2000-2001, 2001-2002, 2002-2003, and the beginning of the following winter); Great Egret (Apr. 23, 2006).
This site is directly across the Rideau River from the Riverain Park site on the Rideau River East Side route.
Rideau River West Side Route Directions: From the Strathcona Park parking lot, turn left or southeast onto Range Road and go 0.4 km to its end at Mann Avenue. At the corner, turn right or southwest onto Mann and follow it 0.7 km to King Edward Avenue. Turn left or southeast here to reach Lees Avenue. Loop around to the right over the 417 and then follow Lees Avenue headed west until you reach Main Street (which really isn't), a total of 1.6 km. Turn left or SSE onto it and proceed 1.1 km to Riverdale Avenue. Turn right or SSW onto it and travel 1.5 km to Bank Street. Park as near to the corner as possible and walk to our next site on this route, Billings Bridge, just south of the junction on Bank Street.
Return to Rideau River West Side.
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Copyright © 2000 - 2009 Larry E. Neily
Last update: October 29, 2009