NeilyWorld  Birding Ottawa - Southwest - Stony Swamp Loop


SHEA & AKINS ROADS

Spring: **  Summer: *  Fall: **  Winter: ***

        Independent Directions to this Site: From Highway 416 take exit 66 (Fallowfield Road). If southbound, a 0.4 km offramp dumps onto Fallowfield, where you will turn right or west. If northbound, the 0.4 km offramp brings you to Fallowfield, where you will turn left or west onto it and in 0.5 km join the southbound offramp traffic. Both groups will now follow Fallowfield Road west 7.0 km from here, passing Moodie Drive, Richmond Road and Eagleson Road to reach Shea Road. Turn left or southeast onto Shea Road.
        Stony Swamp Loop Route Directions: From the parking lot for the Old Quarry Trail, turn left or SSE onto Eagleson Road. Proceed 5.7 km SSE along Eagleson to Fallowfield Road. Turn right or southwest along Fallowfield and go 2.5 km to Shea Road. Turn left or southeast onto Shea Road.
MS Virtual Earth Satellite Map of Shea & Akins Roads Area
MS Virtual Earth Satellite Map of Shea & Akins Roads Area

        Site Description and Birding Information: This site is a prime winter birding locale consisting of flat agricultural area. Look for freshly manured fields to attract flocks of Horned Lark, Snow Bunting and a few Lapland Longspur. Gray Partridge are fairly common in this area. From mid-fall till mid-spring this is one of the most consistant locations to find Snowy Owl. They are often seen perched in the open on hydro pylons or telephone poles. This site is adjacent and easily combined with the similar Rushmore Road site. If you missed the Snowy Owl at one, you will probably see it at the other.
Swirling Flock of Snow Buntings
Swirling Flock of Snow Buntings
         The best strategy for birding this area is to drive slowly southeast on Shea Road, stopping to scan all hydro pylons, telephone poles and fence posts with your binoculars or scope. You might think a large white bird would stand out like a sore thumb, but often careful scanning is needed to find them, especially when the landscape is white with snow. You will find some "plastic shopping bag" owls and "javex-bottle" owls, and the more common "snow-lump" owls to confuse the issue. Scan the backs of fields as these birds will sometimes find refuge from traffic well back from the road.
         Continue along Shea for 2.8 km to Brownlee Road, then turn left onto Brownlee and follow it 1.8 km to Eagleson Road. Turn left on Eagleson and, keeping in mind the heavy traffic usually present, go northwest 1.8 km to Akins. Turn left again on Akins and proceed 2.1 km back to Shea Road. If you're achin' to see a Snowy Owl, this is a good spot to check. Garvin Road, southeast of Brownlee off Shea Road, should also be checked.
         During the 2004 - 05 "invasion", a Great Gray Owl was found at Shea and Brownlee Roads on Feb. 27, 2005.
        Stony Swamp Loop Route Directions: From the junction of Eagleson Road and Akins Road, turn right or SSE onto Eagleson and drive the 0.8 km to Rushmore Road, our next site.
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Copyright 2000 - 2009     Larry E. Neily
Last update:  October 25, 2009