NeilyWorld Birding Ottawa - Southwest - Dunrobin & Carp Ridges
CONSTANCE CREEK AT THOMAS DOLAN PARKWAY
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 dumps you right or north onto March Road. If driving east, a 0.5 km offramp brings you to Eagleson Road, where you will turn left or north onto it to March Road (its northward extension) and in 0.5 km join the westbound offramp traffic. Both groups will now follow March Road, or Regional 49, north, then northwest, 8.1 km to to a 90 degree lefthand turn and the junction for Dunrobin Road. Take a right onto Dunrobin Road and continue northwest 7.5 km to Thomas Dolan Parkway at Dunrobin. Turn right or northeast onto Thomas Dolan and go 1.5 km to Constance Creek.
Dunrobin & Carp Ridges Route Directions: From wherever you are along the Dunrobin Ridge on Greenland Road, return southeast to the Thomas Dolan Parkway. Turn right or southwest onto it to enter the Constance Creek at Thomas Dolan Parkway area.
Google Satellite Map of Constance Creek at Thomas Dolan Parkway Area
Site Description and Birding Information: The corner of 5th Line and Greenland Roads usually has a pair of Eastern Bluebirds each year arriving in early April. You should be keeping an eye on the sky here. 5th Line, which becomes Greenland Road here, overlooks the Constance Creek valley and along the ridge there are migrant raptors especially in spring. Refer to the previous site, Dunrobin Ridge on Greenland Road.
About halfway between the creek and the corner of 5th Line and Greenland Roads there is a flooded swamp on the south side of the road. A pair of scarce Red-shouldered Hawks nested in this area for several years recently and may still nest nearby. A pair of Great Horned Owls took over one of their nests for a couple of years. The fairly common Broad-winged Hawk also breeds in this area. This is a good spot to listen for Winter Wren in the spring.
There is plenty of room to pull off near the bridge at Constance Creek. Here one has an unobstructed view looking northwest toward the ridge to watch for migrant raptors. And the surrounding marsh is a good place to listen for breeding Virginia Rail, Sora, Marsh Wren and Swamp Sparrow. The scarce Least Bittern has been found here as well. It gives its cuckoo-like call from mid-May through June, and then clams up. It is notoriously hard to see, and after the end of June, almost impossible. Watch for breeding Northern Harriers patrolling the edges of the marsh.
Least Bittern at Constance Creek and the Thomas Dolan Parkway
Both the common Alder and the scarce Willow Flycatcher breed along the margin. A platform has been erected for Osprey which nest there now. A Sandhill Crane flew over here on Apr. 17, 2006. On Oct. 17, 2009 a male Eurasian Wigeon was with a flock of 14 American Wigeon on the south side of the marsh.
Between the creek and Dunrobin Road (1.5 km beyond the creek) there are some swamps and fields. Northern Hawk Owl (Nov. 1987) and Great Gray Owl (2 - Jan. 17, 2005) have both visited this stretch. Several more Great Gray Owls chose the stretch of Dunrobin Road near Thomas Dolan Parkway as hunting grounds in the invasion winter of 2004 - 05 (Jan. 10 to at least Mar. 23).
Constance Creek at Thomas Dolan Parkway looking ESE
Dunrobin & Carp Ridges Route Directions: From wherever you are on the Thomas Dolan Parkway near Constance Creek, continue straight or southwest to Dunrobin Road. Turn right or northwest on Dunrobin Road and proceed 1.8 km to the next site, on the right behind the West Carleton Secondary School, the Bill Mason Outdoor Education and Environmental Studies Centre.
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Copyright © 2000 - 2011 Larry E. Neily
Last update: July 8, 2011