NeilyWorld      Birding Ottawa - Winter Birding


   WINTER SPECIALTY STATUS: 2003 - 2004

Many of the northern birds that grace our area in winter are not rare enough to warrant inclusion on the Rare Bird Alert page. Yet they are often sought by visiting birders from more southerly climes (such as New England, Toronto or Kingston), and even by locals, especially those new to the area or to birding. Thus the Birding Ottawa Winter Specialty Status page. It will act as an adjunct to the RBA page and the Where and When to See Guide. Information regarding the current winter's status of these species, along with a few uncommon to rare residents and the odd western visitor, will be provided. If the location has its own page, you can access more details and directions by clicking its link.
Last updated: 1800 hrs, April 5, 2004.

Choose a species from this drop-down menu:
Return to Past Years' Winter Specialty Status Pages.
Check the current Birding Ottawa Winter Specialty Status page.
Check the Birding Ottawa  Current Ottawa Winter List.
Review the Birding Ottawa  Past Years' RBAs or the  Current RBA.
Check the Past Winter Finch Forecasts or the Current Winter Finch Forecast courtesy Ron Pittaway.
Return to Birding Ottawa  Where and When to See Guide.
Return to Birding Ottawa  Table of Contents.


King Eider          Very rarely seen in the Ottawa area itself, the King Eider is seen with some regularity in late fall and early winter off Owen Point in Presqu'ile Provincial Park. A scattering of records over the years, the most current being 2 seen from Dec. 4 to 7 off Sebastopol Island. Link to Where and When to See Guide's King Eider entry.      Return to Main Menu
Harlequin Duck          A female Harlequin Duck was again seen in the Rideau River from Riverain Park, directly across from Strathcona Park on November 15, 2003 to at least November 27. Look through the flock of Mallard, Black Duck and Common Goldeneye and along the shoreline. This is almost certainly the same bird beginning its fifth winter in this spot. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Harlequin Duck entry.      Return to Main Menu
Barrow's Goldeneye          Two male Barrow's Goldeneyes are being seen this winter at Remic Rapids, one of the species usual haunts, and were still present as of February 22, one still there on March 3. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Barrow's Goldeneye entry.      Return to Main Menu
Bald Eagle          Recent sightings include 3 adults at Bear Brook at Milton Road on Mar. 27, one adult east of the Deschênes Rapids on Mar. 7 and 4 along Steel Line Road on Feb. 29. One was at Britannia on Feb. 28. There were 2 adults along the Ramsey Lake (Eardley-Masham) Road at the escarpment on Feb. 22. There were at least 6 adults seen together on one hillside in the Lac Lablanche area, north of Buckingham in late Jan. Four seen at Shirley's Bay on Dec. 7, 3 adults and 1 immature; and a 2nd tear bird at Chaudiere Falls on Dec. 14. On Dec. 31 there were 3 at the Deschênes Rapids, on Jan. 1 there were two adult birds and on Jan. 4 there were 4 birds (1 ad. & 3 imm.) seen there. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Bald Eagle entry.      Return to Main Menu
Rough-legged Hawk          Many present in our area. Check sites listed in: Link to Where and When to See Guide's Rough-legged Hawk entry.      Return to Main Menu
Golden Eagle          An adult was seen (perched in the same tree as an adult Bald Eagle) on Bear Brook at Milton Road on Mar. 27. A juvenile bird was seen along the Steel Line Road on Feb. 29. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Golden Eagle entry.      Return to Main Menu
Peregrine Falcon          Our local pair is seen frequently, especially at their favourite haunts: on the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Ottawa and the Coats Building, Tunney's Pasture. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Peregrine Falcon entry.      Return to Main Menu
Gyrfalcon          One was seen on Dec. 27 flying over the Gatineau River at Lac Leamy, heading south toward the Ottawa River. The first Gyrfalcon of the season bypassed Ottawa to visit Amherst Island. A gray-brown Gyrfalcon was seen on November 21 about 3 km west on the First Concession Road on Amherst Island. Seen perching on several telephone poles and fence posts. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Gyrfalcon entry.      Return to Main Menu
Gray Partridge          Recent sightings include 6 on Rushmore Road on Feb. 11 and five at Frank Kenny & Regimbald Roads on Feb. 1 and a flock of 13 at at the intersection of Frank Kenney Road and County Road 28, immediately south of exit 88 on highway 417. They were in a farm field with many derelict cars. There was a flock of 5 on Dec. 7 along Pierce Road West, west of Malakoff Road, in the last fields before the road ends. Two flocks have been seen at or near another spot, just outside the checklist circle; Concession 20, east of Casselman (from exit 58 on the 417, take County Road 8 one km north to turn right onto Concession 20). Link to Where and When to See Guide's Gray Partridge entry.      Return to Main Menu
Thayer's Gull          One first winter Thayer's Gull was at the Deschenes Rapids on Dec. 31. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Thayer's Gull entry.      Return to Main Menu
Iceland Gull          One bird was at Remic Rapids on Feb. 9. Good numbers of Glaucous and Iceland Gulls were seen on the ice on the Ottawa River on Dec. 14. Eleven were still at the Deschenes Rapids on Dec. 31. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Iceland Gull entry.      Return to Main Menu
Lesser Black-backed Gull          A first spring bird was at Parc Lucette in Hull on Mar. 7. One adult was still present at the nightly gathering along the ice at the Deschenes Rapids in Dec. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Lesser Black-backed Gull entry.      Return to Main Menu
Glaucous Gull          Recent sightings include 17 birds at Remic Rapids on Feb. 9. There was a first winter bird at Andrew Haydon Park on Dec. 4. Good numbers of Glaucous and Iceland Gulls were seen on the ice on the Ottawa River on Dec. 14. A total of 27 were still at the Deschenes Rapids on Dec. 31. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Glaucous Gull entry.      Return to Main Menu
Eastern Screech-Owl          Link to Where and When to See Guide's Eastern Screech-Owl entry.      Return to Main Menu
Snowy Owl          On March 7, seven! individuals were seen along Concession 20 east of Casselman, between County Roads 8 and 9. All but one were young, heavily-barred birds. Six of these birds were still present in the area on March 26. A white male was seen on Feb. 28 along Eagleson Road, south of Brownlee Road. One heavily barred bird Feb. 29 on Brownlee Road, between Eagleson and Shea Road. Feb. 20 produced another sighting in this area. Several of these beautiful birds are now on hunting territories near Casselman, just beyond the edge of the checklist circle. One was seen on Feb. 16 along Concession 20. On Jan. 20 there are three reports. One seen near Exit 58 on the 417 east of Ottawa. A dark bird was seen atop a hydro pole at Concession 20 and St. Rose Road (from exit 58 on the 417, take County Road 8 one km north to Concession 20, turn right on the long curve and go 2.5 km to St. Rose). A pure white bird was seen near 109 Road 600E (from exit 58 on the 417, take County Road 8 1 km north, then 3.6 km west to Road 600E, turn left and go 0.8 km). On Jan. 13 two dark birds were seen. One was 0.5 km along Concession 20 from County Road 8, on the TV ariel of house number 2284. The other was 1.5 km west of the junction of Concession 20 and County Road 8, on the antenna of house number 1800. The first report of the winter was Dec. 20, near the sharp curve on Earl Armstrong Road. This site produced another (or possibly the same) bird on Feb. 22. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Snowy Owl entry.      Return to Main Menu
Northern Hawk-Owl          A Northern Hawk-Owl has been seen from Dec. 8 to at least Mar. 7 a few kilometres to the WSW of Almonte, ON. Most recently, has been seen on Feb. 18, 19 and 22 and Mar. 3, 6 and 7 near the corner of Ramsay Concession 7 and Old Union Hall Road and from nearby Clayton Road (seen near # 840). Many earlier sightings were near the old barn at 283 Old Union Hall Road. Take the 417 west to exit 155, March Road (Regional 49), and proceed 15.5 km through beautiful downtown Almonte to Regional 29. Continue west on Wolf Grove Road. After passing Almonte Sewage Lagoon on your right (the Dec. 20 location of the owl), turn right or northwest afteer 1.5 km onto Ramsay Concession 8. Follow it for 0.4 km to Camelon Road and turn left or southwest. Follow Camelon 1.3 km to Ramsay Concession 7B and then drive northwest 1.0 km on 7B to Old Union Hall Road. Check near the intersection. Then turn left or southwest onto Old Union Hall and go 1.3 km to Ramsey Concession 6. Clayton Road, where the bird was first noted, is the next northwest road parallel to Old Union Hall, about 1.1 km via 7B. The sightings closest to Almonte, including Concession 7B, are inside the 50 km OFNC checklist circle. The junction of Old Union Hall and Concession 6 is just outside. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Northern Hawk-Owl entry.      Return to Main Menu
Great Gray Owl          One of these owls was seen December 9, 2003 between Smiths Falls and Portland, ON. It was close to Highway 15, about halfway between Portland and Smiths Falls. It was searched for the morning of Dec. 10 without success. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Great Gray Owl entry.      Return to Main Menu
Long-eared Owl          A Long-eared Owl was in the Mer Bleue area on Dec. 14 and one was found in Clyde Woods on Dec. 21. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Long-eared Owl entry.      Return to Main Menu
Short-eared Owl          Sightings include up to 7 at a time seen on Earl Armstrong Road, south of the airport, throughout the winter (6 still present Mar. 27). Best spot is near the sharp bend, best time is dusk. Three birds have been seen at or near another spot, just outside the checklist circle; Concession 20, east of Casselman (from exit 58 on the 417, take County Road 8 one km north to turn right onto Concession 20). Link to Where and When to See Guide's Short-eared Owl entry.      Return to Main Menu
Boreal Owl          Link to Where and When to See Guide's Boreal Owl entry.      Return to Main Menu
Northern Saw-whet Owl          A Northern Saw-whet Owl was found in the Clyde Avenue Woods on Dec. 14 and again on Dec. 21. Careful observation and patient searching through the cedars are sometimes rewarded. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Northern Saw-whet Owl entry.      Return to Main Menu
Red-bellied Woodpecker          A Red-bellied Woodpecker was reported March 1 as coming to a feeder in a backyard on Notre Dame Street in Embrun, east of Ottawa. It has been seen previously through the winter, but it is not a reliable customer.Another was seen from November 18 to at least Dec. 5 on McCordick Road, south of North Gower, ON. This bird can be seen from the road at 6848 McCordick Road, visiting the feeders at this address and the two adjacent properties, as well as in the trees along the road. Please do not enter the properties; the bird can be seen from the road. Please park along the road and be respectful of the residents. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Red-bellied Woodpecker entry.      Return to Main Menu
Three-toed Woodpecker         A male was seen on Dec. 7 and 8 on the trail off Kerwin (River) Road. More specifically, on the fallen tree past the leftward bend in the public trail off Kerwin Road. The trail entrance is immediately opposite 881 Kerwin. Also seen was a female of the same species on Dec. 8, much closer to the road, perhaps 50 metres up the trail from the aforementioned entrance. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Three-toed Woodpecker entry.      Return to Main Menu
Black-backed Woodpecker          Single females of this species were found along the main road through the Larose Forest and on the trail running northeast off Kerwin (River) Road in late December. The latter was still present on Jan. 4. A male was seen around Feb. 1 near Lac Lablanche on Inlet Road, south of Rue Achtell. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Black-backed Woodpecker entry.      Return to Main Menu
Gray Jay          Algonquin Provincial Park continues to be THE spot to see these birds. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Gray Jay entry.      Return to Main Menu
Boreal Chickadee          One of these birds was seen on Jan. 4 on the trail between Kerwin (River) Road and Riddell Road. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Boreal Chickadee entry.      Return to Main Menu
Tufted Titmouse          On Jan. 20 one was seen at Prince Edward Point, in Prince Edward County, south of Belleville. It was seen on the shoulder of the road just beyond the main sign to the Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, which is just past the Ducks Dive house. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Tufted Titmouse entry.      Return to Main Menu
Carolina Wren          On Feb. 26 one was seen and heard in the village of St.-Isidore, not far east of the Ottawa checklist circle, where County Road 9 changes to Ste.-Catherine Street. It was singing in the morning in the backyard of 127 Ste.-Catherine Street and could be seen and heard from the road. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Carolina Wren entry.      Return to Main Menu
Townsend's Solitaire          Link to Where and When to See Guide's Townsend's Solitaire entry.      Return to Main Menu
Varied Thrush          Link to Where and When to See Guide's Varied Thrush entry.      Return to Main Menu
Northern Mockingbird          Link to Where and When to See Guide's Northern Mockingbird entry.      Return to Main Menu
Bohemian Waxwing          On Feb. 22, a flock of 50 was seen along the Lower Aylmer Road near Vanier Street. A flock of 80 was seen Jan. 25 on Herzberg Road at Legget Drive and a flock of 12 nearby on March Valley Road on Feb. 8. Small scattered flocks are being seen in various locations around Dunrobin, Carp and Constance Bay. A flock of 50 was at the boat landing at Shirleys Bay Dyke area on Jan. 12, where up to 300 were seen on Feb. 5 and 6. A total of 53 were found on the Carleton Place CBC on Dec. 27. The first of these birds for the season was found Dec. 14 at Gatineau. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Bohemian Waxwing entry.      Return to Main Menu
Northern Shrike          Recent sightings include one on March Valley Road on Feb. 8 and one at the Larose Forest on Jan. 20. There were 2 at the Larose Forest, east of Limoges, on Dec. 7 and one at Britannia on Dec. 7 was still there Jan. 1. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Northern Shrike entry.      Return to Main Menu
Harris' Sparrow          Link to Where and When to See Guide's Harris' Sparrow entry.      Return to Main Menu
Lapland Longspur          Recent sightings include 2 with 800 Snow Buntings on Akins Road west of Eagleson Road on Feb. 20. There were 15 on Rushmore Road on Jan 31 and 6 at Frank Kenny & Regimbald Roads on both Jan. 24 and 25, 28 there on Jan. 29 and 10 there on Feb. 8 and Feb. 15, with 100 Snow Buntings. There was one in a large Snow Bunting - Horned Lark flock on Dec. 7 on Old Coach Road off Donald Munro in Carp. Individuals of this species were found with a flock of Snow Buntings at Regimbald & Sarsfield Roads. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Lapland Longspur entry.      Return to Main Menu
Pine Grosbeak          Around a dozen were seen near the feeders on March Valley (Fourth Line) - Klondike on Jan. 7, and 15 on Jan. 16. Other sightings include birds at the Larose Forest, east of Limoges, on Dec. 7 and Jan. 4; 6 near Pink Road on Dec. 14; and singles on the Carleton Place CBC and in the Larose Forest on Dec. 27. Five were seen along the March Valley Road on Dec. 28. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Pine Grosbeak entry.      Return to Main Menu
Red Crossbill          On Feb. 29, two flocks of Red Crossbills, approximately half a dozen in each flock, were seen in the Larose Forest, on the east side near the intersection of Champlain Road and Clarence Cambridge Road. In early Feb., 5 birds in two locations were found in the Larose Forest. The first report in the region of Red Crossbills came from the Larose Forest Jan. 18. Nine were seen along the main road through the forest at the snowmobile trail west of the Army Surplus site. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Red Crossbill entry.      Return to Main Menu
White-winged Crossbill          Flocks of up to 50 were seen in the Larose Forest on Jan. 18 and 20. A dozen or more were seen at the Jack Pine Trail on Jan. 10. A flock of 12 White-winged Crossbills was seen on Dec. 27 at the Larose Forest. Another flock of White-winged Crossbills was seen at 283 Old Union Hall Road on Dec. 28, landing in the same tree as the Northern Hawk-Owl also seen there. Link to Where and When to See Guide's White-winged Crossbill entry.      Return to Main Menu
Common Redpoll          This is a good year for Redpolls. At the Hilda Road feeders at the Shirleys Bay Cottage Area on Dec. 31 there were about 22 and 30 on Jan. 17. Fifteen or so were at Britannia on Jan. 1. The Dunrobin-Breckinridge CBC had over 1500 on Jan. 3. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Common Redpoll entry.      Return to Main Menu
Hoary Redpoll          One was with a large flock of Common Redpolls on Cumberland Ridge Road on Mar. 3. A single bird was seen on Feb. 15 at the Ottawa South feeder, near Albion Road. Two were seen recently at the Nature Museum Feeders on Pink Road in Aylmer, just east of Vanier Road. Near Regimbald & O'Toole Roads, there were 2 in a flock of 300 Common's on Jan. 25. Two were seen at the Hilda Road feeders at the Shirleys Bay Cottage Area on Jan. 17, along with 30 Common Redpolls; and one still being seen up to at least Feb. 29. One has been visiting a feeder on 17 Rue du Nordet in Le Plateau (Hull) regularly since Dec. 14 to at least Jan. 6. It feeds on the ground below the feeder, 8:30 AM is the most consistent time. The Dunrobin-Breckinridge CBC had 4 on Jan. 3. On Dec. 30, two Hoary Redpolls were seen in the town of Lanark. They were observed on Hillier Road between the intersection of the main street and the river. The flock they were with, consisting of around 40 Common Redpolls and 2 Pine Siskins, has been coming to feeders for some time. One was reported on Dec. 6 with a flock of Common Redpolls, in a field near the southwest end of Vances Side Road between Dunrobin and Stonecrest Roads. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Hoary Redpoll entry.      Return to Main Menu
Evening Grosbeak          Present in the Larose Forest Jan. 20. Sixty-six were found on the Carleton Place CBC on Dec. 27. Link to Where and When to See Guide's Common Redpoll entry.      Return to Main Menu


   RARER WINTER BIRDS FROM THE RBA

Click on the bird's name for more details and directions on the RBA page.

BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK: SW of Pakenham, ON (Nov. 21? to at least Dec. 28, 2003)
SLATY-BACKED GULL: at the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre, S. of Pembroke, ON (Nov. 12 to 27, 2003)




Return to Past Years' Winter Specialty Status Pages.
Check the current Birding Ottawa Winter Specialty Status page.
Check the Birding Ottawa  Current Ottawa Winter List.
Review the Birding Ottawa  Past Years' RBAs or the  Current RBA.
Check the Past Winter Finch Forecasts or the Current Winter Finch Forecast courtesy Ron Pittaway.
Return to Birding Ottawa  Where and When to See Guide.
Return to Birding Ottawa  Table of Contents.


Copyright 2000 - 2011     Larry E. Neily