A lot of our birding occurred at roadside stops. Four Red-Shouldered Hawks were notables, seen across the same field in which we heard a Common Snipe. Stopping in Arnprior at Bud’s Spuds for lunch, we got that reliable urban specialty, the House Sparrow.
We took a route along the Lower Spruce Hedge Road/Springston Bridge Road to Calabogie, and then South to Almonte. Along this route we picked up warblers and other forest birds, including the scarce Red-Headed Woodpecker and Canada Warbler. We stopped at Almonte’s sewage lagoon and saw species likely not found anywhere else on our route. These included the Wilson’s Phalarope and a late migrant, a Least Sandpiper.
We ended our day with a visit to the Constance Creek Marsh, where an American Bittern greeted us with his signature “klunk-a-chunk.” After watching him fly across the road, and hearing the brief call of a Sora Rail, we headed to the Panmure Alvar area for nocturnal species. We were rewarded with American Woodcock, Common Nighthawk, and Whip-poor-will calling and displaying. We were even buzzed by a passing Common Nighthawk! We attempted to finish our evening by calling for Barred Owls, but struck out.
The following morning birding found us back in Constance Bay, in hopes of getting a few more backyard birds, and we did – the last bird recorded before the clock struck 10, was a Northern Cardinal.
The day’s final species count was 94. More than just the numbers, this experience generated a much greater interest in our local birds for me. I was able to practise bird calls, and even added some to my life list of birds. Fergus was an integral part of this whole adventure, bringing his knowledge and experience to bear. And so was everyone who sponsored me on this great fund-raising feat, and I owe them all a vote of thanks. Contact me directly for our complete species list.