Opinion Column

Petawawa Terrace walk coming up on Saturday

Ken Hooles

By Ken Hooles, Daily Observer

Area resident John Meadows captured this photo earlier in the spring of a pintail duck sitting on ice on the Ottawa River.

Area resident John Meadows captured this photo earlier in the spring of a pintail duck sitting on ice on the Ottawa River.

The next Pembroke and Area Field Naturalists' event is the Petawawa Terrace (old Fish Hatchery) Annual Walk that will take place Saturday, May 14, at 8 a.m. This outing is good for both children and adults. For the children, there are Canada Geese, sometimes with young fledglings. The outing is also excellent for observing many of our spring songbirds, sparrows, and waterfowl. In the past, Winter Wrens, White-crowned Sparrows, Sora, and a good variety of warblers have been spotted. It is usually a relaxing and enjoyable walk, but it is a good idea to bring rubber boots as this area sometimes has flooded spots.

If you are attending this event, please meet the trip organizers, Rob Cunningham and myself, in the upper parking lot on the terrace on Laurentian Drive. If you are coming from Pembroke, turn right and look for the signs and the parking lot on the right. For more information on this excursion, please feel free to contact me at 613-735-4430.

On the local scene, with the recent warm weather, the spring migration continues in full force. This includes the last of the first wave of migrants and the start of the second wave birds. These include Greater Yellowlegs and other shore birds, Bonaparte Gulls, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Common Terns, Broad-winged Hawks, Hermit Thrush, Sora, American Bittern, Brown Thrasher, Fox Sparrows, Blue-headed Vireo, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. In addition several members of the warbler family have already arrived including Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine, Black and White Warblers, Black-throated Green, Northern Parula, Nashville, and others.

The next arrivals from this second wave should include White-crowned Sparrows, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Veery, Least Flycatchers, Indigo Buntings, Baltimore Orioles, Whip-poor-wills, Virginia Rail, Chimney Swifts, and more wood warblers. It is a great time to be bird watching.

Back on April11, Jean Callaghan of D'Arcy Street updated me with her bird feeder sightings. These included Blue Jays, Cardinals, both Purple Finches and Goldfinches, Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin, Dark-eyed Juncos, a Pileated Woodpecker, and both Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers.

Around this same period, Neil Melancon of Pembroke reported the area's first spring Fox Sparrow, and then on April 17, the first Tree Sparrows. Good for you, Neil.

On April 13, Kathy Van Starkenburg of Micksburg Area spotted six Tundra Swans fly over her home. Nice sighting, Kathy!

On April 14, Earl Holm of Pembroke area updated me with his bird feeder activity. This included about 100 Pine Siskin, 75 Purple Finches, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Red-winged Blackbirds. This is a nice variety of birds!

On April 17, John Meadows informed me that he spotted a Sharp-shinned Hawk capture a small bird in flight in his back yard. These birds are getting ready for nesting! Quite an exciting sighting John!

Around this same period, John McGonegal of Petawawa reported a possible Tri-coloured blackbird in his yard. He also informed me that he had a male Eastern Towhee under his feeder the other day. These are both excellent sightings!

Finally, it is time to update you on some of the rare and interesting bird sightings across our province during the month of April. These included Eared Grebe (Mississauga), Eurasian Widgeon (Long Point), Greater White-fronted Goose (Richmond), Western Grebe (Toronto), Northern Mockingbird (Toronto), Little Gull (Kingston), Fish crow (Hamilton),Willet (Erieau), Eared Grebe (Rattray), Tundra Swans (new Tecumseh), Ruddy Duck (Windsor), Eastern Towhee (Toronto), Fish crow (Point Pelee), Snowy Egret( Port Stanley),Tundra Swans (Dryden),Great Egret (Simcoe), and Eurasian Widgeon (Norfolk),

I am just back from a two week vacation in Arizona. Please call me at 613-735-4430, or email me with your spring bird sightings at hooles@bell.net . For more information on other nature events and links to nature information, just Google the Pembroke Area Field Naturalists' website.

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