Tagged: Mud Lake

Ducks and gulls along the river

by Roy John

Report of an Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club excursion on Sunday, 22 May 2016.

A dozen people went to Mud Lake to take advantage of the recent change from cold windy weather to lovely warm sunshine. This had brought in numerous, much delayed, migrants over the last few days.

Wood Duck photographed by Roy John

Wood Duck photographed by Roy John

As soon as we arrived at Mud Lake we were told that a rare Yellow-throated Vireo had been found in the woods. We plunged in and soon could hear it singing. It took a bit more effort to actually see it jumping around the tree tops, but we all eventually did. A little further in, the resident Screech Owl sat rigidly still for all to see. Dave Moore did his turkey call and pulled a Wild Turkey out of the woods.

We continued around Mud Lake, finding many new species. At the east fence we saw a Raccoon’s nose poking out the hole of a garbage skip, obviously trapped (the city were informed). So we had a beautiful morning with many good birds.

A number of species were strangely missing. Although we heard a Great Crested Flycatcher many times, we never could see it. We saw only a few Tree Swallows (a pair at a nest), but no others – very odd for Mud Lake. There were no Green Herons and only one Great Blue – yet Great Egrets were easy to find.

All in all, a warm, sunny day with 43 bird species seen (plus 4 heard).

DUCKS, GEESE, AND WATERFOWL
Canada Goose
Wood Duck (photo above)
Mallard

PHEASANTS, GROUSE, TURKEYS, ALLIES
Wild Turkey

CORMORANTS AND SHAGS
Double-crested Cormorant

HERONS, EGRETS, AND BITTERNS
Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron

GULLS, TERNS, AND SKIMMERS
Ring-billed Gull

Eastern Screech Owl photographed by Roy John

Eastern Screech Owl photographed by Roy John

OWLS
Eastern Screech-Owl (photo at right)

KINGFISHERS
Belted Kingfisher

WOODPECKERS
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker

TYRANT FLYCATCHERS
Eastern Phoebe (heard only)
Great Crested Flycatcher (heard only)

VIREOS
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo

CROWS, JAYS, AND MAGPIES
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven

SWALLOWS
Tree Swallow

CHICKADEES AND TITS
Black-capped Chickadee

NUTHATCHES
White-breasted Nuthatch

THRUSHES AND ALLIES
American Robin

Gray Catbird photographed by Roy John

Gray Catbird photographed by Roy John

MOCKINGBIRDS AND THRASHERS
Gray Catbird (photo at right)

STARLINGS
European Starling

WAXWINGS
Cedar Waxwing (photo below right)

NEW WORLD WARBLERS (11 species + 2 not seen or confirmed)
Tennessee Warbler
Common Yellowthroat (heard only)
American Redstart
Northern Parula
(Magnolia Warbler – not confirmed)
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Cedar Waxwing photographed by Roy John

Cedar Waxwing photographed by Roy John


BUNTINGS AND NEW WORLD SPARROWS
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow

CARDINALS AND ALLIES
Northern Cardinal

TROUPIALS AND ALLIES
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle

SISKINS, CROSSBILLS, AND ALLIES
Pine Siskin (very late)
American Goldfinch

Non-bird species
Racoon
Midland Painted Turtle
Water Snake
Spiny Baskettail (photo below)

Spiny Baskettail dragonfly photographed by Gillian Mastromatteo

Spiny Baskettail dragonfly photographed by Gillian Mastromatteo

Advertisements

Mud Lake Fall BioBlitz

By Lucy Patterson, member of the OFNC

Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)

Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)

On September 12-13th, 2014, Nature Canada held a fall BioBlitz event at Mud Lake. Its goal was to locate, identify, and photograph as many living things as possible within a 24-hour period. The event was part of a larger effort to learn about local biodiversity and catalogue changes over time in population patterns. Mud Lake is a key location to hold a Bioblitz because it lies within an Important Bird Area (IBA) and is a local patch of wilderness right in Ottawa’s west end.

The event included a series of walks guided by local naturalist experts that were open to the general public. Each walk focused on a different group of species: songbirds, waterbirds, vascular plants, mosses and lichens, reptiles and amphibians; and trees, shrubs and grasses.

I took part in the “reptiles and amphibians” walk on Saturday afternoon which was led by Bill Halliday and Julie Châteauvert. Dressed in full-out rain gear, the eager participants braved a steady downpour to look for turtles, frogs, and salamanders around Mud Lake. We flipped rocks and logs to look for salamanders and leopard frogs on the lake edge.

On the way back, we scanned the road near the filtration plant for baby snapping turtles. Next, we took the trail up the hill to look for garter snakes. We saw a number of old snapping turtle nests in the loose rock, complete with crumpled eggshells, but spotted no living creatures save a couple of black-capped chickadees. Due to the unfortunate weather conditions, we did not see very many reptiles or amphibians, but the walk was enjoyable nevertheless. Fingers crossed that the weather cooperates for the spring BioBlitz in 2015!

You can see what species have been surveyed during previous BioBlitz here.

During your next visit to Mud Lake if you spot a hatchling snapping turtle on a road please move turtles to the lake’s edge and contact Ian Whyte.

On the lookout for hatchling snapping turtles.

Photos: Lucy Patterson