Sunday, April 1, 2018
7:00 PM to 11:30 PM
A flock of birders gathered after spending Easter Sunday enjoying good food and company with family and friends and headed out in search of American Woodcocks and owls. At our first stop, just off Rifle Road, we tallied a total of 8 American Woodcock. We had some stellar views, as well. The first peent was heard at 7:40 PM, with the first “sky dance” occurring about 10 min afterward. It was wonderful to watch their displays! We headed S, to the Richmond area, for our Owl Prowl after the woodcock show. We managed to hear a Barred Owl from the east end of Kettles Road, which was really nice. The vocalizations were of a distant bird but were heard by all. We decided to bird a little further SW after birding along Kettles Road. At our last stop, we heard a Saw-whet down a trail, so we decided to walk a little closer. I began mimicking its call, and in it flew from dense cover, landing in a tree in front of us. I turned on my flashlight and lo and behold there it was; this beautiful little owl! I turned my flashlight off and it flew to another area and began to rapidly hoot. After a moment of silence, I decided to match the rapid-hoot call, as a response. Next thing I knew, the wee beastie was flying right toward my head. I had to duck to avoid it! We decided that it was best to leave the site after that, as the bird was showing behaviour typical of a bird on a territory. At any rate, it was highly-vulnerable in its current state. It was an amazing moment in the field and will be remembered by all, that’s for sure. The sighting (both by sight and by sound) was a lifer for several participants.
Shirleys Bay Trail 10: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44170672
Munster Road: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44178787
Kettles Road: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44173780
Roger Stevens Drive: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S44178810