Ottawa New Bird #237 – Yellow-headed Blackbird

It finally happened a new rare (but fairly regular) bird showed up in the Ottawa area. This casual bird has been seen over 20 times in our area times in our area, just never by yours truly. There was an individual bird in Enbrun, Ontario a few years ago but I wasn’t sure if it was countable for the Ottawa area.

I saw Mark Gawn’s photo on Facebook and immediately went to Ontbirds to check where it was being seen. I read the report by both Jeff and Bruce, I hurriedly left just before the hockey game started. I’d been out golfing for most the day and just hadn’t been near any Wi-Fi. So off I went at 6:30pm, with little time and searched the area but didn’t see the bird at all.

I was up early and went to the area but again without luck.

Later after lunch Rick Poulin called to see if I was interested in trying for the bird. It didn’t take much prodding of course I’d be there to pick him up in 20 minutes.

We drove to Shaughnessy Crescent and drove it entire length but again had little luck. I knew the Kanata Lakes Golf Course was behind all the homes and asked a resident who was out doing yard work, where we might be able to get access. He told us there was a path from Shaughnessy to Goulding Crescent and the 8th tee. Off we went and easily found access.

We ran into Jeff Skevington, his Dad and Son, along with Anouk Hoedeman who had been searching for the bird without luck and were just leaving to search the neighborhood. Rick and I continued down along the 9th fairway and back but there was no sign of the bird. I was the last in line and heard a call coming from the wet area I was familiar with but knew it wasn’t a Grackle, Starling or a RW Blackbird. The bird flew across to my left, landing on a tree top in the middle of the fairway, I called to all those ahead of me. We all had spectacular looks at this bird. #237 for Ottawa was in the books, I am still way behind Rick who is at 323 but I am catching up, very slowly.

The 2 photos below show the Ottawa bird, with a few branches removed and the 3rd is from Manitoba, showing the white stripe.




If you really want to see this species Manitoba is littered with them as we are with Red-winged Blackbirds but in Ottawa in April a pleasant surprise. Now bring it on, migration is well under way.

On the way home we decided to take a drive by the Carp Floodplain and eagle eyed Rick Poulin spotted a Great White-fronted Goose at the waters edge. Great find. Good day out with a good friend.



A slightly better photo of a GWFG from Alaska.


Ciao for now………..

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1 Response to Ottawa New Bird #237 – Yellow-headed Blackbird

  1. Rick Poulin says:

    It was great to be able to get out and do some birding.

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