Enjoying the Birds of the Ottawa Valley
A Checklist of Locations
Every naturalist soon finds a few favourite spots, spots which
pay dividends on repeated visits. The most popular spots for
Ottawa birders have been close to where they lived, along the
Ottawa River where there is a good variety of habitat: Britannia
and Shirley's Bay. Next comes the nearest rural area: south of
the Ottawa Airport. But, there are many spots prized by those
living elsewhere, all over the Valley.
Here, arranged from west to east on the maps where they are
found, are the insiders' spots to see birds. Only the typical or
special birds that associate with them are mentioned, of course.
Singular form is used when the species is rarely seen.
Commonly used names are given for locations whenever possible.
However, to locate them precisely, using the coordinates, you
must consult 1:50,000 topographic maps (now available free on-line).
Some public libraries have such maps in their reference section.
The identification code (e.g. 31F/7) and official name of each
map precedes the locations that can be found on it. Along the
sides of each map, there are two rows of numbers, black ones for
latitude and longitude, light blue for 'UTMG' coordinates. In
this book, to allow the listing of many locations, simplified
grid (UTMG) coordinates are used, instead of lengthy driving
instructions. The east-west location is given first, then the
For example, Parliament Hill is 45-30 on the Ottawa-Hull map. To
find it, follow the blue numbers on the bottom until 45 is found,
then the blue numbers on the side until 30 is found. The
intersection of the lines from these numbers marks the lower-left
corner of the square where the Peace Tower is located.
- 31F/1 Carleton Place
- 04-07 Almonte Sewage Lagoon. Wilson's phalarope, shorebirds,
- 15-10 Cody Creek. Herons, egrets, godwits.
- 16-09 Manion Corners. Wet cedar, fen, sand pit. Insect
eaters, bank swallows, hermit thrushes, Nashville warblers,
yellow-bellied flycatcher. The old Almonte Road west to Dwyer
Hill Road is also good birding.
- 31F/6 Brudenell
- 19-40 Silver Creek. Large marsh wren colony.
- 31F/8 Arnprior
- 91-34 Lumber mill and dump. In fall, small migrants along
river, gulls on log rafts and dump.
- 93-29 Arnprior Airport. In winter, snowy and short-eared
owls, accipiters, northern shrike. Head Pond has the occasional
- 94-27 Madawaska Headpond. In spring, flooded fields,
waterfowl. Bridge over Waba creek for red-headed woodpecker. In
fall, plovers, Lapland longspurs.
- 94-32 Mouth of Madawaska River. In spring, gulls, terns,
best chance of jaeger. Accipiters and falcons. In fall, gulls and
- 95-32 Nopiming Game Preserve (bounded by the Madawaska,
Ottawa and Mississippi rivers, and the CN tracks). Mixed woods,
many nesting species, red-shouldered hawks. Winter ski trails and
feeder, three-toed woodpecker.
- 99-20 Pakenham Bridge. Open water late in winter. Ducks.
- 99-32 Mouth of Mississippi River. Private road access only.
The Pembroke Club can get in touch with the owner. Waterfowl.
- 99-35 Morris Island. Cormorants near rail bridge, water open
all year. Good possibility of olive-sided flycatcher and northern
- 15-38 Sand Hills. Conifer reforestation. Woodcocks,
whip-poor-wills, rufous-sided towhees, field sparrows. Finches in
- 16-96 Goodwood Marsh. Boreal habitat. Excellent for rails on
Jock River outlet. Also good owling.
- 17-27 Carp Ridge. Rufous-sided towhees, golden-winged
- 18-17 Huntley Conc. 5. Shrubby stream, open all winter,
- 19-18 Carp Airport. Snow buntings, Lapland longspurs, snowy
owls in winter.
- 19-33 Constance Creek. Wooded stream, sedge and scrub,
cattail marsh, wet willow, good whole length. Least bitterns,
gallinules, marsh wrens, herons, harriers. Whip-poor-will colony
east end of Constance Lake. Dump good for ravens.
- 21-32 Torbolton Conc. 5. Hawk ridge. Migrating raptors.
- 31F/9 Quyon
- 00-49 North Onslow. Woods all around for owls.
- 06-47 Steel Line Road. Most likely for golden eagle. Canada
geese in spring.
- 09-41 Mohr Island. Probable black-crowned night-heron
- 14-44 Eardley. Sand pit. Turkey vulture roost, bank swallow
colony, grasshopper sparrows.
- 14-49 Ramsay Lake. Whip-poor-wills. Crossbills in winter.
The entire Eardley-Masham road is a great drive.
- 14-50 Hopkin's Hole. Black spruce bog. Yellow-bellied and
olive-sided flycatchers, in summer golden-crowned kinglets.
- 18-42 Luskville. Agricultural land. Hawks in winter.
- 31F/10 Cobden
- 46-56 Snake River marsh. Marsh wrens. Little open water, so
- 47-61 Snake River. Black tern colony.
- 54-53 Cobden Marsh. Moorhen, rails, pied-billed grebes,
sometimes marsh wrens, black terns.
- 69-45 Sumac field. Grasshopper sparrows.
- 67-44 Coldingham Lake. Grasshopper sparrows, clay-coloured
among small pines.
- 74-65 Western kingbird October 1985. The kind of spot an
expert checks for such things.
- 76-63 Campbell's Bay. Fields around for all raptors, also
- 78-41 Mouth of Bonnechère River. Diving and puddle ducks,
cormorants, possible great egret and tundra swan. Common terns
nest on islands in river. Marshes to north (79-43) have least
- 80-50 Shawville. Fields for snowy owl, hawks in winter.
- 31F/11 Golden Lake
- 25-54 Sedge wren colony 50 meters south of road. Grey jays
all year within 3 km radius. Lac Doré-Golden Lake area has good
habitat variety, a favourite big-day area. Spring and fall, Lac
Doré is best local shorebird locale, also good for fall gulls and
- 30-47 Wilber Lake. Thaws early for ducks, raptors including
- 35-54 Lac Doré. Staging area for waterfowl, especially in
- 38-67 French Settlement. Most likely for loggerhead shrike.
- 39-55 Shaw Woods. Original Valley hardwood forest.
- 41-63 Mud Creek. Entire length for rails.
- 42-66 Mud Lake. Canoe trip from highway 17 for breeding
black terns, rough-winged swallows.
- 31F/14 Pembroke
- 14-95 Entrance to Petawawa National Forestry Institute.
White pine, aspen, red oak. Mergansers, woodpeckers, hawks. 141
- 15-93 Tucker's Creek. Kirtland's warblers from 1939 to 1978.
Field sparrows, bluebirds.
- 19-74 End of path near Colby Lake. Golden-winged warblers.
- 25-80 Pembroke Airfield. Snow buntings, longspurs, water
pipits, horned larks.
- 26-84 Petawawa Fish Hatchery. Nature trail, ponds for
waterfowl, resident Canada geese, wood ducks, wigeon.
- 35-77 Pembroke Marina. The Swallow Roost, peaking at
150,000+ of all 6 species second week of August. Merlin catching
a swallow most evenings. Only Pembroke shorebird habitat. 143
species logged to date.
- 40-72 Most likely spot for great grey and hawk owls.
- 41-75 Rapids north of Morrison Island. Fall waterfowl, many
goldeneyes. Feeders in winter. (Island is private.)
- 31F/15 Fort-Coulonge
- 45-75 Cranson Lake. Fall ducks especially ring-necked,
scaups, white-winged scoter.
- 51-71 Westmeath Provincial Park (Bellow's Bay). Sand dunes,
red pine. Good mix of waterfowl, peregrine, osprey, pine
- 52-79 O'Brien Bay. Open all winter. Goldeneyes.
- 57-73 Fields for snowy owl, rough-legged hawks.
- 79-68 Sand pit. Breeding turkey vultures, rails, snipes.
- 79-80 Lac Leslie. Nesting great blue herons and hooded
mergansers, warblers, thrushes. Ravens and turkey vultures too.
- 31G/3 Winchester
- 62-95 Headwaters of Silver Creek. Wet poplars. A promising
but under-birded spot.
- 71-87 The 'Corn Belt'. An anti-location! 50% of all
pesticides used in Canada go solely on corn fields, like the ones
around here. The birding is not the best.
- 72-94 Winchester sewage lagoons. Two sites a kilometer
apart. Ducks, shorebirds. Barn owl pair until 1980 when nest
- 74-94 Winchester dump. Ploughed field. Gulls, plovers.
- 82-94 Chesterville sewage lagoon.
- 31G/4 Kemptville
- 26-00 Munster sewage lagoons. Shorebirds.
- 29-02 San del Lee Road. Owls, migrating warblers, least
bitterns, wrens, rails. A great spot to sit all day.
- 33-99 Richmond Fen. Sedge fen, cattail marsh, wet willow,
wet deciduous woods. Yellow rails, gallinules, flycatchers, sedge
wrens. Access is along the railway line (from either end).
- 35-05 Richmond sewage lagoons. Shorebirds, breeding Wilson's
- 36-94 Malakoff. Many quiet trails off the Klondike Road.
Monty Brigham often records here. Henslow's sparrow once. Drive
south to Dwyer Hill Road for great horned owls, pileated
- 39-09 Nepean (Trail Road) dump. Gulls and more gulls. Scan
carefully for oddballs in fall. Ask at entrance gate for
permission to enter. Smile and say thank you. You'd feel like a
sourpuss too if all you saw for ten hours a day was roaring
trucks and heaps of garbage! Park out of the way of trucks. Wet
cedar woods to north.
- 40-09 Cedarview Road. Owls.
- 45-08 Manotick Back Channel. Shallow river. Puddle ducks,
mergansers. Open water all year.
- 48-89 Mouth of Kemptville Creek. Most likely in Valley for
tundra swans. Also owls, warblers, finches in woods up to
Kemptville. River south for least bitterns.
- 51-10 Manotick Station. South along railway for cape may
warblers, waterthrush, whip-poor-wills.
- 53-91 Manderley Sod Farms. Buff-breasted sandpiper, plovers.
- 31G/5 Ottawa
- 23-37 Breckenridge Marsh. Rails, screech owl, sedge wrens,
- 23-38 Heyworth Creek. Red-headed woodpecker near rail
- 24-14 Carp Dump. Gulls, ravens.
- 24-18 Huntley Town Line and Carp River. Breeding blue-grey
gnatcatchers for several years now. Reliable for willow
flycatchers and rough-winged swallows. Many great grey owls in
- 24-21 Old Carp Road. Mixed wood. Pileated woodpeckers.
- 25-27 River Road. Black spruce bog.
- 26-20 Goulbourne Forced Road. Mature beech-maple.
- 26-27 Mud Pond. Fen.
- 30-23 Shirley's Bay. Extensive damp woods, marsh, mud flat,
shallow and deep river. See the 'Shirley's Bay' section for
access restrictions and description.
- 31-21 Watt's Creek sewage lagoons.
- 31-25 Lac des Chênes. Loons, diving ducks, often bald eagles
on ice in early winter.
- 31-36 Baillie Rd. Henslow's sparrows in 1960's.
- 32-27 The Cedars. River down to Aylmer for migrating
- 32-31 Moore Feeder. All winter feeder birds including the
odd grey jay.
- 32-35 Kingsway golf course. Hawk hill. Close looks at
- 33-25 Wychwood. Mud flats around now-inactive sewage outlets
to Ottawa River for fall shorebirds. Now not exceptional.
- 33-33 Cook Road dump. Fall gulls.
- 33-36 Kingsmere. Solid beech-maple woods. Trail south from
parking lot for waterthrush, hermit thrushes.
- 34-17 Sarsaparilla and Macoun ponds. Cattail marsh.
Mergansers, herons, gallinules, rails, kinglets.
- 35-16 Jack Pine Trail. Wet cedar, deciduous, tree farm,
pasture, pond, cattail marsh, winter feeder. Grouse, woodpeckers,
thrushes, some vireos and warblers.
- 35-22 Andrew Haydon Park. Deep river, small pines, mud
flats. Diving ducks, fall shorebirds, gulls. Stillwater Park is
marina to west, Ottawa Beach is to the east.
- 36-35 Pink's Lake. Dense oak-maple woods. Black-and-white
warblers, hermit thrushes, scarlet tanagers.
- 37-19 Bruce's Quarry. Quarry, mud flat. Grebes, ducks,
shorebirds, geese, sparrows, sometimes mockingbird.
- 37-23 Britannia Pier. Deep river, mud flats, white pine.
Diving ducks on river, fall shorebirds on beach, spring pine
warblers in woods.
- 37-24 Britannia filtration plant. River rapids, deep and
shallow river, mud flat, pond, deciduous woods, white pines.
Cormorants, loons, all ducks, shorebirds if water low, gulls,
arctic tern early June on river. All migrating flycatchers,
thrushes, kinglets, vireos, warblers in woods. Swallows, grebes,
green-backed herons, teals and migrating ducks on pond. 211
species logged by Dan Brunton.
- 37-25 Town of Des Chênes. Scrub woods near rapids often has
interesting overwintering birds.
- 38-20 Pinecrest Cemetery. Rare overwinterers such as
- 38-33 Hickory Trail. Rufous-sided towhees, indigo buntings,
- 40-27 Kitchissippi Lookout. Diving ducks.
- 40-28 Champlain Bridge. River rapids. Barrow's goldeneye,
loons, ducks, gulls. Open water all year. Woods to west are a
roost for starlings in fall. Good for finches, owls, woodpeckers,
boreal chickadees when they are in town. Bate Island in the
middle has good views of winter ducks, most likely jaeger spot.
- 40-32 St. Raymond marsh. Rails, gallinules, green-backed
herons. Nearby, behind Asticou, warblers, winter feeder in
- 41-16 Animal Research Institute. Ploughed fields. Plovers,
gulls in fall. Cedarview Road side (38-16) is good for geese in
spring. Crows roost in winter opposite
- Slack Road (41-18).
The pigeons displaced from the Carlington quarry moved here, so
it's now the most likely place for a gyrfalcon.
- 41-24 Clyde Woods. Cedar and deciduous wood, marsh. The
quintessential city park. Roof of reservoir is highest spot in
city for viewing hawks. Woods have catbirds and thrashers,
migrating warblers and small owls. Fields to south host migrating
sparrows, small finches in winter. The marsh farther south has
rails, alder and willow flycatchers. 196 species logged by Jim
- 41-28 Remic Rapids lookout. All spring water birds, fall
white-winged gulls. Spotted sandpipers breed on beach to west.
- 41-29 Parc Brébeuf. View of rocks in rapids. Barrow's
goldeneye, harlequin duck twice.
- 41-31 Lac des Fées. Roosting feeder birds in winter, great
- 42-28 Coates Building. Sometimes winter roost of gyrfalcon
or peregrine, once both at the same time. Park on the south side
of Scott St.
- 42-29 Lemieux Island. 3000 purple martins late August. The
odd ring-billed gull too.
- 43-33 Leamy Lake. Woods, shallow water. Great horned owl,
ducks. Feeder in winter.
- 44-25 Experimental Farm. Cultivated fields. Plovers in fall.
The manure pile on Ash Lane has grey partridges and finches in
winter. In late summer, check the Entomology station for a
possible buff-breasted sandpiper.
- 44-26 Arboretum. Waxwings, small owls, overwintering
- 44-32 Mouth of Brewery Creek. 160 species in 1945, fewer
- 45-19 Ottawa Airport. Gravel pit, poplar scrub. Best view of
- 45-24 Hogs Back. City park, river rapids. Migrating
warblers, follow path along the Rideau through Vincent Massey
Park to the rail bridge for all swallows. Park north side Hogs
Back Road or north-east of Heron Road bridge.
- 46-26 Above Billing's Bridge. Shallow river. Mergansers and
puddle ducks until Christmas.
- 47-14 Limebank Road. Stream valley. Red-headed woodpeckers,
screech owl. More red-heads 1 km north.
- 47-16 Ottawa Airport. Short grass, wet willows. Raptors. The
top of the rise is long grass, open coniferous woods, for
grasshopper and clay-coloured sparrows.
- 47-33 The Rockeries. Migrating warblers. Unbelievable for
hummingbirds when they are early and narcissi are late. Adjacent
McKay Lake for thrushes and feeder birds.
- 48-15 Armstrong Road. Short grass. Buteos, short-eared owls,
- 48-32 Beechwood Cemetery. Mature woods. Woodpeckers,
nuthatches, thrushes, migrating warblers.
- 49-16 Bowesville Road. Birch-poplar woods.
- 51-31 NRC, east of Bathgate Drive. Damp maple-birch woods.
Thrushes, vireos, warblers.
- 51-37 Lac Beauchamps. Wet deciduous woods. Walking trails,
for warblers, vireos. Feeder in winter.
- 54-32 Green's Creek. Woodpeckers, kingfishers. Mouth is good
for diving ducks. Park south side of Montreal Road east of creek.
- 54-34 Green's Creek sewage plant. Sludge-drying beds here
used to be renowned for accidental shorebirds. They are now
- 55-33 Hart Road. Cedar, long grass. Winter sparrows, grouse.
- 56-26 Mer Bleue. Cattail marsh east of Anderson Rd.
Pied-billed grebes, bitterns, sedge wrens. Has had Henslow's
- 57-25 Ramsayville marsh. The best cattail and wet willow
marsh in the Valley. Grebes, herons, puddle ducks, rails,
gallinules, courting snipes, harriers, swallows, marsh wrens,
swamp sparrows, warblers. Fall roost for 20,000 starlings and
blackbirds. When cows grazed the edges, there used to be
- 57-27 Dolman Ridge. Maple-birch woods. See the section 'Mer
Bleue' for a detailed description.
- 59-26 Mer Bleue, end of Ridge Road. Cattail marsh, fields,
black spruce bog, deciduous wood. Herons, harriers, woodpeckers,
thrushes, swallows, flycatchers, sparrows, possible
clay-coloured. Henslow's possibly bred here for some years.
Fields to north for marsh and sedge wrens. Park south side near
Anderson Road to take the trail overlooking the Ramsayville
- 31G/6 Russell
- 63-34 Innes Road. Shrubby field. Buteos, short-eared owl.
- 67-25 Bear Brook. Flooded in spring. 4000 Canada geese,
pintails, snow geese, escaped waterfowl.
- 67-36 Cumberland. Beech-maple woods.
- 68-31 Old dump. Long and short grass, mature cedar and
deciduous. Breeding pine siskin, indigo buntings, saw-whet owls.
- 68-32 Giroux Road. Gravel pit.
- 72-11 Russell sewage lagoons, and adjacent Castor River.
- 74-31 Sarsfield. Oak-maple woods. Red-headed woodpeckers.
- 75-31 Caanan. Cedar, wet meadow. Don't stop on the hill!
- 83-24 Larose Forest. Conifer reforestation. Owls.
- 91-32 Cobbs Lake Creek. Flooded field in spring. Up to
100,000 Canada geese, 10,000 pintails, 1000 snow geese. Numbers
vary greatly from day to day though - check the OFNC Bird Status
Line at (613) 596-4888 daily.
- 93-18 Casselman sewage lagoon. Cattails. Puddle ducks.
- 31G/7 Alexandria
- 04-25 St. Isidore de Prescott sewage lagoons. Breeding
Wilson's phalaropes, ruddy ducks.
- 14-33 St. Bernardin. Horned larks all year around.
Longspurs, snow buntings, snowy owl in winter.
- 17-37 Alfred Bog. Birders' favourite entrance.
- 31G/10 Hawkesbury
- 01-42 Plantagenet sewage lagoon.
- 11-43 Alfred sewage lagoon. Still lots of cattails,
therefore coots and ruddy ducks.
- 13-40 Alfred Bog. Botanists' favourite entrance.
- 14-51 Pointe Filion. Turkey vulture feeding ground.
- 22-39 Wooded stream. Scarlet tanagers, many rose-breasted
grosbeaks, wood ducks, warblers, 5 species of woodpeckers.
- 22-43 Swampy woods. Owls, goshawk, warblers.
- 26-51 Hawkesbury Airfield. Hawks over fields.
- 27-39 Vankleek Hill sewage lagoon. Breeding ruddy ducks for
many years, all swallows, many cedar waxwings. Area west (highway
34) for breeding whip-poor-wills, winter woodpeckers.
- 31G/11 Thurso
- 64-39 East of Meadowlane Road. Wet birch, willow scrub, ash.
Redstarts, many white-throated sparrows, large flycatchers.
- 64-60 Glen Almond. Cliffs for raptors.
- 66-40 Small park with view of Lièvre River mouth. Loons,
- 66-55 Road east from highway 309. Yellow-billed cuckoo
- 76-45 Lochaber Bay. Rails, marsh wrens, early waterfowl,
red-headed woodpeckers, osprey.
- 76-61 Lac-la-Blanche Interpretation Center. Vireos,
flycatchers, thrushes. 80 breeding species. Many walking trails.
- 78-44 Rockland sewage lagoon. Puddle ducks.
- 81-48 Thurso Marsh. Cattail marsh, shallow river. Rails,
herons, least bitterns, puddle ducks. End of gravel road east
from ferry landing.
- 84-48 Baie Noire. Shallow river. Puddle ducks, 20,000+
waterfowl in spring. (There are many 'Black Bay's, including one
across from Constance Bay; this is the one Ottawa birders mean.)
- 90-46 Wendover. Accidental waterfowl in fall on river.
- 92-49 Plaisance. Waterfowl in spring.
- 31G/12 Wakefield
- 20-51 Lac Phillippe. Trail opposite Breton Beach for
golden-winged, mourning and black-and-white warblers, olive-sided
flycatcher, cuckoos. Puddle ducks on ponds.
- 23-38 Red-headed woodpecker ravine.
- 28-39 Champlain Lookout. Trails north for olive-sided
flycatcher, Swainson's thrush, Philadelphia vireos, ravens.
- 30-46 Chemin des Pins. Trail west then south to Meach Lake.
Wet mixed woods. Swainson's thrush, red-breasted nuthatches,
pileated woodpecker, warblers.
- 32-40 Lac Fortune. 'Northern' swamp. Olive-sided flycatcher,
sapsuckers, purple finches, swamp sparrows.
- 41-44 Cantley. Barred owl, bluebirds.
- 42-62 St. Pierre de Wakefield. Owls and warblers.
- 31G/13 Low
- 28-72 Low-Poltimore Road. Deciduous, coniferous woods.
- 41-70 Poltimore Dump. Ravens.
- 31K/3 Chalk River
- 07-08 Deep River. 252 species logged by Bill Walker within 3
- 11-04 Great blue heron colony, great horned owls.
- 17-02 Chalk River research facility. Clearing down to river.
Swallows, indigo buntings.
- 31K/4 Rolphton
- 93-19 Rapides-des-Joachims (called 'Swisha' locally).
Regular bald eagle. 17 cattle egrets once.
- 96-02 Great blue heron colony, great horned owls.
- 01-05 Great blue heron colony.
- 01-11 Great blue heron colony.