Birding in Ottawa/Gatineau - Prior and after the "Waxwings Edition"

Two days ago, it was snowing pretty hard here in Ottawa, and although we had arranged with the course instructor to go out birding on Saturday, we feared it might be cancelled the following day due to the poor weather conditions. However, the weather wasn't that bad yesterday, except that it was windy and very cold at times.

First, we drove to Gatineau Park on the other side of Ottawa River. This is my first time entering Quebec!

Birding in Ottawa/Gatineau - Waxwings Edition

This and the next post will be out of (chronological) order simply because I took way too many photos of the following animals - many Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) and one Cedar Waxwing (B. cedrorum), and I want to post them first. Yesterday was our only day-off in the course, and the course instructor nicely took some of the "birders" in the group to go birding in the Ottawa region.

Towards the end of the trip, we were at Britannia Water Treatment Facility and we saw a large group of Bohemian Waxwings and one Cedar Waxwing. We were able to get fairly close to the birds and so I clicked away with my camera. And as you will see, the rest is indescribable of how beautiful these birds are.

Read this post to tell the two species apart. I got too much "insects" on my mind to figure out who's who in my photos. Maybe when I am less occupied.



Ottawa's Museum of Nature

Thursday evenings are supposedly "museum nights" here in Ottawa and they are free during this time of the week. So, after 16:00, many of the course participants packed up for the day and headed out to the Museum of Nature.


The entrance. The building from the outside looks like a castle.


Learning in CNC (Canadian National Collection)

The place where the course is being held is Canadian National Collection, and yesterday we got a tour of the Diptera collections by one of the course instructors, Dr. Skevington. It is quite an amazing place to see all these wonderful creatures treasured by taxonomists who started these collection centuries ago.

Walking through the hallways where the insects are being kept.


First time in Ottawa

After a beautiful drive from Peterborough to Ottawa, my labmate and I first checked into the hotel around 4pm, and then we went for a quick sightseeing of the infamous Ottawa, the capital of the nation. It was my first time visiting and I have heard good things about the city, but I was still astonished when I first saw the Parliament! It was amazing! The architectures of the official governmental buildings are incredible and definitely worth seeing for someone like me who appreciates architecture (although knows nothing about it).

Capital of Canada


Quick update in February

Sorry for not posting in a while, but life has been relatively uneventful in February. Since returning from BC, I had been working hard in pinning my pollinators, identifying the Diptera flies, wasps, and other insects that ended up in the pan traps to family levels, and starting from Monday (February 20) to March 2, I will be attending a pollinator identification course in Ottawa (hosted by NSERC-CANPOLIN) that hopefully will allow me to identify my pollinators (bees and Syrphid flies) to species level. This information will be vital in my research project in terms of figuring out what the pollinator abundance and diversity are at each site along an altitudinal gradient, and how it affects the Soapberry fruit production and fruit set along the same gradient.

In addition, I cannot believe how quick this semester has gone by. With a blink of an eye, we are now halfway (6 weeks) into the semester and in about three more months, I will return back to Inuvik and getting ready for field work again!

Photography-wise, it has been a slow month. But here are what I have taken so far.

Feb 2 - There was a transformer leak (or something like that) that caused my apartment building and the nearby campus to be without power for the majority of the day and night. Since our entrance key is using an electronic swipe card, we had no choice except to call security when we want back into the apartment.

While waiting in the dark and freezing evening, I set my Nikon P&S on the garbage bins and took some night shots.

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