Friday, 22 May 2015

First Post in 2 Years! (Almost Identical To Last Post)

I don't know why I haven't posted more often. I've got plenty of photos to put up but never seem to make the time. Perhaps I'll try to post some photos from the last two years (!).

For now, I was at Point Pelee a couple of weeks ago for spring migration. It was a little slow but there were still birds to be found. Saturday ended up being a good day. We managed 26 warbler species, including Kirkland's, on the day and a well-lost Pacific Loon.  Due to many of the birds being up in the trees or just generally avoiding my camera lens, I only have a few photos but I was pretty happy with a few of them.

 A Red-tailed Hawk near the tram loop.

Ubiquitous White-crowned Sparrow.

A Hooded Warbler in low light. Not a great photo but a great-looking bird.

The American Bittern is a bird that I've rarely had a good look at. This one was particularly obliging. It stayed out in the open for a long time.

For a short period there were waves of warblers coming in off of the lake at the same time as similar waves moving south in a reverse migration movement. They were all hanging around in low tree and shrub cover. Here's a Blackburnian Warbler.

The tastiest of the birds I saw over the weekend.

Easily the most common warbler of the weekend was the Yellow Warbler. They are a bit of a dirt bird in the summertime around here but, at the same time, a really nice-looking dirt bird.

This is a lousy photo but a great bird. Kirtland's Warbler is a good twitch. This female hung around next to a trail for quite a long time. Low light and constant movement made for a lot of blurry pictures.

We headed to Rondeau for a morning. There wasn't a lot around but the light was very nice. There were a few warblers including this Magnolia Warbler.

Here's to another post in fewer than two years.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Cherry Blossoms and Spring Migration

I've been out birding over the last little while and it's been great.  Here are some photos from the last little while.  Most of these are from Point Pelee and Rondeau.  Both are exceptional places for seeing birds during spring migration. I went with a friend and we managed to dig up 142 species of bird over the weekend. The rest of these photos are from High Park in Toronto when the cherry trees were blooming.

A real highlight at High Park was this coyote.  This is the first I've seen in Ontario (although they are apparently all over the city). I saw my second this past weekend by the highway.

And another common city dweller:

A trip to the Blenheim Sewage Lagoons turned up quite a few shorebirds including this exceptionally cooperative Least Sandpiper.

Here are a few forest birds from Rondeau and Point Pelee starting with a Downy Woodpecker.

An outstanding Summer Tanager.

A Rose-breasted Grosbeak and American Goldfinches at the Rondeau Visitor Centre feeders:

A Willow or Alder Flycatcher (I think). No singing makes it awfully difficult (impossible) to tell.

There are so many Yellow Warblers that they become almost boring but they really are striking birds.

A very well-concealed Eastern Whip-poor-will.

An obliging and incredible looking Magnolia Warbler.

Wilson's Warbler.

Black and White Warbler

Northern Waterthrush

Red-headed Woodpecker. What an incredible bird!

Pelee is just as good for the people watching too.

A Yellow-throated Vireo.

Blackburnian Warbler. One of my favourites in, unfortunately, terrible light.

Chestnut-sided Warbler (in more horrible light).

Warbling Vireo

And, finally for now, an Ovenbird.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Winter Owls!

A trip to Ottawa over the Family Day weekend netted me three Great Gray Owls.  This is the first time I've seen this species.  What a fantastic bird!  

To be upfront, there were some photographers who were baiting this particular owl with live mice.  It's not something I'm keen on as I think it does take something away from the experience but I guess I didn't refuse to take any photos in protest. 

And this is the third of the trio (number two only appeared briefly before it was seen off by the first bird).

Ottawa was really great.  Cold as anything but it was great fun snowshoeing in Gatineau.  We had beautiful weather.  The following weekend, I went out to the Leslie Street Spit with a friend and, after a brief look at a very skittish Great Horned Owl, we managed to dig up a Long-Eared Owl.  On our first pass, it flushed and I could only get a shot through several branches (but I like it nonetheless despite clipping off its tail).

We revisited it on our return trip and it was really cooperative.

The sun even made a brief appearance obligingly sending some dappled light across the owl's face.

 Lots of portraits, I know.

And finally, my favourite, I think.

I really like winter birding.  It's often quiet but the owls make up for it (plus, being in a forest in the winter is just great on its own).