Finally, I have some time to catch up on pre- and post-Thanksgiving birding. As I type I’m hoovering the best apple fritter I have had in years. Here’s a close up of the fritter.
This is one of six doughnuts purchased this morning from Sunshine, a relatively new bakery located on Brock Street.
Now that I’m relatively high on sugar here we go!cont
Two weeks ago Environment Canada forecasted a 60% chance of rain along the Golden Horseshoe. I headed to Niagara only to find their report was wrong, wrong, wrong. Anyhoo, after a couple hours at Bird Kingdom we stopped in at Dufferin Islands. Lots of Mallards and gulls. Here we had stellar looks at a Green Heron.
As we drove through the countryside we came upon a host of Turkey Vultures on the roof and lawn of this property.
Returning home, I noted report of a Sedge Wren and a couple Marsh Wrens at Van Wagners Ponds. Got the Marsh Wren.
Yet another story of the Kinglet and I. This time, at the Lift Bridge. Noticed wee bird hopping across the promenade, then trying unsuccessfully to make it over the wall. Not only could it not fly, its beak was damaged.
I kept watch as the Ruby-crowned Kinglet returned to the woodlot where it foraged for insects.
During the Thanksgiving weekend a moderate sized flock of Blue Jays popped into Hendrie Valley on their migratory journey.
White-tailed Deer appear every now and then.
Kinglets (both species), Dark-eyed Juncos, Winter Wrens, White-throated, White-crowned, Swamp Sparrows were also observed as well as a Palm Warbler.
Got a brief glimpse of a Fox Sparrow.
Cedar Waxwings are busy feasting on berries.
Red-winged Blackbirds have re-appeared in good and vocal numbers.
Three raccoons below the boardwalk beg for food. They are chubbier than their Valley Inn kin. Who could resist those eyes?
Valley Inn remains a great spot for shorebirds, Egrets, Great-blue Herons, and Black-crowned Night-Herons. While two of us observed and photographed this juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron using its bill to attract prey, the chaps behind us were shooting continuously at high speeds. Sounded like we were in a war zone. The chap beside me was aghast. I whispered, “they’re known as the film crew”. He asked one of the photographers how many photos he takes in a day. The response: 10,000!!! Oh, so here’s the action, in three photos.
A small flock of Rusty Blackbirds passed through Valley Inn during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Two fabulous birds were discovered at Valley Inn last week. The first, a Franklin’s Gull. I tried for it after work on Tuesday but it was long gone. The second, a Cattle Egret, found on Friday, October 14th. I was at work when I saw the notification and immediately lost focus. Should I leave early or take my chances after work? Then there was the matter of the planned birthday dinner for my confidant/Sherpa/Chief Supporter of all things Birding. How was I going to break it to him gently that I needed the bird while maintaining that I was singularly focused on his birthday? Methodology: warm smile, fresh breath and a “would you mind if we pop in to Valley Inn for five minutes… rare bird…I don’t have it…you know I missed the Franklin’s Gull this week…AND VOILA!!
Forty-five minutes later we were heading to Marciano’s Pasta Cafe in Waterdown where he had Chicken Marco Polo, and other dishes he loved, loved, loved!
Yesterday, we watched this hyperactive Mink pop in and out of the water numerous times, chasing after but not catching any of the fish. It was as if he was toying with them. Great fun to watch!
Last night I tried my hand at photographing the Harvest Moon. Not bad for a first attempt!