Birds of Prey: Best day yet

I breakfasted with a friend prior to heading out to the park in Burlington. Who knew I had the potential to develop the bad habit of tuning out my friend’s chatter in favour of looking out the window at every bird that flew by. Note to self: must not recur.

The path to the park was extremely icy. I wondered to myself whether the trek was worth risking life and limb. Hear ye, hear ye, it was worth every extra heartbeat and life-altering symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder. An abundance of birds were flitting about in their respective glory.

Last week Brer Hawk flew directly over my head. Saturday’s display superceded my expectations. Red-tailed Hawk Close up

Red Tailed Hawk

I just about keeled over with joy when this majestic bird soared overhead:
Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

The peregrine falcon was active at the lift bridge. Last week only the hindquarters were visible. This week we eyed each other. Isn’t life grand!!!

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

I made my way to the shore where I spotted a domesticated mallard. Think me not the fount of all bird identification. I thought it was an albino mallard until the bird was identified by the helpful members of Flicker’s ID group.
Domestic Mallard Duck

Headed to Oakville where a wonderful variety of waterfowl were wintering. Female Long-tailed Duck

Chatted with a lovely couple who directed us to the presence of a snowy owl. I was beyond stoked. Firstly, I wanted a picture of the owl and secondly, I developed a “need” for a scope. Well, I got a picture of the owl and the scope is presently on my “to be purchased in the very distant future” list.

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)

The only sadness to this great day was the visual confrontation of the toll the harsh winter exacts on some birds. The sight of the deceased swan was heartbreaking but more so the duck trapped in the ice.
Winter's Toll

Stuck Duck

I was so saddened I couldn’t even get one fourth of the way through the chicken schnitzel I ordered at a restaurant later that afternoon. Then I started thinking about all the chronic complainers whining about how cold this winter has been. They ought to be grateful that they don’t have to live and survive in the elements 24 hours a day for consecutive weeks.

Spirits were lifted by the exquisite beauty of the red bellied woodpecker. Snobby gent is peering down at life at the bottom.

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

None but a dandy would contort himself so elegantly for a bite to eat!

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

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