Fabulous week of birding: Grebes & Wood Ducks

Hendrie Valley

My day commenced with a trip to Hendrie Valley where the omnipresent red-winged black bird reigned.  I heard and spotted the belted kingfisher but I couldn’t get a clear photograph. The hooded mergansers and buffleheads were a-courting, the Canadian geese were hooting and hollering which all made for a merry visit.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

I shall introduce you to a few other characters I encountered at Hendrie Valley:

Red-Winged Blackbird close up

Red-Winged Blackbird panhandling for seed

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

My absolute happiest find was a pair of wood ducks. This was my first time seeing them.

Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks

Lasalle Park

Our next stop was Lasalle Park where this little adorable horned grebe showed absolutely no compunction about grooming while we were standing, stooping, and cooing mere meters from her.

Horned Grebe close up on land

Horned Grebe – female

Horned Grebe close up on land

Horned Grebe – female

Last week I had the opportunity to capture snapshots of a number of waterfowl spotted near the shore.

Northern Shoveler

Red Breasted Merganser

Ring Necked Duck

Colonel Samuel Smith Park

Fast forward, we made our second trip to Colonel Samuel Smith Park. The snowy owl was absent but we encountered this amusing bulldog as he took a brief dip in Lake Ontario.

British Bulldog in water

British Bulldog

A good number of red-necked grebes provided ample entertainment on what was a very blustery day.

Red Necked Grebe

Red Necked Grebe

I had the good fortune of chatting with a wildlife photographer.  Please check out Jon Hurd’s wild images on Flickr. Jon informs me that salmon will be spawning under the Old Mill subway station over the next two weeks.

Hendrie Valley: Round 2

Sunday’s trek to Hendrie Valley netted photographs of a transitional American goldfinch, another first.

American Goldfinch (transitional)

American Goldfinch (transitional)

Lasalle Marina

Next, I travelled to Lasalle Marina where a male horned grebe caught a bite to eat. I watched as he dropped the fish several times.

Horned Grebe Swimming

Horned Grebe – male

Horned Grebe with fish

Horned Grebe with fish

Birding Tidbits

  •  Female birds are banded on the left leg while males are banded on the right.
  • And lastly, I learned of the existence and purpose of shewee. The subject came up when a fellow birder told me that as he headed to the bush to relieve himself  he spotted an osprey nearby.  I laughed so hard I just about had a  “moment”.  On further thought, it is a brilliant invention, not sure it’s for me but good to know such a product exists.
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