Lasalle Marina, Burlington
Last Friday after work while taking a relaxing stroll along the water’s edge we noted an American Robin’s nest situate near the boat launch area. Further along we got a good look at a Black-crowned Night Heron.
Heading back to the car I spotted the Horned Merganser I photographed weeks ago in the company of a female Mallard. Well, he is now associating with a male Mallard.
The Mallard headed to shore. The merganser followed suit, stopping at the beachhead for a good five minutes or so grooming itself. He then left his buddy for deeper waters.
Fort Erie, Niagara Falls
On Saturday we took briefly visited Fort Erie to practice photographing terns in flight.
It was rather challenging and I was happy to leave after spying two Great Egrets east of where we were standing. We stopped at a parkette near Happy Jacks Restaurant (their spring rolls are to die for!). The egret moved from the rocks to the branch of a tree. Neither the egret or the cormorant were spooked by our presence.
As we were passing a beautiful parkette along the lakeshore I noted a Purple Martin house. I’ve been trying forever to photograph this species. I’ve only ever encountered them in flight.
We wove our way along, pausing at points that interested us including the grounds of the Fort Erie Museum. These lads were practicing maneuvers.
Ultimately we stopped for a spell at Waverley Beach. I quite like this quiet, historic spot. I walked the trail hoping to encounter a red-headed woodpecker. I struck out but was happy hear the red-eyed vireo. Sadly, the neighbourhood is under pressure from developers.
We lunched in Vineland. Yummmmm!
Bronte Marina, Oakville
Prior to heading out Saturday morning I read “2 men and a boy decided that fishing near a nest was a great idea. To our horror the mom grebe decided to leave the nest to her man and was hooked by a lure.” This was the pair I photographed in the rain last Sunday. Wildlife authorities attended the scene but were unable to catch the grebe.
When we arrived at the marina around mid-afternoon an outdoor wedding was well underway. It was amusing to witness curious passersby making themselves comfortable on nearby benches to watch the exchange of vows in both the Hindu and Chinese traditions.
When we arrived at the nesting site fellow birders updated us on the grebe’s status. The grebe was observed earlier swimming and catching fish for her young but appeared weak. We noted, as did all present, its attempt to remove the hook from its neck.
We understood another attempt would be made by the wildlife authorities on Sunday. We all hoped for a positive outcome.
It was delightful to see the young. Dad was busy bringing fish for his offspring.
Three of the five eggs were predated, likely by gulls. The young remain at risk of predation by gulls and large fish.
Later on we photographed Barn and Cliff Swallows at the marina.
Hendrie Valley, Burlington
What joy it was to visit Hendrie on Sunday after a prolonged absence. Many of the birds were busy nesting and/or feeding their young. A nice find along the main boardwalk was a pair of House Wrens attending to their hatchlings. The young were out of sight but the parents were actively going to and fro.
We learned about the artist Charlie Harper via a mug purchased locally. While perusing his website I found this. Pretty neat!
Rounding the bend as I headed to the east end of the park, I flushed a female Wood Duck and 14 wee ones! They quickly hid in the nearby lilypads.
There is still much to see at this bird-rich park. The guys at Grindstone Creek advised Saturday was a great day for all manner of raptors. I saw Turkey Vultures, Osprey, Great-blue Herons and a Black-crowned Night Heron but not the Green Heron I was after.
I did manage to photograph these beauties:
⦁ Bronte Marina Grebe: The hook was removed from the grebe’s neck on Sunday by the Toronto Wildlife Centre personnel. Click to see a series of photographs.
⦁ Hanlan’s Point Island: The Piping Plovers are featured in Sunday’s Toronto Star: