Yes, the Eastern Screech Owl was visible!
Our eyes met.
A couple hundred waterfowl including Canvasbacks were busily courting, diving, romping, preening and engaged in all manner of self-absorbed activity as they s-l-o-w-l-y (iceburg slow) drifted west. They failed to notice/couldn’t give a fig that I was on a schedule. Hrmph!
This is one of two Northern Mockingbirds guarding their territory near the Lift Bridge. The mocker initially caught my attention when it handily banished the Red-tailed Hawk.
These two female White-winged Scoters were inseparable. They often drifted near the pier without any fear whatsoever.
This ship’s bright colours brightened what was otherwise a drab day.
This Carolina Wren pumped left then right prior to leaving the perch.
A Winter Wren busily gleaned logs and shrubbery for insects.
As I flipped through the December issue of Countryfile magazine last Friday I learned the history of the Winter Wren’s connection with St. Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day). Fergus Collins wrote, “Dawn in a Middle Eastern City sees a young man on the run – pursued by soldiers for preaching a heretical message on street corners. In the rough, arid farmland beyond the city walls he scans desperately for somewhere to hide, with armoured men closing in. At the last second, he dives into a bush and, scarcely daring to breathe, he waits. The soldiers stop, mystified at the sudden vanishing of their prey, and soon drift away in a listless search…But the young man has disturbed the tiny tenant of the bush, a wren, which scolds the intruder with its alarm call before performing its shattering cascade of song. The soldiers glance over, catch sight of the startled fugitive in the bush and swiftly haul him into a captivity that ends with a brutal public stoning.”
Three sparrow species were represented, American Tree, White-throated and Song.
I heard and saw a Belted Kingfisher but couldn’t get a photograph.
Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, Hairy, Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Dark-eyed Juncos, Cedar Waxwings and American Goldfinch were all present along the boardwalk.
Tip for you, when you are near a group of noisy birds always check the opposite side of the boardwalk.
Grindstone Creek is noticeably low. Northern Shovelers, Gadwall and Mallards were milling about but they weren’t close enough to shore to get decent photographs.
American Crows were searching for exposed morsels.
One of the ponds hosted a male Common Goldeneye and two female Buffleheads.
Finally, Ruddy Ducks!
Both trails end near the intersection of Eastport Drive and Woodward Avenue. Skittish Hooded Mergansers and Green-winged Teal departed rather quickly.
Here we had close and marvy views of Northern Shovelers.
Double-crested Cormorants were most accommodating. It’ll be interesting to see if they overwinter.
We met two wonderful lads operating this drone.
I struck up a conversation with them about the nature of their work, the operation of the drone, security features relating to no-fly and/or sensitive areas, their educational background, etc. One lad is the principal of Burlington Films, a local digital media company. Take a look at their video Burlington films aerial reel at http://burlingtonfilms.com/ You may recognize some local spots. Was really a treat to meet local talent. We wished them all the best with their future endeavours.