December 19, 2015
Colonel Samuel Smith Park, Etobicoke
The morning was cool, very overcast and windy. Did my heart good to see evidence of winter’s approach.
After searching in vain for the Snowy Owl and Harlequin Duck reported during the week I spent some time with American Wigeons.
Lots of Gadwall. Someone estimated their number at 50.
Nearby a Mink ran across the rocks.
The Red-necked Grebes were sporting their winter plumage.
I understand the need for tagging but this form is rather uncomfortable to look at. Anyhoo, I submitted the number and hopefully within two weeks I’ll have some information about this Canada Goose.
On my way out I spotted this resourceful squirrel.
Humber Bay Park East, Toronto
Lots of Hooded Mergansers here, at least 30.
Found American Wigeons, Long-tailed Ducks, Buffleheads, Redheads, Scaups and all the usual waterfowl.
Some visitors tossing bread attracted Ring-billed Gulls. While this one accosted me, its comrade pooped on my travelling companion. I believe this is known as the distraction technique.
December 25, 2015
I brought home-made goodies including maple bacon cupcakes to the Christmas dinner. I sampled one before leaving home. They were divine. After dinner my hosts advised they only eat turkey bacon. Seriously? Turkey bacon?
P.S. If you would like the recipe, e-mail me.
December 26, 2015
Lasalle Marina, Burlington
The waterfowl must have been informed of my previous grumbling. Canvasbacks, Buffleheads, Redheads, Scaups, Common Goldeneyes, American Coots, Red-breasted Mergansers were within camera range.
I never tire of a singing Carolina Wren.
During the song I heard a rattling nearby to the right of where I was positioned. Ah, a Winter Wren.
Lift Bridge, Burlington
Long-tail Ducks fled as a patrolling Great Black-backed Gull approached.
“Its resemblance to the bald eagle was striking, as it soared aloft…It surely seemed to be a king among the gulls, a merciless tyrant over its fellows, the largest and strongest of its tribe.” Source: Birds of North America
Spotted this “brave” soul on the water.
Tollgate Ponds (Eastport Drive), Burlington
Loads of Canvasbacks here!
This is a blown out photograph of the Great Black-backed Gulls on the tip.
Below is a better photograph taken in March.
These gulls congregate where prey concentrate. Their diet includes waterfowl. They have a particular fondness for Horned Grebes.
Wrapping up 2015
Pleased with the year. Four highlights – (1) leaving work at 9:00 a.m. advising receptionist I would be taking an early, long lunch hour in order to see the Piping and Wilson’s Plovers; (2) ditching work to see the juvenile American White Pelicans, (3) stumbling upon a juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-heron and (4) the joy of observing juvenile birds and their parents at Hendrie Valley and CCIW.
Wishing you and yours all the best for 2016!