January 29 to 31st, 2016
Bronte Marina, Oakville
Late Friday afternoon found us at Bronte Marina. Walking the promenade, I observed waterfowl readying themselves for the night. While Common Mergansers headed elsewhere, Long-tailed Ducks and others headed for the safety of the marina and Canada Geese lined the shorefront of the beach. I imagine it’s a tough go. Likely unrefreshed sleep due to vigilance for predators.
Lasalle Marina, Burlington
I was still stretching and yawning as I landed at Lasalle Marina on Saturday morning. The sight of Canvasbacks perked me right up.
I chatted with the gentleman feeding the Canada Geese, American Black Ducks, Mallards and Trumpeter Swans.
We watched these two silently “wrastling”. No clear winner, no wounds and no hard feelings.
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mount Hope
Next stop was the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. But for the following observations, I wasn’t going to mention the trip.
We tarried for a couple hours. By turns we experienced pride, fascination, and humilty. We were moved and thankful.
We made plans to head over to Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Etobicoke to try for the Long-eared and Snowy Owls. As we headed to Highway 403, two horses fleeing their owner entered the roadway, galloping in our direction. They were about 50 feet ahead of us. We stopped and waved down traffic behind us as the owner and others captured and returned the horses to their corral.
All’s well that ends well.
Colonel Samuel Smith Park, Etobicoke
On arrival at Colonel Sam we checked for the Long-eared Owl. Turns out we weren’t the only ones looking. Six birders/photographers were also pounding the footpaths. We were happy to learn the Snowy Owl was resting near the tip of the marina.
The bridge camera afforded decent photographs.
We tried again for the long-eared but no one had seen it. As a last ditch attempt I asked this Robin for the location of the owl.
Hendrie Valley, Burlington
On Sunday my first stop was Hendrie Valley. Observations: Grindstone Creek was frozen. The passerines were quiet. A muskrat was looking for handouts. Two crows mobbed a Red-tailed Hawk. Convo: My off-trail buddy showed me photographs of a leucistic juvenile white-tailed deer he encountered at the park. Pretty incredible find.
Lift Bridge, Burlington
The Peregrine Falcons were hunting and vocalizing.
Pigeon was on the menu.
Canadian Centre for Inland Waters
Given the balmy weather, a walk at CCIW was in order. The path was clear and unobstructed. I didn’t linger too much here.
So, I didn’t nab species #200 but am glad to finally see a Snowy Owl.