Ross’s Geese + Northern Shrike

February 6, 2016

I sought out starlings after having read an article in a November 2015 issue of Country Life magazine.  The author wrote, “Stout, short-tailed and with trim triangular wings, the male starling in his breeding dress is as flash as a rat with a gold tooth.”

European Starling

European Starling

Starling kabob

Starling kabob

We tried for the Greater White-fronted Geese on Jones Road, Stoney Creek.  No luck but did spot this interesting feature.

Trident and Amphitrite?

Poseidon and Amphitrite?

Hamilton Naturalists’ Winter Hawks and Owls Trip, Stoney Creek

We joined approximately 50 participants.  Unlike last year, the raptors did not allow opportunity for photographs.  The group checked off Peregrine Falcon, Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Harrier and Red-tailed Hawk, all in flight.

We stopped to view waterfowl in a field on 5th Road East.

Viewing and photographing the Ross's Geese

Viewing and photographing waterfowl in a field

What we all initially thought were four Snow Geese were ultimately identified as Ross’s Geese!  Yes!!  Species No. 200!!

Four Ross's Geese

Four Ross’s Geese

Another look at a Ross's Goose

Another look at a Ross’s Goose

Two Ross's Geese

Two Ross’s Geese

Ross's Goose

Ross’s Goose

Ross's Goose

Ross’s Goose

For a comparison of Snow vs. Ross’s Goose click here  then click “look inside”, flip to page 30 of the book.

At the very next stop we were treated to prolonged views of a Northern Shrike!  Yes!  Species No. 201!!

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike (Stoney Creek, Ontario)

Northern Shrike (Stoney Creek, Ontario)

To celebrate I brought out one of two donuts (lavender marshmallow and baklava) I’d purchased early in the morning at Tamp, in Burlington.  I was lavender-curious.  The donut was buckle-your-knees good!

Lavender marshmallow, baklava and vanilla cardamom donuts

Lavender marshmallow, baklava and vanilla cardamom donuts

We hung out for about 30 minutes awaiting the arrival of a Short-eared Owl. Night was falling and it was getting rather nippy.  First time this winter I actually felt cold.  Some ran for the warmth of their vehicles.  We did the “it’s flipping cold dance” then used each other as human windbreakers.

Waiting for owl to cruise over berm

Waiting for owl to cruise over berm

Alas, the owl did not appear.  We thanked our leader heartily and bid adieu.  What fun! On to donut number two!

February 8, 2016

Spencer Smith Park

Found 10 ducks a’dabbling.

Ten ducks a-dabbling

Ten ducks a-dabbling

Close up of an American Black Duck.

American Black Duck

American Black Duck

Lift Bridge

This Peregrine Falcon took time away from breakfast (a pigeon) to pose for the camera.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

The morning sun highlighted the beauty of the following waterfowl:

Male and female Long-tailed Ducks

Male and female Long-tailed Ducks

White-winged Scoter

White-winged Scoter

Male Red-breasted Merganser

Male Red-breasted Merganser

Two male Red-breasted Mergansers

Two male Red-breasted Mergansers

Trio of Red-breasted mergansers

Three amigos

Three White-winged Scoters

Three White-winged Scoters

These two were nauseatingly affectionate.

Barfus vomitus

Barfus vomitus

Windermere Basin
With bridge camera in hand I had groovy looks at female Common Mergansers, a Ring-billed Gull, a Bald Eagle, two Great Blue Herons and a Double-crested Cormorant.

Red-breasted Merganser (female)

Red-breasted Merganser (female)

Female Red-breasted Merganser

Female Red-breasted Merganser

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron (Northern Shovellers, American Coot and Mallards on the shore)

Great Blue Heron (Northern Shovellers, American Coot and Mallards on the shore)

Two Great Blue Herons

Two Great Blue Herons

Ring-billed Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Bald Eagle (record shot taken with bridge camera)

Bald Eagle (record shot taken with bridge camera)

I’m so happy I could bust!

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