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.”
We tried for the Greater White-fronted Geese on Jones Road, Stoney Creek. No luck but did spot this interesting feature.
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.
What we all initially thought were four Snow Geese were ultimately identified as Ross’s Geese! Yes!! Species No. 200!!
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!!
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!
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.
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.
Close up of an American Black Duck.
This Peregrine Falcon took time away from breakfast (a pigeon) to pose for the camera.
The morning sun highlighted the beauty of the following waterfowl:
These two were nauseatingly affectionate.
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.
I’m so happy I could bust!