Saturday, February 27, 2016
Colonel Samuel Smith Park
These Redhead ducks were, in human terms, the epitomy of poise and refinement.
Humber Bay Park West and East
Second try for the Harlequin Duck was successful. Turns out the last time I was in the wrong area. As the French don’t say, “Le ooops!” I immediately found it east of the gazebo, as reported!
A steady stream of birders came by to have a look at the Harlequin and his neighbours, including American Wigeons.
The group of waterfowl included a randy Common Goldeneye.
Having lost my daily quota of innocence, I decided to explore Humber Bay East.
I then turned my attention to Gadwalls.
A birding couple I met earlier in the morning at Colonel Samuel Smith directed me to a Wood Duck on the opposite bank. I moved to a spot closer to the Wood Duck. As I scanned the shoreline for it Mallards flew in seeking to be fed. I begged, “just one sec, guys” as I was focused on finding the Wood Duck. They kept flying in and as I begged for more patience I heard what sounded like a whistle. Turns out the Wood Duck flew in with the Mallards! I took a couple photographs, tossed some sunflower seeds, then made ample use of the opportunity.
The last bird I photographed at the park was an American Robin.
My hope of getting a bit closer to these Common Mergansers was thwarted by a nearby barking dog. Pity!
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Sunday morning while dawdling at Windmere Basin I heard the unexpected call of a Red-winged Blackbird. Yes, folks, they are baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!
I toyed with bypassing the Lift Bridge but, as I am wont to do, I changed my mind. Good thing I did. At one point there were eight of us photographing the two Peregrine Falcons. This is what we observed!
Here’s a close up of a bit that fell. (He showed it to me. I asked if I could take a photograph. I said, “you know we’re sick right?” He had some fantastic stories about these falcons and their hunting styles, etc. Really nice chap. I’m normal. LOL!)
A photographer sitting on the bench directly below the falcon just about flipped her lid when this landed near her!
As is his routine, he delivered a portion to his partner.
I couldn’t wait to get home to show the photographs of the blackbird bits to my daughter. She was studying hard and I wanted to take her mind off her studies for a moment. She said I was sick! I am not sure what upset her more, the fact that I photographed the blackbird bits or that the bird had just migrated here only to be consumed by a falcon. Either way, my plan worked!
Be on the look out for returning raptors. I saw a Turkey Vulture this week.
Olympic Woods in Dundas is now off limits. The RBG has erected no trespassing signs. The long and short of it is Olympic Woods is a designated sanctuary. Our local naturalist group will be in discussions with the RBG to see if they can arrive at a mutually agreeable position regarding access to the area.