Piping Plovers @ Darlington Provincial Park

At Bronte Harbour I trained my lens on Cliff Swallows, a pair of Killdeer chicks and terns.

Cliff Swallow in nest

Cliff Swallow in nest

Cliff Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Killdeer chick sitting resting in the grass

Killdeer chick sitting resting in the grass

Killdeer Chick

Killdeer Chick

Tiny ballerina

Tiny ballerina

Size comparison - Common Tern on left and Caspian Tern on right

Size comparison – Common Tern on left and Caspian Tern on right

A pair of Rough-winged Swallows are building a nest in the exhaust of this boat. It’ll be quite the rude awakening when the boat starts up.

Veteran's Dream

Veteran’s Dream

On Saturday we made our way to Darlington Provincial Park to visit two Piping Plover nests. The Piping Plover is listed as endangered both federally and provincially and is considered one of North America’s most endangered birds.

Signage at Darlington Provincial Park

Signage at Darlington Provincial Park

Piping Plover on nest

Piping Plover on nest

The second nest was some distance from the first. During the journey we observed Red-breasted Mergansers, Spotted Sandpipers, Killdeer, Yellow Warblers, Black-crowned and Great Blue Herons.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

On the return journey as we approached the first nest we heard a melodic sound ahead. Lo, two Piping Plovers were foraging on the beach. We stood still allowing both to freely roam the beach. What an incredible experience!

Two Piping Plovers on the beach

Two Piping Plovers on the beach

Piping Plover in flight

Piping Plover in flight

Piping Plover on the beach

Piping Plover on the beach

As we headed to the parking lot we heard the unmistakably rich song of a Marsh Wren.

Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren

Baltimore Orioles, Gray Catbirds, Warbling Vireos, a House Wren, Cedar Waxwings and an Orchard Oriole were heard and/or observed.

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole

House Wren

House Wren

After a stop at the general store on the property for some snacks and pamphlets we hit the highway. A few kilometers on the road we heard the roar of motorcycles. As they passed to our left we noted they were members and probationary members of the Outlaws MC Canada motorcycle club.  While their website indicates they are not a gang, other sites say otherwise.  Click to view article.

The Outlaws

The Outlaws MC Canada

This morning prior to heading out I heard about the snippet of the violence in Florida. The extent of the tragedy had yet to be confirmed. I left home to decompress. I was unfocused. Hendrie was quiet. I wasn’t quite half-way along the boardwalk when I spotted a deer to my left. I motioned to two visitors to have a look. We watched the following unfold.

Red-winged Blackbird atop white-tailed deer

Red-winged Blackbird atop white-tailed deer

Red-winged Blackbirds on a deer

Red-winged Blackbirds on a deer

Red-winged Blackbirds on the deer

Red-winged Blackbirds on the deer

Next was a visit to the trail just north of the Canadian Centre for Inland Waters. Some of the Caspian Terns have had their young.

Caspian Terns

Caspian Terns

Caspian Tern and young

Caspian Tern and young

A couple of guys were fishing (two fly-fishing) for carp. The more successful of the lads caught this 20 1/2 lb. carp.

20.5 lb. carp

20.5 lb. carp

Then off to walk the beach strip. The Baltimore Oriole nest I’ve got my eye on is complete. The parents visited the nest separately. I heard the cries of young but am not sure if they were from the oriole nest or a nearby nest. I’ll keep monitoring their activity.

I went off the paved trail to the foot path as I had mid-week when I encountered this female Great-crested Flycatcher.

Great-crested Flycatcher

Great-crested Flycatcher

Today a fledgling Red-winged Blackbird was calling from the shrubs.

Red-winged Blackbird fledgling

Red-winged Blackbird fledgling

Red-winged Blackbird fledgling shaded by leaves

Red-winged Blackbird fledgling shaded by leaves

Red-winged Blackbird fledgling fast asleep

Red-winged Blackbird fledgling fast asleep

This made me smile as did this Ring-billed Gull and chick.

Ring-billed Gull and chick

Ring-billed Gull and chick

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