Birding and Train Spotting

During the week I made two trips to the beach strip in Burlington to check on the Baltimore Orioles.  All three nests are empty.  The fledglings are thriving.

Baltimore Oriole feeding its young

Baltimore Oriole feeding its young

During the last walkabout the begging cries of Warbling Vireo nestlings and fledglings led to the discovery of two nests and this fledgling.

Juvenile Warbling Vireo

Juvenile Warbling Vireo

There are quite a number of juveniles along the stretch including Red-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings, Common Grackles, American Robins and all the other usual suspects.

Juvenile European Starling feeding on berries

Juvenile European Starling feeding on berries

Still working on capturing Chimney Swifts in flight.

Chimney Swifts in flight

Chimney Swifts in flight

The plight of this Rough-winged Swallow was reported to me by beachgoers.  Unfortunately, it was injured and unable to fly.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Saturday, June 25th was the laziest birding outing I’ve ever had at Hendrie Valley.  I pretty much spent most of it socializing.   Loads of fun!  At the entrance of Cherry Hill Gate there were Downy Woodpeckers (adult and juvenile), a Hairy Woodpecker as well as this juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Red-bellied Woodpecker (juvenile)

Red-bellied Woodpecker (juvenile)

Down the hill and along the boardwalk, Red-winged Blackbirds were observed harassing a pair of Belted Kingfishers.  Onward to the area known as Valley Inn.  I hung out with the raptor photographers chatting about everything from Brexit to soccer as we awaited the arrival of Osprey.  In the interim we photographed visitors to the nearby mulberry bush.

Juvenile American Robin in mulberry bush

Juvenile American Robin in mulberry bush

Red squirrel enjoying berries of mulberry bush

Red squirrel enjoying berries of mulberry bush

A family of geese appeared.

a pair of juvenile Canada Goose out for a stroll

a pair of juvenile Canada Goose out for a stroll

Finally, an Osprey appeared.

Osprey on the hunt

Osprey on the hunt

Later I joined the train spotters at the bridge near Laking Gardens.  Among the group were two visiting American train spotters/photographers.  I learned quite a bit about trains in the hour plus I spent with the group and tried my hand at a few photographs.  I left with the thought – there’s something for everybody at Hendrie.

Reflection

Reflection

GO Train heading to Appleby GO station

GO Train heading to Appleby GO station

Double stacked railway cars

Double stacked railway cars

Please do visit glc392, a member of this great group of guys, to view spectacular photographs of trains.

My little buddy, Rastro, an Australian Shepherd, joined us for the afternoon.  As Rastro has a touch of arthritis we ensured we only visited locations requiring minimal walking.  He helped us find this snake.

Eyed by a watersnake

Eyed by a watersnake

These snakes were photographed last weekend.

Northern Watersnake

Northern Watersnake

Garter snake sunning along the path

Garter snake sunning along the path

Our first stop was Kerncliff Park, in Burlington, to try for Virginia Rails.  No luck but we did observe House Wrens, Brown Thrashers and quite a few Painted Turtles.

Tiny Painted Turtles appearing to kiss

Tiny Painted Turtles appearing to kiss

Next was Eastport Drive.

Ring-billed Gull chicks harassing adult for food

Ring-billed Gull chicks harassing adult for food

Adult Ring-billed Gull regurgitates food for its young

Adult Ring-billed Gull regurgitates food for its young

I almost puked. Consequently, the balance of the photos of this quartet were out of focus.

Next up was the Great Lakes and Rebecca storm water ponds in Oakville.  Last week we observed a female Hooded Merganser.

Hooded Merganser (female)

Hooded Merganser (female)

This week we encountered a doe and her fawn.

White-tailed deer fawn

White-tailed deer fawn

Thereafter, we stopped in at Bronte Marina.  The Red-necked Grebes have rebuilt their nest and are sitting on a new batch of eggs.  No chicks yet at the second nest but it appears quite precarious.  The Killdeer chick is doing quite well.

Last stop was Lasalle Marina.  The park trail is in dire need of a visit by hawks or the Pied Piper of Chipmunks.  Waaaay too many. There are two Mute Swan families on the water.  This is the younger group.

Mute Swan feeding cygnet

Mute Swan feeding cygnet

Rastro enjoyed the outing.  Having been thoroughly spoiled by all of us, he slept on the ride home.

Today, I returned to Hendrie.  The heat was too much for me until I observed two photographers on the boardwalk.  Picking up the pace, I soon joined them in photographing a doe and her one year old fawn.

female White-tailed Deer observed at Hendrie Valley

female White-tailed Deer observed at Hendrie Valley

female White-tailed Deer

female White-tailed Deer

I had enough energy to snap a few photos of this Hairy Woodpecker.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

CCIW was definitely cooler.  Here I encountered five photographers enjoying the challenge of photographing the terns and cormorants but probably not the gulls.

partial view of the multitude

partial view of the multitude

Lift every voice and sing

Lift every voice and sing

Caspian Tern choir - there is always one that never joins in

Caspian Tern choir – there is always one that never joins in

Caspian Tern in flight

Caspian Tern in flight

Caspian Tern chick and parent at water's edge

Caspian Tern chick and parent at water’s edge

Caspian Tern chick cools off in the water

Caspian Tern chick cools off in the water

Caspian Tern chick stretching its wings

Caspian Tern chick stretching its wings (This confounded gull almost always photobombed my attempts at capturing the chick on its own.)

Until next time!

Ring-billed Gulls foraging behind ship

Ring-billed Gulls foraging behind ship

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