Happy Valley!

On cooler days I’ve walked from Beach Road and Eastport Drive to Spencer Smith Park. On one such walk the cries of juvenile raptors caught my attention. I was curious as the Lift Bridge’s Peregrine Falcons did not have young this year. I soon found a trio of American Kestrels. The sun was harsh. Fortunately, this kestrel found a perch on the underside of the Burlington Skyway Bridge.

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American Kestrel perched under Burlington Skyway Bridge begging to be fed

Along the route to Spencer Smith Park, I heard/saw Warbling Vireos, Baltimore Orioles, Northern Mockingbirds, two Great Black-Backed Gulls, etc.

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Great Black-backed Gull tugging carcass on the beach

This Semipalmated Plover has pluck. I have visited the bird about three or four times. Each time the bird has successfully managed to dodge the throng on the beach.

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Semipalmated Plover finds a spot to forage among the throng of beachgoers

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Semipalmated Plover on the beach

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Semipalmated Plover resting on the beach

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Semipalmated Plover keeping an eye out for predators

Been having loads of fun lately hanging out at Hendrie Valley and Valley Inn. I’ve enjoyed spending some time with the group I nicknamed the Boys of Summer as I only see most of them in the summer.  We’ve had many good laughs. I shall miss them when they move on.

These last two-three weeks photographers from as far as Ajax and the Niagara area have migrated to the area to photograph the Osprey.

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Photographing Osprey at Valley Inn

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Osprey on the hunt

Some days the Osprey spend much of their time roosting in nearby trees.

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Osprey resting on a branch

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Osprey

Fortunately, rather cooperative Great Egrets, Green Herons, juvenile Black-crowned Night-Herons and Great Blue Herons are nearby.

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Green Heron on the hunt

Sometimes I telepathically ask a bird to do something other than standing still.  Sometimes it works!

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Green Heron contorts body mid-preening

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Yawning

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Wing stretch

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Green Heron stretching while Midland Painted Turtle observes all

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Green Heron hunting

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“Wild looking” juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron

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Black-crowned Night-heron (juvenile)

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Juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron looking for something to eat

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Juvenile Black-crowned Night-Heron standing on one leg

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Stoop to poop

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Great Blue Heron scratching an itch

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Great Blue Heron and raccoon in the fog

So, do you remember the #Melanistic Great Blue Heron?  Well, after the rains and much pruning, guess who is now confirmed to be oiled?

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You’d look crazed too if you’d spent weeks preening your feathers!

More recently a small number of quite confiding Lesser Yellowlegs have posed for the photographers.

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Lesser Yellowlegs

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Lesser Yellowlegs

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Lesser Yellowlegs

I often stray to see what I what other birds are around.

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Black-throated Green Warbler

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Northern Flicker a-preening

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Common Yellowthroat

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Turkey Vulture warming in the sun

While we still miss our beloved guinea pig, Caramel, for a bit of fun and to help raise the profile of guinea pigs, we attended a pignic last Saturday at Greenwood Park, Toronto.  The guinea pigs were beyond adorable!

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Guinea pig posing on the red carpet

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