Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Carden Alvar Trip on Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yesterday, John, Doug and I made the first trip of the season to the above area, which lies north of Kirkfield, and is habitat to numerous species, one of which is on the Ontario's Endangered list, the Loggerhead Shrike. Eagle-eye John finally discovered a pair of them on the south side of McNamee Road. My apologies for the image quality below, but I took what I could get:

Now don't be fooled by their diminutive appearance (well, not so much, as they measure ~9"), as these suckers are also known as butcher-birds, as they are quite adept at not only taking out insects, but also small birds, and rodents, impaling them on thorns or barbed wire for later consumption. That said, as per the most recent Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, in 2006 there were only about 18 pairs, so it's always a special privilege and joy to see these birds each year as they return to breed in this alvar habitat.

But on to cheerier subject matter now, our first special BOTD was this Wilson's Snipe, many thanks to Driver John for his patience while I snapped about 2000 pics hanging out of the van:

We finally got a visual on an Eastern Meadowlark, after severeal teased us with their wonderful song from the grasslands:

Eastern Bluebirds were seen along the west side of Wylie Road, this is the male (sadly, the female was too far away for a decent shot- next time??). Also including a shot of the "blue", of course:

Eastern Phoebes were also prevalent:

Next was the Loggerhead Shrikes sightings, and for a change, we decided we would reward ourselves with a meal at someplace other than a Timmie's, ie the local restaurant in Kirkfield (Note to Self: it closes at 2 p.m., remember this for next time). Upon our arrival at 1:55 p.m., we were informed of the limited Healthy choices for lunch:
1. Wednesday's Trans fat special with an order of carbs on the side; extra sodium at no extra charge

2. Wednesday's Carbs special with an order of trans fat on the side; extra sodium at no extra charge

We were doomed, but somehow suffered through it, no doubt consuming 3000 times the recommended daily intake in a matter of minutes, followed by some of my home-made brownies, life was good. I secretly thanked god that my next cholesterol check-up wasn't until sometime in the fall....

We waddled our way back to the van swooning from our lo-cal meal and continued on to Prospect Marsh, where we found this perched Red-Tail Hawk:

We continued on to Canal Lake for the local Ospreys, and then returned back home in time for Robert to not know I had squandered away yet another day gallivanting around our glorious province. Added 3 new species to my year list; my BOTD was of course the Loggerhead Shrike.

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