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

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Blackie Spit and The Fen- Thursday, May 6th

You have no idea how difficult this posting is for a person whose preference is to to have everything in chronological order, but I will suck it up, so here goes (...and the Crescent Beach outing is still pending from Wednesday, arghhhhhhhhh).

WARNING: (another reason why I should have done this in sequence) the photos that follow pale in comparison to yesterday's haul from Reifel and Tswassawassswasen-however-u-spell-it

Still recovering from frost on the rooftops a few mornings ago, this was Thursday's yardbird that greeted me outside my window:

It boded well for me, as I had a tremendous day at Blackie Spit, as well as a hit-and-run to Serpentine Fen on the way home. Blackie Spit runs north from Crescent Beach across the mouth of the Nicomekl River and was a treasure-trove of goodies for me, including yet another Lifer, but more on that later. 

Here's the view of the city from there:

Oops, something's missing, Ann- right, a young Bald Eagle hanging out on the pilings:

There were numerous Bald Eagles flying around the whole time I was at the Spit, but this one fellow came in closer, and I feared it was going to dive-bomb the one on the pilings above, but in fact it was going after Common Loons on the water surface. Despite the Bald Eagle being at the top of the food chain, the Loons won:

There were numerous Red-breasted Mergansers, Greater Scaup, Common Loons (both adult and juvenile, the latter I had tried in vain to be a Pacific Loon) and these Caspian Terns:

But the talk of the birding community was this lone, lingering Long-Tailed Duck that I stumbled upon just off the shoreline. No one's sure why he hasn't migrated back to the Arctic, and there was speculation that he was injured, but this flight shot would perhaps indicate otherwise (he was long gone before the above Bald Eagle arrived).

With Les' confirmation (thanks again, Les!), this pair of Whimbrels are Lifers for me:

A Double-crested Cormorant chilling with his European Starling bud:

There were House, Savannah, Song, and Golden-crowned Sparrows everywhere, as were American Goldfinches and House Finches:

Panoramic shots of the Spit, as well as interesting vegetation not seen in Ontario, Doug will correct me if I'm wrong, no doubt:

A delicate Shore Pine (this I know only because of a plaque!):

So then I was off to The Fen, greedy for a second glimpse of my Lifer Cinnamon Teal, and I succeeded in re-locating them, here's the male, as well as your useless piece of information for the day: a group of Cinnamon Teal are collectively called a "seasoning" of teal, don't say I didn't warn you!

Close by was a pair of Wood Ducks:

As was the case at Blackie Spit, the excellent thermals attracted my Trash Birds Bald Eagles that were soaring and calling out to one another way high up, forming kettles, at one point I counted six of them circling around, this was the best I could do without falling over backwards:


I also checked in on the Bushtit family and have changed my mind about both parents doing equal time on the feeding front, I think dad's lagging behind, here's mom with an excellent haul for the kids:

In the bathing department, here's a mystery sparrow at the Spa:

And to book-end my day, here's one of the Spotted Towhees that plague me each and every day at the parking lot as follows: crappy lighting is when he will pose for me with his nice spots showing; excellent lighting is when he won't, see below, grrrrrrrrrrrr:


Ann Brokelman said...

Fantastic series Janice. I really hate you - trash birds ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I hope you wear out your new camera so only I will be able to get shots of birds when you come back lol.
Keep up the good work Janice. Fantastic. Ann

Alison said...

I love the pic of the mystery sparrow at the spa. We all have days like that but fortunately we're not in front of a lense when we do! We have time to get on the warpaint and manage the coiff before we step in front of the cameras. x