Had a fabulous day and a half session with Ann on my cottage stomping grounds, with the weather gods smiling down upon us, meeting at Ken Reid Conservation Area at noon on Friday. I had a good feeling as I finally was able to locate the Red-eyed Vireo that had been incessantly singing its "here-I-am, can't-find-me" tune for days on end, here's a view from beneath, 'twas the best I could do, and no, you won't be able to see the red eye:
As expected, the highlight at Ken Reid were the Ospreys, as the nesting pair now appears to have young, although we could not see them, but certainly the parents were in feeding mode. There are a few nests in the area, which would explain the numbers we would see on the wing, at one point there was four of them soaring overhead. This one gave the parents on the nest some grief and flew in so close to our viewing platform that we could almost feel the breeze from it as it swung by us, curiously looking down at us to check out our cameras' gunning noise:
Other than the Osprey action, though, it was generally quiet on the bird front. Great Blue Herons were plentiful as they hunted in the marshes:
A Common Moorhen did the Chicken Dance off in the distance from us, flaunting its bold fashion statement of a red bill with green legs:
Ann had been hearing a Pileated Woodpecker in the woods behind us, and eventually it flew straight across the marsh to the forest on the far side, giving us great views of its white underwing coverts, a first for me as I usually only have views of quick, brief flights at the cottage.
Butterflies were everywhere:
As we watched Black Terns (a Lifer for Ann, whoohoo!) skimming the water surface by the bridge...
...a female Belted Kingfisher flew in next to us:
Yet another Eastern Kingbird posed for us (I know, I know, when will I ever stop taking and posting photos of these charmers, does anyone want to start a petition called "MAKE HER STOP"??)
We hiked a mini-marathon through the forest to the "point", somewhat disappointed that the trail didn't hug the shoreline better for unobstructed views out over the water, but were relieved that the insect population didn't devour us as much as we had feared. I also showed Ann the beach area where we discovered another Osprey nest, explaining the numbers we had seen there.
We departed for the Lindsay Sewage Lagoons, and much to my surprise found that we still had access to them for half an hour, so we did a quick jaunt around the north and south cells, and found my Blue-winged Teal families, Wood Ducks, Greater Scaup, Canada Geese, Caspian Terns, Black Terns and Red-winged Blackbirds (am seriously hating these suckers now) by the hundreds, here's a female (okfine, not totally hating them):
We returned to the cottage to collapse for the day, but Ann kept going, and she and Robert discovered two of the fox kits in the neighbourhood, I'm sure Ann will post a few shots of them on her blog!
Over and out for Part Un, I will now bravely face the challenge of down-loading photos from yesterday's outing, stay tuned!