On Tuesday John, Doug and I made our way to a new (for me) birding hotspot 20 km north of Kingston, the Chaffeys Lock/Opinicon Road area. Our target species for the day was the Cerulean Warbler, known to breed in this area. After hearing several singing males in two different spots (opposite Skycroft Campground, and then further along Opinicon Road) we succeeded at last in getting a visual on this charmer of a warbler, mainly blue and white with a black "necklace", but did we ever have to work for this bird! I told Doug and John it was payback for the "easy" Eared Grebe tick on my life List from the prior week.
Our initial stop in the area was at the Queen's University Biological Station, and these young birds tortured us for quite some time, but John and Doug finally determined that they were young Chipping Sparrows, here's a photo of a pair for my records only, poor quality alert!
Three more Year Birds were added to my list that day: Indigo Bunting, Yellow-throated Vireo (both audio only), and a Red-Shouldered Hawk flying overhead. Numerous Turkey Vultures were seen, singing Ovenbirds mocked us as we drove along the roads, a Common Loon was swimming on the lake, it was a beautiful area that for sure I'll return to another time.
I returned to the cottage on Wednesday and have discovered that things have really slowed down here in the birding world now, much to my dismay, but more Year Birds were added: Chimney Swifts in downtown Lindsay (by the LCBO, sssshhhhh), a Green Heron in the back swamp, and Bobolinks on Heights Road north of Cheese Factory Road, a new spot for me.
I made my way to the Lindsay Sewage Lagoons on Friday morning and have decided that I am done with the place for the year, as the uncut grass, vegetation, etc, on the paths between the cells are now up to my chin, along with the corresponding insect population. These are the same paths where the Snappers were a few weeks ago, hence my reluctance to lose a foot in the undergrowth, especially when there are no new speices to be found. You know it's a slow day when all I have to show for it is the following:
Blue-winged Teal Family:
Yup, you were warned, a grim day indeed....
I left the Lagoons and headed off for CR 24 towards Bobcaygeon, and the resident Eastern Bluebirds were in their usual spot...
...as were the local Ospreys, what a delight to be there without the Wind Tunnel effect from a few weeks ago with Ann:
Speaking of which, our Osprey pair ouside the cottage are continuing to add sticks to their ramshackle "nest", but intermittently, probably as the cottage population is increasing each week. The Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas tells me that their eggs are laid from May 22 through June 5, with an incubation period of 38 days, so what this pair is up to outside the cottage is beyond me....
On the cottage homefront, I foolishly caved and refilled my feeders with sunflower seeds for the Black-capped Chickadees, only to attract hordes of Common Grackles, Red Squirrels, Chippies (ok, I love my chippies!), and Blue Jays. I have only seen a handful of Chickadees appear, along with a White-breasted Nuthatch. Interestingly enough, though, is that a pair of Red-eyed Vireos will attack and chase away the Blue Jays, who knew those little suckers had it in them!!! They continue to sing each and every day outside our windows, and allowed me to "capture the moment" as they visit us:
The Pileated Woodpecker returned here last evening and again this morning, making its wild jungle call, so with clever stalking techniques I hope to add a photo of him soon to my portfolio, along with that Green Heron in the back swamp, wish me luck!