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, August 31, 2010

As for the REST of Today, just how HOT was it?? was sooo hot that this young Osprey on CKL Road 24 by Kenstone Beach Road was already panting as of 9:00 a.m.:

Even though I left the cottage in good time today, it turned into a car-birding session in the comfort of the air-conditioning. 

In addition to the Northern Parula I discovered by the beach near Emily Creek, this young Yellow-rumped Warbler, probably a female, was in the very same cedar:


My usual Warbler trap by the demolished bridge was empty, so I left for an area northeast of Bobcaygeon that a birder had told me about a few years ago called Nogie's Creek, which also was quiet on the birding front but incredibly beautiful on the scenery front:


Other than a pair of Wood Ducks that I inadvertently flushed and Black-capped Chickadees, it was dead (I had arrived too late, coupled with the heat and humidity), but the stunning views of the creek more than made up for it. Nogie's Creek runs parallel to Bass Lake Road, which is what I followed for the better part of an hour. This area appears to be a snowmobilers haven in the winter, based upon the number of signs I saw along the way.

An interesting sign of another sort caught my attention:

I continued on to the north side of Sturgeon Lake in the comfort of my car, driving along St. Alban's and Martin's Roads, but found nothing other than relief from the heat inside the car. But my Northern Parula Lifer at the start of my day more than made up for it!


So I've Made Some Warbler Progress... I'm sending off my pics from the past few days piecemeal to Master John, so here goes with a Lifer for me, whooohooo!

This delightful sweetie was at CKL Road 24 by the beach at Emily Creek this morning, a Northern Parula. John and I are leaning towards it being a male due to some visible chestnut markings under the wingbars in some of the photos, but we're not sure  (TRANSLATION: if John's not sure, then I sure as heck am not sure either!)

Some of the field markings for this small, bluish warbler are the wingbars, the "arcs" around the eye, the orange lower mandible, the yellow throat and breast, and the pretty band running across the breast:

My feeding sequence for the day:

This is the photo where we can see some faint chestnut markings under the armpits wingbars. He still has a good grip on that bug:

...down the hatch, yum yum:

Another field marking is the greenish patch on the back, seen here quite well god I'm good

The raised tail is another deal-breaker I just knew it:

So one down, with tons more to go, arghhhhhhhhhhh. 

And BTW, yesterday was officially the HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR, so I please ask that you cut me some slack as I continue to sift through dozens of warbler photos while melting away. The forecasted day-time high temps of 16ยบ C for the week-end cannot come soon enough, bring it on! 

Monday, August 30, 2010

It Sucks to be a Crayfish...

...especially if you're in the vicinity of Hooded Mergansers. I haven't seen these crustaceans since my brother and I, as nasty kids wearing our face masks, used to catch them in the lake by placing glass jars behind them underwater, then waving our hands in front of them so they swim backwards right into the jar...

The Hooded Merganser family on CKL Road 24 at Emily Creek today were lazily swimming around the beach area, except for one exuberant young one that went to town with this poor crayfish. Mergansers are diving ducks, and their long, thin, serrated bills have earned them the name "sawbills ".

Three of the five that I saw this morning:

Ok, here goes with the crayfish torture sequence:

Stop playing with your food and just EAT IT, already!

So now it's back to warbler hell heaven, it would appear that I should just shoot myself now, based on my initial two bird assessments sent off to John :-(

Preening Paradise

Hah, I totally sucked you in, just when you thought you were safe and in an Osprey-free zone! In fact I'm posting this sequence from this morning so I can continue my warbler and dragonfly procrastination, sorry, John!

I encountered this beautiful adult on CKL Road 24 (where else??!!) by Birch Point Marina having a marvellous time in the sunshine preening away. Did you know that birds will nibble away at their feathers not only to realign hooks and barbules, but also to rid themselves of nasty lice and mites? Well, now you do, that's their dirty, little secret!

Look how absolutely content he/she looks in these next two pics:

...and a job well done as he/she finally departs:

And speaking of departures, my Osprey family has not returned to their nest by our dock for several days now, so I suspect that they have moved on, waaaaaaaaaaaah. Although I do still see and/or hear Osprey in the area, including one of the two tagged females that did an unexpected fly-by yesterday afternoon right off our dock!

So now it's back to warbler and dragonfly hell heaven as I continue to hate love this hobby...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

They've Made Me Soooo Proud!

I scooted over to the Osprey nest by the bridge on CKL Road 24 this afternoon and was thrilled to see this young Osprey on the wing with a fish!! Unless it had been handed off by a parent to him mid-air (not!), he is now able to feed himself, I was extremely pleased to see him doing so well, here's a sequence of shots as he flew over me with the fish:

At the other nest closer to Kenstone Beach Road, the young one was also faring well, this was the one that had been wingercising when Ann and I were there together. He too had a fish in the nest when I first drove by, but when I returned later, he had finished eating and was chilling, the breast markings are striking:

Notice the full crop:

I observed some interesting behaviour in this next sequence, he wanted to move probably a couple of feet to the right and instead of just walking over, he did it this way:

I was exhausted watching him, but obviously he still enjoys his wingercising sessions!

He took to the skies again after all that work, notice the beautiful markings, as well as the full crop from that fish I had seen him eating:

On my way back to the cottage, I came across a "stressed" tree, right, John???

Tonight's sunset was spectacular, but alas, I enjoyed it alone, as my Osprey family by the dock did not return like they usually do, hmmmmmmmmmm, is it possible that they've already moved on??