John and I made a long trek yesterday to unknown parts of the province to seek out the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher that had been reported on the north side of Luther Marsh since last week. We were successful in the end but certainly had to wait it out all by ourselves on the side of a remote country back-road near a village called Monticello:
For ninety minutes some of what we saw included Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers, Eastern Kingbirds, flocks of European Starlings, Bobolinks, and Great Egrets off in the distance and flying overhead:
It was when we decided to take a break and leave for Luther Marsh that we eventually found the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher perched high up on a wire:
What's remarkable about this spectacular bird (besides its amazing outer tail feathers) is that it does not belong here, in fact it's the state bird of Oklahoma, but is a very rare to casual wanderer outside of its range, so here's one right here in Ontario, whoddathunk! Its long tail feathers help with maneuvrability in the air when feeding, as well as when performing impressive courtship displays.
This one was on the hydro wire for a while, but then began to fly back and forth into nearby bushes and trees:
...preening in an apple tree...
...but interrupted by a Baltimore Oriole landing next to him on the right:
He eventually flew off into the brush behind the apple tree, so it was obvious to us that the Morning Show was now over, but how fortunate we were to see him at all! At one point we even had rainshowers, but we toughed it out and were rewarded in the end.
On our way home we quickly swung by Luther Marsh, all 13,000 acres (forget this hectares stuff, I'm showing my age!) of it with a 3,500 acre lake within it:
We were too lazy and tired to investigate a look-out tower on the left-hand side:
We only stayed for a brief time, and as we returned to the car, three Sandhill Cranes flew overhead:
Just south of the main entrance to the marsh on our way home, we saw eight more Great Egrets in a marsh, only three of them are visible below:
John observed a groundhog from the comfort of the car while I was looking at the Great Egrets, and a Northern Harrier was hunting in a nearby field.
And so ended our first visit to the East Luther Grand Valley part of Ontario!
And yes, Ann, am still way behind with last week's posts, blahblahblah ;-)