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, October 23, 2010

Feathered Orphans and Stragglers from my Drought

Okfine, it's been extremely painful for me to re-live my Twitching Days from a few weeks ago during my severe birding drought, but I've finally sifted through all of my non-photos in order to get back on track with my blog, even if it's out of order...

On Thursday, October 7th I returned to Whitby for some appointments, and despite the best winds ever, it was totally dead at the Cranberry Marsh Raptor Watch. Out of desperation, on my return trip back up to the cottage I checked out Windy Ridge Conservation Area, which truly lived up to its name as I was challenged by winds that made me feel like I should have been wearing a gingham dress just like Dorothy's now there's an image that you'll want to erase from your mind really quickly

Once again, it's another interesting spot to check out but under better meteorological conditions, but regardless of the high winds, the autumn views were spectacular of the Oak Ridges Moraine:

Other views along the path were equally rewarding, without a bird in sight, of course:

I continued along the trail, silently weeping due to my continuing Bird Drought, and then arrived at the so-called Habitat Tree, maybe this would be my salvation?? Yeah. Right.

Nary a sound, nary a movement, grrrrrrrr. Until suddenly I saw it: a BIRD.

I almost fainted on the spot:

A lone Yellow-rumped Warbler, my heart soared!!!

Two thousand and fifty-one photos later I'm totally exaggerating, the following are the best, as my one and only BOTD explored every crevice and cavity it could find in the Habitat Tree:

I was thrilled, it was a BIRD!!!!

I reluctantly tore myself away and finally arrived back at the cottage, where I photographed my first Dark-eyed Junco for the season... well as a lingering House Wren(!) bad picture alert, desperate times, etc:

...and an Eastern Phoebe:

After recovering from my Thanksgiving Monday biking excursion with Laura, I decided to drive myself mad by chasing (well, not quite chasing, more like hobbling, after the biking) Golden-crowned Kinglets on the Tuesday along the back road. These teeny, tiny, incredibly active songbirds are a delight, but also a torture to photograph, but at least they were plentiful, mixing in with flocks of Black-capped Chickadees:

They're so tiny it would take three to five of them to add up to an ounce. Wow! This male's orange crown patch is partially visible here:

The female's crown patch is all- yellow:

A Red-breasted Nuthatch wanted in on the action too:

And so ends the tale of my Drought, I am now au courant again with my Blog- except for that missing Crescent Beach entry with those Bald Eagles in British Columbia, arghhhhhhhhhh...

As for today, I returned to the Iroquois Shoreline Raptor Watch in the Heber Down Conservation Area in north Whitby, and for once I wasn't the only one there, so I was able to learn more about raptors from the experts! It gets its name from what once was a giant lake known as Lake Iroquois, and the observation platform sits upon a bluff which used to be the shoreline of this lake!

For the two hours I was there, we had Turkey Vultures, Sharp-shinned, Red-shouldered, and Red-tailed Hawks flying through, along with a few Golden Eagles, whooohoo! These eagles are theoretically  Lifers for me, but as they were mere specks waaay off in the distance, I'm not going to count them. 

A local Red-tail was on a hydro tower near where I had parked, so here are a few shots I managed as it took flight, what a magnificent hawk! Several of its wonderful field markings are visible, including a hint of red on its tail, a dark head, the light-coloured chest, the streaked belly band, and the dark patagial bar at the leading edge of its underwing:

Now if only I could go back to that day on Crescent Beach with those Bald Eagles and post some pics....

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