On Halloween Sunday I did one of the final cottage runs for the season to bring back "stuff" that will not survive the deep freeze of the cold winter in one piece, let alone the rodent migration to the cottage interior (suckers, don't they know it's colder inside than out??!!). En route I stopped at Long Sault Conservation Area and was totally dazzled by the Black-capped Chickadee population, all three of them....another "minimum time" parking ticket purchase wasted on what could have gone towards my daily Timmie's IV drip, grrrr.
Instead, all I really saw for the day was this local Red-tailed Hawk on Highway 36 by the
jail Correctional Facility of the Province of Ontario, in fact a banded sweetie. I had seen a banded one well over a year ago in the same location, and in fact had mentioned it to my dear friend Peter (he always revelled in my Lindsay Sewage Lagoon stories, somuchso that he outed me in the end in the Rose Street Rag), so I wondered if this could be the same one??? I was unable to pull any info off the band on its right leg, so I have no idea on this adult's story thus far:
At the cottage I dodged random snowflakes as I ventured down to the swamp with great hopes of seeing more than the usual Mallards and was totally disappointed, but at the very end of the Point I stumbled upon the largest rodent in North America who knew! , a Beaver:
If you're brave enough to enlarge this next photo, you'll see that its dental plan totally sucks, as the disgustingly brown front incisor teeth (used to cut down trees) would indicate that they belong to a heavy smoker, eeeeeeeeeeeew:
It then went into serious grooming mode as it proceeded to wash its face with its front
claws paws with these nasty-looking claws:
Its signature large, flat, paddle-shaped tail was for the most part submerged, unfortunately, but I could see a bit of it in my photos. Jim told me that he'd seen several of them together out in the swamp by his back lot, prior to him no doubt emitting some sort of Irish Banshee Yell in Beaver-speak to keep them away from the remaining trees on his lot, as they have done significant damage on the Point over the past few years.
So that was my day, extremely quiet on the birding front, but now there's only one cottage run left for the season to save the water cooler.
Ironically, the mixed precip/snow streamers that came off of Georgian Bay, thanks to strong northwest winds, resulted in numerous raptors migrating through Durham Region within a few kilometres of my backyard- while I was not there, of course- yet another "grrrrrrr" for the day.