...the good news is that there were few photos to edit, the bad news is that it was due to minimal birds, oh noooooooooooooo!
Despite this nasty fact, she and I had a great time on Sunday locally before the rain showers drove us inside, and again on Monday in the Keswick/Minesing area.
Sunday's outing revealed Ann in her usual stalking position:
A local American Kestrel in an industrial area gave us great views (back to reality of the distance in the wild, after seeing the captive one a few feet away at the Pickering Naturalists' Club meeting):
A Sharp-shinned Hawk that we spotted on the ground in a field in south Whitby took flight over our heads:
...and that was about it for Sunday- kind of. The next post will explain what this means...
On Monday we left for the Keswick/Ravenshoe Road area of Lake Simcoe, and as we made our way up Highway 404, little did we know that the Red-tailed Hawks perched along the sides would, for the most part, be the best of our bird counts for the day!
Ravenshoe Road is a renowned birding hotspot in the winter, so it was unusual to be there without any snow, although the cold winds sure made it feel like winter!
The best bird we had in this area was a young Black-Crowned Night Heron that Ann spotted amongst the grass, the brownish blob standing in the water, watching the feeding frenzy above him:
From there we drove around the shoreline of Lake Simcoe (nada) and continued on to the Minesing area. By now we had clued into the fact that it was a reaaaally slow day on the birding front, with most birds having already migrated out of the area or saw us coming and hid on us.
We got to the point that anything that moved was a thrill, even if in the end it turned out to be a dog or cat, I kid you not. I silently wept as Ann held her head high, trooper that she is in fact she's laughing at ME with my so-called Elmer Fudd cap on:
Some Red-tailed Hawks were still around:
This one cracks me up, as it tried to balance itself on the very tip of the spruce tree. They can weigh anywhere from one and a half to four pounds:
This unfortunate Canada Goose had been shot, resulting in an injured wing, as told to us by a couple who live in a house next to this stream, Ann has since contacted the Wildlife Gang for help:
So here goes with the highlights of the rest of our afternoon, as we drove around for hours:
Yup, you got it, NOTHING.
Until around dusk, from 4 p.m. onwards, the Canada Geese started coming in for the night by the thousands...
...as did our Target Bird for the day, Sandhill Cranes!! Initially only three of them flew over our heads and we heard them calling before actually seeing them, but then more of them streamed in by the dozens, then hundreds, to spend the night in the fields, it was an incredible sight:
This was definitely a first for me to see this many together at one time:
As they landed in the fields, we could hear them loudly calling to each other with their deep and rattling trumpet-like sounds.
They had totally
saved made our day.