I've been up here birding so much in the past several weeks that I almost wish our ninety-four year old cottage was winterized so it could be used as a Base Camp!!
Doug, John, Jim and I met Dan at the Lindsay airport and our first stop was in Coboconk to check out some open water, the highlight of which was
a pair of Rock Eagles a White-winged Scoter off in the distance. We continued on to Ginny's place in Uphill and her birds were all present, enjoying the freshly-scattered birdseed.
Common Redpolls were beautiful in the sunshine:
So how bad is it that I'm already jaded by these pretty little things that eluded me all of last year??!!! I found it tough to stay focused on them when Ginny's Evening Grosbeaks were the main event. As soon as we opened the car doors, we heard their noisy chatter that I liken to House Sparrows on steroids:
Lots of seed on the ground turned it into a feeding frenzy:
Dan visits with Ginny, while Doug and John can't decide which way to look, there are so many Evening Grosbeaks!
This silvery gray female landed on one of the feeders next to me, there's no doubt whatsoever as to why they're called Grosbeaks:
Now here's a bill that can crack seeds, yikes!
The yellow male with his dark head and yellow eyebrow stripe is stunning:
...and the yellow is accentuated by his striking black-and-white wings:
Ginny was persuaded to join us as we continued birding in the area, and we successfully located one of the two reported Gray Jays southeast of Uphill, what a treat to see it outside of Algonquin for a change:
humoured me celebrated our Gray Jay find by posing for the mandatory group shot on the road:
From there, we drove through the Carden area, checking out other feeder spots that Dan knew about, while I gave Jim and John an unexpected opportunity to see their lives flash before their eyes.
We had to turn this patriotic guy down when he tried to join our party, his cold personality just didn't appeal to any of us:
We briefly saw the Belted Kingfisher in the village of Victoria Road before enjoying another great lunch together in Kirkfield, despite Dan hitting me up yet again for the Carden Alvar Point Counts in May and June BTW, DAN: "You had me at CARDEN" ;-)
We dipped on the Northern Hawk Owl on the outskirts of Dalrymple, though, and felt like total losers as every other birder there that day had apparently seen it, as we found out later after Dan's ontbirds posting of a non-sighting.
We bade farewell to the Kawarthans and returned home as Jim silently wept in the car for dipping on the Hawk Owl, sorry Jim! Maybe the dark morph Rough-legged Hawk we spotted in a tree made it a bit better for you, though??
Perhaps next time....