Ann and I drove back to the Kawarthas looking for raptors, and even before leaving Whitby a lonely looking Red-tailed Hawk was seen in a field on Thickson Road:
Could this be a good omen for us?? Nope, not really, as we dipped on both owls and Bald Eagles in the Sturgeon, Cameron, and Balsam Lake areas. We even began to anxiously look for farm animals to take photos of- that is until we arrived near Dalrymple, as the Northern Hawk Owl from the week before would be a year bird for Ann. Sure enough, we found it in a tree on the north side of the road, giving us perfect lighting conditions:
We enjoyed great views of it for quite a while, so here are some of my personal favorites from the day:
It spent a fair amount of time preening its beautiful feathers:
The markings on the back of the head are false eye-spots to deter predators:
After intense pressure from my Pooparazzi Followers, I reluctantly include the next photo of this well-fed owl:
Can you find the Hawk Owl in the tree??
More views of this gorgeous owl, one never knows how long they're going to stick around:
It was hard to leave this wonderful bird, but we finally did, as we wanted to check out other areas for more birds. I took Ann to Avery Point Road to see Common Redpolls, and then our next stop was at Ginny's feeders in Uphill, where the possible birds included Evening Grosbeaks and Common Redpolls.
As we pulled into the driveway, a female Pileated Woodpecker unexpectedly flew into the spruce right next to us, now that's a great feeder bird! She moved around the yard quite a bit...
...but she always came back to the hanging log that Ginny had coated with peanut butter!
If you enlarge this photo, you'll have proof that she doesn't suffer from Arachibutyrophobia c'mon, how many of you actually googled that last word?? :
Ann continued with her squeals of delight over the Pileated while I turned my lens towards the Common Redpolls:
We thanked Ginny for sharing her feeders with us before hitting the road again, hoping to perhaps see some Evening Grosbeaks or Bohemian Waxwings on our way south, but there was no signs of them. But it didn't matter, as we had already enjoyed some marvellous birds that day!
We stopped by a bridge over some open water to take in the scenery:
I was intrigued by Ann's technique as she analyzed the lighting conditions for that "perfect shot"...
...but then was puzzled by her next move as I turned around to find her on the ground, talk about getting close to your subject! I'm going to pay for this, I just know it
So on that note, I am now officially caught up with my blog, which is a very good thing as Ann and I leave at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow for an Owl Prowl on Amherst Island for the next two days. Unless she's seen that last photo, which means I'll be sitting in my driveway in the dark for a very, very long time tomorrow....