...John, Doug, and I made the mistake of going to Presqu'ile Provincial Park last Thursday after an overnight deep freeze, which is not a good thing when the newly-formed ice results in waterfowl being even further out from you! And just how far out were they? They were so far out that I only took nine photos that day, I kid you not.
Here's the first one of Greater Scaup, Redhead, Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead, and Long-tailed Ducks, you'll just have to trust me on this:
Here's the second shot of an Otter than John spotted on the ice desperate times, yaddayadda:
Other notable species included my first Canvasbacks of the year, Common Redpolls, American Robins, singing House Finches, and noisy Blue Jays. On our way home, we stopped off at Cobourg Harbour, but it too was frozen in and I was just too
lazy overwhelmed to scan any gulls out on the ice.
Another treat for last week, though, was this windswept Red-tailed Hawk that was hanging on for dear life in snow squalls that ripped through the area:
I suppose now is as good a time as any to reveal my final Winter Bird Count tally that finished at a respectable (for me) ninety-seven species.
For my non-birding friends, this is a species count that runs between December 1, 2010 and February 28, 2011.
Its sole purpose is to determine the level of insanity a birder possesses, as it involves subjecting oneself to ridiculously cold arctic temperatures while struggling to set up one's spotting scope while zipped into twenty layers of clothing that gives you zero mobility.
Not to mention that one cannot focus the scope on any birds, as the windchill factor makes your eyes water so much that you have zero visibility on the target bird.
Not to mention that the target bird is ten football fields out on the lake.
Not to mention how long it takes you for a bio break at Timmie's, as it will take you a half day to peel off the layers of clothing.
Not to mention winter-driving conditions (especially the "oh s--t" corner in Carden, right, Jim??).
Not to mention the risk of frostbite (worth every tingle of pain weeks later!!)
Not to mention the necessity of wearing snowshoes for better views of distant birds.
Not to mention falling on ice or into snowbanks.
Not to mention falling into deep snow or snowbanks with witnesses, armed with cameras (ggggrrrr)
But hey, at least we winter
freaks birders prove to those fair-weather birders that there are worthwhile birds out there to be seen, right??? Too bad that I didn't make it to an even one hundred species, but I was still quite pleased with my final tally of ninety-seven!