Totally captivated in 2007 by the live camera feed of the Hornby Island nesting Bald Eagles in B.C., I was drawn into birding and have never looked back. Thus begins my account of what I'm fortunate enough to discover each day and perhaps capture with my camera.

Unless otherwise stated, all images were taken by and are the property of Janice Melendez

Species Counts:

2014 Final Year List: 255; 2015 Year List a/o June 5, 2015: 235; Life List: 327

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kawartha Critters

Two visits to the area this past week yielded more furry versus feathered critters, much to my delight!

The first visit with Ann last Tuesday began with a sighting of this beautiful coyote, or possible coywolf hybrid in the morning fog:

A single herd of  White-tailed Deer were seen next, and again on my return visit on Thursday:

...hence why they're called "white-tailed", off they go:

A second herd was seen further along the road. Initially they were curious about me, but quickly lost interest and casually wandered off:

But back to Tuesday's run with Ann: we decided to check out some new areas and back roads, and at times it was interesting to see how far my car could go off-road shift around in the mud. Ann tests out the suction capabilities of her boots in it:

A female Pileated Woodpecker was heard and eventually seen on one of these back roads, as was this club. We're always on the look-out for new accommodations, especially as the Kawarthas are so rich an area, it's a relief to know that we have a place to stay down the line.

Please forgive me the photo, though, it's grossly over-exposed:  


Our final stop for the day was at Anne and Brian's beautiful home overlooking a river where each spring the Otters go ice-fishing through holes that magically appear in the ice overnight. Just as we were about to pack it in, the Otters began to feed and regale us with their fishing expertise, as each and every time they came up for air, they had a fish in their mouth. They're typically nocturnal, but seem to be more active through the day in the winter, how lucky for us!

...success, a good-sized fish in its mouth:

Double-click on the photos for better views, as they were quite a distance out from us, and hit the "back" button to return to the blog:

...down the hatch, check out the choppers on this one!

Three of them deciding whether or not to venture out on the ice for us....they voted NO

Many thanks to Anne and Brian for sharing their local critters with Ann and I, as well as Dan for putting us in touch with them, what a memorable afternoon!

During my return visit on Thursday, a Muskrat  where, oh where were all the birds???  scooted across the road right in front of me into a water-filled ditch, it was great fun to observe this member of the rodent family:

The only feathered highlight of my day, as well as a year bird, was a noisy Merlin at the cottage, could last year's family be back on the nest again? Here's hoping!!

So as we enthusiastically  sadly bid adieu to winter in a few hours, this past week was proof that the seasons are indeed changing, based upon the number of new migrants reported on Ontbirds. I can't wait to see what's around the bend in the coming weeks! I finally saw my first Turkey Vultures for the year yesterday, and as mentioned before, the Merlin was another year bird for the week. 

In the oddity category, though, here's an interesting Red-tailed Hawk seen in Toronto last week, its bold white head stripe caught my eye, even though these photos were taken through a fence!

And on the last full day of winter, here is last night's so-called "supermoon", I sure can't tell the difference, can you??


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