The past week has seen some really good numbers of year birds for me, as well as a Lifer, which as Master John tells me, gets tougher and tougher! How true.
On my home turf last week-end I was surprised to see Bohemian Waxwings in north Pickering, here's a
garbage record shot:
Several trips to the cottage area were excellent, beginning with a stop (well, actually THREE trips, grrrr) at the Ganaraska Forest for the reported Red Crossbills. My initial trip there on Sunday only yielded an audio on them, so that just didn't cut it for me if it was to be a Full Tick for my Life List. Monday's stop at the north end of the forest was a dip, too, although for quite a while several invisible trilling birds high up in trees totally tortured me for almost an hour before
idiot that I am I figured out that they were Dark-eyed Juncos doing their spring thing!
Third time's the charm, though: on Tuesday as I drove into the forest centre entrance , three of them were on the road eating grit, I couldn't believe my good fortune at last. The crossed mandibles of this male are used to crack open cones of evergeeens, so they're frequently seen high up up in trees, so to see them this close was an unexpected thrill:
Other birders that I encountered had dipped on these guys, so I was pleased to have seen them so easily (okfine, it took me three tries, as the price of gas continues to go through the roof this week). A singing Winter Wren, Eastern Phoebes and Meadowlarks, and Golden-crowned Kinglets were also in the area.
Tuesday netted a total of fifty-one species, as I headed north to the cottage after leaving the Ganaraska Forest. Other good birds that day included Cedar Waxwings and a Greater Yellowlegs (both year birds), my first female Red-winged Blackbird (the males arrive ahead of the gals to set up their pads to entice them with), Bonaparte Gulls at the Lindsay Sewage Lagoons, and Sandhill Cranes on the wing near Bobcaygeon.
Ring-necked Ducks, American Wigeons, Common Loons, and both Common and Hooded Mergansers were enjoying any open water as the ice was melting:
My local pair of Merlins continues to terrorize the Black-capped Chickadees, I somehow suspect that I will not be refilling my feeders this season! This year's challenge will be to get some flight shots of them, I watched in awe yesterday as the two of them flew like speeding bullets through the white pines.
Ospreys dominated my week up there, though, it was exhilarating to see them back home again in such good numbers (ten on Tuesday!) after almost seven months:
The lake is now wide open, so access to fish is not an issue for them, this one is carrying a headless fish...
...although tomorrow's forecast of snow (enough already, Ma Nature!!!) may cause these poor fish hawks to question their timing of returning back home to breed!