I returned to the cottage area on Saturday with Ann, and even though I was able to
meet her outrageous demands find the target birds for her, the majority of them weren't nearly as close as we would have liked for photography. Perhaps this was due to the backdrop of chainsaws slicing through fallen trees, but it will just mean a return trip on another day!
The highlight for me was watching a group of five soaring Osprey high up in the sky, obvious migrants returning to the Kawarthas from their winter grounds to seek out nests. At one point in time even a Turkey Vulture got caught up in the action. Ann and I watched in awe as they soared back and forth, calling out and screaming at each other and at times upsetting the "early birds" who had already taken up residence in established nests along the shoreline. Here are a few photos of what we saw high up in the sky as they drifted overhead:
A male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was heard before it was finally seen. Peterson's guide refers to its call as a "nasal mewing note", and as always, was bang on! This pic is included because it does indeed show the yellow belly, as well as the male's all-red throat patch:
A Belted Kingfisher perched on an overhanging branch was seen, so I dropped Ann off to get a shot while I safely parked the car. Instead, Ann selflessly sent it over to exactly where I was standing, landing in a tree in front of me. These incredibly skittish birds are a challenge to photograph, so I tried to remain calm AS IF and managed this pic before she took off again. Thanks, Ann!
A new pair of Osprey had taken up residence in an old tree nest that had been vacant for the past few years, so here's a few photos of the male bringing in nesting material from the marsh below, he was so close that we could almost reach up and touch him!
We also saw Common Loons and Mergansers, Ring-necked Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Merlins, Barn Swallows, a Common Raven, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Brown Thrashers. My firsts for the year included an Eastern Kingbird, Yellow Warblers, Chipping Sparrows (near Blackstock) and a Common Moorhen (audio only, at the Lindsay lagoons). My final count for the day was forty-three species, a nice warm-up to Point Pelee later in the week....