Ann arrived at the cottage on a damp Saturday morning for an overnight visit and despite an incredibly wet start to the day, we carried on like
idiots in the rain troopers and had a great time, especially with a pair of Common Loons that blew us away by their unexpected close proximity, but more on them later...
The usual suspects were seen in the area after the torrential downpours, including an Eastern Kingbird:
This Song Sparrow was rejoicing in the dry conditions of the afternoon, as were we!
There was a new location in the Kawarthas that had some potential for moose (I'm still ticked off about seeing none at Algonquin!), so on our way there, we made a stop at the Timmie's in Bobcaygeon, which truly lived up to its reputation of being the slowest in the country, I swear.
How slow was it? It was soooo slow that this young guy in his twenties ahead of us in the drive-through looked like this by the time he finally made it through the line, argghhhh:
I know, I know, I'm totally going to hell, not that there was ever any doubt...
We dipped on the moose, but saw some spectacular scenery, while dodging voracious mosquitoes, black flies, and intense week-end warriors on ATV's, all to a backdrop of dueling banjos...
Sunday morning saw better weather conditions- well, not really, I'm lying. We got up incredibly early only to be greeted by dense fog, so we sat on the dock with our coffee and waited for it to clear so we could see something, anything! But it was worth the wait in the end as my pair of Common Loons were keeping to their morning schedule as they were spotted off the dock. What happened next meant deleting almost all of the photos that we had taken the day before. This beautiful pair's routine was to meander along the shoreline of our little bay, then make their way around to the back swamp, so sit back and enjoy their beauty!
This was one of the few photos that I kept from the day before, as the leg stretch was fun to watch, and its foot is shaped like a paddle!
Our constant challenge was to guess the location of where they'd resurface each time after diving, so can you imagine our surprise when one of them came up out of the water right in front of us! It was so close that we couldn't get all of it in the frame, and at times even sharp focusing was impossible. Boohoo, you say, right??? Ann and I somehow suffered through it:
The checkered markings on the back were incredible to see this close up, and the taupe-coloured down feathers were also a revelation to me, what a gorgeous bird!
Ann was reluctant to leave...
...but as the Loons moved off, so did we, and we hit the road again to see our first non-avian critter for the day:
The Eastern Kingbird and Song Sparrow from the day before were in exactly the same spot, so instead we enjoyed the local Osprey that were on their nests, as well as a silent Flycatcher seen in Dunsford. John advised me that it was either a Willow or Alder Flycatcher, certainly a tough call if they're not singing!
A new bird to the area this year for me is the Upland Sandpiper, and this particular one seemed to be yodeling and whistling at Ann and I each time it came it for a landing, it gave us great views as well as some flight shot opportunities:
So ended our week-end together as Ann headed back to the city with fond memories of those beautiful Loons, certainly the closest that I've ever been to one before, I shall never forget it!