...but am trying to get caught up with my blog as best I can!
Needless to say, most of my subject matter for August was the two Osprey babies, but Mother Nature gave us a stunning sunrise on Tuesday, August 9th:
Another morning visit to the Osprey nest had the fledged baby incredibly active, making at least seven take-off's and landings during the few hours I was there:
Its territory had expanded in the past few days, but it always eventually returned to the nest where its younger sibling observed its antics, I cannot imagine what was going through their minds!
And off it goes again:
...with another decent landing:
Taking a breather to check me out in my car again:
A beautiful take-off from one of its newly-discovered landing, or should I say launching pads??!!
A direct flight path over my head:
But my return to the city beckoned, so on my way out of the area, I heard a Pileated Woodpecker doing its jungle cries across the road, and was able to find it on a tree:
Then before I knew what had happened, it flew across the road right into the small woodlot where I was parked, and by following its hammering, I found myself standing right underneath it, a female:
By coincidence, as I'm sitting here at the cottage writing this post, one of our resident Pileated Woodpeckers is calling out, so if it comes in closer to me, I may just have to delay publishing the post!
After a day back in the city for my volunteer shift at the Toronto Wildlife Centre, on Thursday I made a few stops at the nest to see if the younger baby had fledged yet, but no such luck yet. There was no activity in the morning, so I returned to the cottage to see what was in my own backyard, adding this first winter Bonaparte's Gull to my cottage list:
Are you all not thoroughly impressed that I even took the time to look at a gull??? Maybe there's hope for me yet, right, Master John?? not a chance, hah!
The brisk and noisy winds off the Point allowed me to sneak up under an adult Osprey in a pine tree for an unusual view of it from below, with minimal cropping. Just look at those talons, can you imagine the horror of them coming for you??!
But later in the afternoon, off I went back to the nest (I have no life) to take advantage of the lighting, and to my surprise, the fledged baby was perched on this dead tree opposite where I had camped out in the car:
Dad made another one of his in-and-out food drops while mom looked on from the sidelines:
But the fledged baby remained on its perch, desperately hanging on for dear life in the high winds:
What a beautiful baby with gorgeous fresh feathers!
It finally succumbed to the winds and took to the air again, I just love this bird!
The next morning saw me back in the same area again, and contrary to popular belief, I did NOT sleep in the car that night, ok??? Taking a break from the Osprey nest- wait, what was that, a collective SIGH from all of you readers out there??? I turned my camera lens to this female Belted Kingfisher as she basked in the morning sunshine:
Suddenly a I heard a huge "kerplunk" in the water and quickly looked over to see this, an adult Osprey! Not the best picture, but it succeeded in catching a fish:
When they're fishing, their flight pattern is different, as the head is looking straight down into the water and they begin to hover...
...then BAM, down they go, feet first with talons extended...
...submerging themselves in the water, it's an amazing technique to watch:
This time it came up empty-handed- or should I say empty-taloned? This is my next photography challenge, although it's now quite late in the season for me to practise fishing shots...
The Halloween Pennants were in their usual spots that day, the female:
...and the male:
At Golden Hour, the
wuss he-who-has-not-fledged baby Osprey was still in the nest:
The sunrise on Saturday, August 13 was one of most beautiful in weeks!
...and it seemed that this day was going to have a golden theme, as my paddling and biking buddy Laura invited me over to photograph this unusual Orb-weaver spider that she had found in their garden. Master John tells me it's a Black and Gold Argiope. The white, wispy things above and below the spider are part of its sticky web used to trap its prey. If you double-click on this image, you'll see that the spider is indeed feasting on something:
A perfect, golden sunset wrapped up the day:
So that's another week wrapped up for the blog, I only have another three weeks to go :-(