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

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Misty Ramblings in the Kawarthas

Yesterday morning's foggy forecast prompted me to set an early alarm for a good start to the day:

As I set off with Tessa, within minutes I spotted a Turkey Vulture that had flown to a dead snag, after being disturbed from its morning meal of highway roadkill:

I often don't over- plan my travels but only knew my focus was misty landscapes before the fog burned off, yet birds continued to distract me, including a slam-on-the-brakes-as-that-was-something-different   Black-billed Cuckoo on a wire:

It didn't stay there for long as a second one flew up from the grass below, but I was pleased to discover another location for them close to the cottage. Last year was the first time I finally got excellent views of at least one in different area ten minutes from the cottage, as I did a quick u-turn when unexpectedly spotting this one:

A week later last year, this one was seen further along the same road, which I've already been checking, my fingers are crossed they'll be back:

Continuing on, one of the local Osprey was close to its nest where its mate was resting:

A Northern Waterthrush refused to give me a clear shot of its eye, grrrr:

I finally switched over to landscape mode at some of my favorite marshes in the Kawarthas:

My favorite took-my-breath away-when-I-arrived non-critter image from the day:

An inquisitive Red-eyed Vireo ventured out of the woods, I love these sweeties:

My morning chuckle for the day was this road sign that was applicable for any number of roads:

Yet again I found myself drawn to one of my preferred dumps where several distant Turkey Vultures were roosting, but this closer one exchanged great looks with me, not that I was all that comfortable being at the receiving end of its, well, you know...

Continuing north and east, the fog was pretty much gone now damn distracting birds! :

Stopping for coffee, I was horrified to see that something odd had happened to Tessa!

I had converted my travels over to Moose mode now, having learned of a few remote locations where there had been recent sightings. Although I dipped on that, I was thrilled to see quite a few Snowshoe Hares along the way: 

I arrived at my final marsh for the morning and was innocently lured out of the car by singing White-throated Sparrows. When I say "innocently", this was due to the assorted insect population that voraciously greeted me by taking chunks out of me through my bug jacket, enough already!!

Suddenly I heard a soft rustling behind me and slowly turning around, I was shocked to discover a grazing Snowshoe Hare! It was so close to me I had to back up away from it so my lens could focus, but before that happened, it actually stood up on its hind legs to look at me:  

Its fur was damp from the morning dew:

Sadly, I never got views of its large hind feet before it disappeared into the long grass, but this view of those deliciously rich brown eyes made up for it: 

It was now time to return back to the cottage as inclement weather was on its way, but not before doing a sweep past one of my scrubby roads where I heard and eventually saw this Grasshopper Sparrow: 

This is an area similar in feel to Carden, so each year I hope for signs of Loggerhead Shrike, but so far no luck. But it's still a great area where my sightings have also included Eastern Meadowlarks, Bobolinks, Song and Field Sparrows, Wilson's Snipe, Brown Thrashers, Merlin, assorted warblers, Coyotes, and White-tailed Deer, not bad for a stretch of road not more than a kilometre long!

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