Many consider Labour Day to be the unofficial end of summer, so perhaps it's time for a recap of assorted sightings and encounters over the past few weeks back in Ontario, all within driving distance from the cottage.
I managed a golden Kawarthan sunrise ahead of a quick trip to Algonquin on what was to be a damp day:
Within a minute of entering Algonquin, I had an exciting view of a beautiful Moose:
It gave me curious looks...
...but not for very long:
It silently moved back into the bush:
By the time I reached Opeongo Road it was raining, but even in inclement weather it was still a joy to be there:
The next day, several hours were spent in the field closer to the cottage when I shared my stomping grounds
(and my questionable driving habits whenever we spotted some movement) with a visiting photographer friend. Fortunately we had some very cool sightings, starting with a pair of young Eastern Bluebirds in a new location for me:
We were able to find other species along the way, including a Blackburnian Warbler:
A single Rose-breasted Grosbeak was seen in a shrub, mixed in with Eastern Kingbirds:
A Canada Warbler was a welcome addition to my Year List:
A young and very vocal Broad-winged Hawk was a Lifer for David, first seen flying low across the road in front of us. Thank goodness it landed in a tree for better views, where its begging calls went unanswered:
My favorite moment of the morning was unexpectedly stumbling upon three frolicking Otters at the water's edge of a marsh I frequent. If you click on this first photo to enlarge it, two of them are wrestling and even some teeth are visible:
A playful trio:
On our way back to the cottage we spotted an Osprey on the wing, and I only took this photo as it was missing a primary feather. It wasn't until a few days later that I discovered in fact it was banded! Click to enlarge for better views.
Ahead of meeting up with Master John the next day at the local lagoons, a pretty Swamp Sparrow
that I had hoped was a Lincoln's was intrigued by the camera clicks:
A Common Yellowthroat perhaps contemplated breaking out of the lagoons...
...while a leucistic Common Yellowthroat was later found:
Any Monarch sighting this year is one to treasure...
...as is a sunset like this from the dock that evening:
And so it begins, those mystical, late summer sunrises with just a trace of mist on the water:
A drive-by shooting of the Osprey twins:
A dramatic view of the north at sunset was unusual...
...as it also was in the east:
Last Monday's weather forecast showed promise for a misty sunrise so off I went, after sweet looks from the dock:
Once on the road to my usual haunts...
...I turned around to look the other way for a display of pale pinks:
The two Loon babies were seen against a pastel mix of grays and pinks:
A misty view of a "floating" island:
A Gull had taken over one of the Osprey perches:
Perhaps my new favorite spot for a sunrise is a park that I admit to overlooking for photography, until now, that is:
Sweet morning light! I can't wait to see how this area looks in a few weeks' time as summer transitions into autumn:
Fifteen minutes outside of town, though, there was already a splash of red and orange:
I now found myself in Haliburton County, though, and was pleased to see some bird action in the trees as the day was warming up, including a Black-throated Green Warbler:
A Black-and-white Warbler:
A young Yellow-bellied Sapsucker:
An American Redstart:
Suddenly from behind I heard a piercing "peweeeeeeeee", and turned around to see this:
This was the first of five Broad-winged Hawks I'd see that morning, but by far this was the most memorable encounter:
The Broad-winged Hawk is the smallest of Ontario's buteos, about the size of a crow:
Before I knew it, the young hawk flew over to this broken tree and continued to call:
A very fluffy Broad-winged Hawk:
It continued with its shrill calling and begging...
...and eventually flew off, giving me great looks at its markings. The underside of the tail was creamy with brown bands, with a wider and darker band at the tip:
Their remarkable migration is imminent, if not already underway, peaking around the middle of September when literally thousands of them can be seen moving through on a good day. I saw another pair on the same road later that morning, along with a second pair half an hour's drive away, but by far this was my most memorable encounter.
My final warbler for the day was a challenge to identify, but with thanks, yet again, to Justin, I figured it out. Any takers??
My camera always accompanies me, even during a day of errands in town, as I never know what I'll see.
Like a goofy Mallard:
...or a damp Osprey parent that stares at me:
Friday's misty sunrise from the dock inspired me to head out again for landscape photography:
The colour countdown is now on as I'll continue to return to this favorite spot in the coming weeks for its autumn peak:
It was beginning to get a bit birdy in the area, a young Blue-headed Vireo was seen:
Black-and-white Warblers, as well as a Chestnut-sided Warbler were in the fray:
Another Broad-winged Hawk
TRASH BIRD? was perched in a dead tree:
A Red-eyed Vireo was across the road from the hawk:
The mist had burned off the water by the time I arrived at my next marsh:
Then it happened.
Haul out the field guides for the tougher ones.
Tennessee Warbler (Lifer, nay) Philadelphia Vireo (Year Bird, yay!):
Black-throated Green Warbler:
Bay-breasted Warbler (Year Bird, yay!):
My final stop was at the marsh where the playful Otters had been. Sadly there was no sign of them, but a curious Swamp Sparrow posed for me:
The first shorebirds for this location had arrived, a pair of Solitary Sandpipers:
August was almost over and it was now Labour Day week-end:
I found myself on yet another new back road with a marsh in Haliburton County, and came across a birdy section thanks to chatty Black-capped Chickadees, that included a few Red-eyed Vireos:
It had been a few months since my last look at a Yellow-rumped Warbler, but they were back again:
Confession: I've been a delinquent macro photographer, but do have a few interesting creepy crawlers recently seen at the cottage, including a Hickory Tussock Moth caterpillar that Master John identified for me, thanks, John:
This spider is quite pretty in its own way, I could see how it could disappear with its neutral colours:
As for this furry snooty, it belongs to Tessa, my birding dog who tolerates my frequent stops on back roads for no apparent reason:
So ends my late summer recap, except, of course, an update on the Common Loon family, which will be done under separate cover. And perhaps even a shorebird recap of the past few weeks, who knows!