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

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tracking the Tundras

The annual spring migration of Tundra Swans through Southern Ontario was underway this week, so it was time for me to return to the Long Point area along Lake Erie. 

But it wasn't only for the swans. This was my first of a few Bald Eagles seen that day: 

I later stumbled upon a very distant Bald Eagle nest with a parent on it! 

A red morph Eastern Screech-owl was snoozing in the sun:

Something dark on the ice caught my eye: a coyote was testing his math skills by demonstrating that the shortest distance between two points was a straight line. 

He must have heard me on the pier as he stopped and looked right at me!

A mink quickly and silently crawled beneath a boathouse: 

A lot of Turkey Vultures were on the move, but several were also seen resting during their long journey back to the north (I wonder if any of these sweeties will end up by the cottage again this year!!):

Open water was still at a premium which meant waterfowl concentrations were good. Tundra Swans were in the background, with dozens of Redheads and Canvasbacks in the foreground:

Sandhill Cranes were both seen and heard from a distance, but watching Redheads in flight (thanks to a Bald Eagle!) was a treat:

What a sight to see so many elegant Canvasbacks: 

Their beautiful profile was unmistakable, the female is in front of the male:

Even in flight they were gorgeous! 

But the stars of the day were the Tundra Swans, hundreds if not thousands of them were out on the water...

...and on the wing:

Birders always know it's spring when Tundra Swans reliably move through this part of the province from their wintering grounds on the Atlantic coast as they return to their arctic breeding grounds. The timing can vary a bit depending upon the weather but once they begin to arrive in good numbers it's time to make the long drive to see and hear them before they continue on with their journey.

Most of them remained on the water that day, although I was able to find a few hundred in the fields. 

But it didn't matter as their mellow bugle calls filled the air with music: 


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