great photos - now you just have to get its mate also
BIRDING WITH BIGFRANK 2007
Winking At You?
On Monday I heard from a buddy,that he saw 2 Screech Owls at Rosetta McClain Gardens on Sunday. With that,despite frigid cold temps of -16c and a windchill temperature of -25c,knowing we were to get a good bit of snow this evening and tomorrow,I set forth for my local haven. With Gunners description of the trees he had seen the owls,I knew exactly where to look. I quickly found one of his "droopy evergreens" with wash on it,and soon after spotted the male Eastern Screech Owl. He was awake and moving a little,but stayed in terrific position for some good photos.
By the time I left,with my ears and face really feeling the cold,Newfie(the owl) had moved in the tree so it was more sheltered and barely visible. Great to know both are around,even if I could only find one of them.
Lynty and I met this morning and went to Humber Bay Park. We had a good 3 hour walkabout. We saw both Mute and Trumpeter Swans,Canada Geese,Mallards,American Black Duck,Long-tailed Ducks,Gadwall,a couple of American Coots,Hooded/Common and Red-breasted Merganser,Bufflehead,Ruddy Duck and Common Goldeneye. A rather impressive sighting was a huge raft of ducks,predominently Greater Scaup,with a few Redheads mixed in. It comprised well over 1000 ducks. Our best waterfowl sighting of the day was a Horned Grebe. I got 2 lovely pictures of splashes as it dove under the water out of sight to feed haha. A Northern Shrike landed in a tree ahead of us,and we had good looks at it,observing it characteristically,bobbing its tail,before taking off again in search of food again.
It was a pretty cold day,though we found a few "sweet spots" out of the wind to take momentary refuge. The sprays from the waves made for alot of icy beauty on rocks and trees next to the lake.
When I got home my buddy Gunner called to let me know we were still on to go farther afield to see Short-eared Owls if we get a decent day for road travel,but also to let me know that on Sunday,he saw both the male and female Eastern Screech Owls at Rosetta McClain Gardens. Im happy to hear this,as its the first sighting of the pair,and a sign which gives me further hope they will nest again in the park. Later tonite,I will post my most recent photos to my webpage,as to make them small enough for the boma will take far too much away. http://members3.clubphoto.com/frank237849 . Enjoy!
NICE PHOTOS OF THE HAWKS BIG FRANK- IF YOU WERE TO SEE AND PHOTOGRAPH A WHITE CHEASTED NUTHATCH YOU WOULD HAVE 100 PEOPLE THIER- I BELIVE ONLY TWO CONFIRMED SIGHTINGS ON THE ISLAND IN LAST 10 YEARS
ohhh beautiful pictures there so clear
Today I met lynty and my "raptor mentor" Colin,to check on the Redtailed Hawks whose nest we watch all spring and summer. Often this time of year we find them rebuilding their old nest. There is a shot of the nest,so U can see with the new camera I will be right in it with them.
We found the female BIGRED sitting in a bare tree,paying special attention to a squirrel.Watching The Squirrel
She later flew around the area,disappearing from sight several times. We eventually found her in a pine tree catching sun,out of the wind. I also saw a pair of White-breasted Nuthatches,the one in the photo is a female.
Thanks BigFrank. I enjoyed your report tonight.. and the photos , all of things I have not seen, except for the kestrel ! Cant wait for the next report.
I went down to Humber Bay Park today,hoping to see many waterfowl species and anything else that was about. I wasnt disappointed,spotting a few Mute Swans and 2 Trumpeter Swans..one had a tag,this species was basically extinct in the province before a re-introduction program..the tagged one was likely part of it. I saw Common,Hooded and Red-breasted Merganser a male of that specie is below. The males were doing courtship displays throwing their heads bent back in what looks like a really awkward way.
I saw many Long-tailed Ducks,Lake Ontario is the winter home of over 300000 of them,visiting from the Arctic. The one below is a male I think that is inbetween its spring and winter plummage. Their call is like a yodel,and when large groups of hundreds or thousands call its wonderful!
Mallard Ducks squeaked and quacked,a few American Black Ducks were mixed in. Common winter visitors like Greater and Lesser Scaup,Gadwall,Common Goldeneye,Redheads and Bufflehead were all seen. More special sightings included 2 Ruddy Ducks,my first of season Ring-necked Duck and best of all a male Harlequin Duck. It was a real beauty,unfortunately it wasnt photogenic. I did see it beautifully though. Its a fairly rare sighting here,though this one has been around for awhile now.
Of course the raptor man couldnt go all day and not see a raptor. A resident American Kestrel sat atop a light pole and posed wonderfully for me. Ive never seen one with such a rusty chest. It is a male adult.
Today,friends Mike and Leslie came down hoping to see the Screech Owl..unfortunately we had some rain/snow the other day and I think the owl is in hiding till the sun comes out,so didnt see it. From there we went east of Toronto to Cranberry Marsh in Whitby. We had hoped to see a resident Barred Owl,but were informed we had missed it by about one hour grrrr. On arrival we did see my first of the year Roughlegged Hawk,juvenile. It was perched at first,then took flight. The colours as it flew above were beautiful. We later saw 2 adult Roughlegged Hawks circling together. They were great to watch. They overwinter in our area,from their Arctic homes so seeing them is a real treat.
We saw alot of the normal overwintering birds,such as Black-capped Chickadees,Slate-coloured(Northern)Juncos,Downy Woodpecker,Northern Cardinals,Blue Jays and many Tree Sparrows. At risk of life and limb,Mike reversed on the shoulder of a main road so we could have a look at about 50 Snow Buntings(also the first Ive seen this year).
In the end though not all we'd hoped to see,it was a nice time out with friends and we saw some pretty good birds too.
Thanks BigFrank , That is really interesting. I've never seen pellets or what they contain before. Now I'll be looking when I'm out and about. I enjoy your post here and your pics.