Tuesday, July 27, 2010

one of these things is not like the others....(81)

I had read some reports about a Black-bellied whistling duck in Milford, and since were in PEC on vacation anyways (good timing huh?) I figured we might as well try and find it. Our first attempt on Monday morning was unsuccesful, but we tried again later on in the evening. There were a bunch of cows that had wandered off and I thought for sure our chances would be blown since I thought the cows would have scared it off. We didn't see it at first, but lo and behold, after a few moments, a bunch of ducks emerged from the reeds closest the road. And indeed, one had a bright orange bill.
This duck is totally out of its range (it's from pretty far south....i.e. Mexico and Florida...escaping the oil spill?), and it's a mystery as to how it got here. It was hanging out with a bunch of mallards. It was so strange to watch, as it seemed so intent on "fitting in" with the mallards--it followed them around, preened when they preened, ate when they ate. But it was quite clear the others were giving it a hard time and nipping at it once in a while!
I know I only post one photo per bird, but I figure this is a special case and other birders may be interested!

#81: Black-bellied whistling duck; July 26, 2010 (6:30 pm); Milford, Ontario

All preening.
Duck, duck, duck, cow.

Look close! I'm different. Even birds need to go on vacation once in awhile.

One of these things just isn't the same...

Mom trying to get special duck to bugger off. But it's persistent, and rejoined the group.
Can you say identity crisis?!
I'll be off in Algonquin for the next 5 days. Watch for updates when I get back!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

a quick trip to Shirley's Bay (78-80)

I'd read several reports that there were some Great Egrets at Shirley's Bay, and wasn't sure if I had missed them or not but I went over there to check it out after work. Ok, I have been on the dyke at DND before but today it was TEEMING with birds...in the bay, on the dyke and in the woods. I definitely wish I had more time, and it was also not the best time since the sun was setting across the bay so all the shorebirds were backlit. I'm definitely heading back sometime soon in the early morning.

First off, I found the egrets! There were 6 that I saw. One was quite close but I wasn't sneaky enough and scared it off to the other side of the bay where the rest of them were. No worries though! I hope I get to see them again, but hopefully closer.

#78: Great Egret; Shirley's Bay; July 21, 2010

I also caught a belted kingfisher, which I have been having a hard time getting goos shots off. The money shot is still out there, but this one will definitely do for now.

#79: Belted Kingfisher; Shirley's Bay; July 21, 2010

On the way out, this bird was singing so loud, and the song is SO familiar that you feel like an idiot not being able to name the bird.
#80 (aka eighty, eight-zero, 4/5, 80% there!!!): Wood Thrush; Shirley's Bay; July 21, 2010
(not too sure why this pic went all pixelly on me...I'll have to try and fix it...)

Ok, so there were SO many birds there that I think if I had stayed long enough I might have been able to come close to filling out my 100. But I will have to go back and hope it's as busy. There were lots and lots of shorebirds but my 300mm is just not going to cut it--most of the people I have seen there use spotting scopes, and the birds scare off so easily so you really can't get close.

**For anyone thinking of birding in this area, please remember to call the range control office (613-991-5740 ) to get permission to enter the dyke area! This will ensure that birders continue to have access. Plus, you don't want to get shot at, do you?

Monday, July 19, 2010

seventy-seven (77 ha!)

I found myself in the east end of lovely Ottawa again this weekend at Petrie Island. Wish I'd had more time there as it was bustling with birds, including this one, which was sneakily (and stubbornly) hiding behind this blade of grass but making an awful lot of noise for such a little dude. I was very excited to finally see "one of the ones with the tail way up!" Also, it is very interesting to know that the males makes about 10 nests in their breeding territory....or something like that.

#77: Marsh Wren; July 18, 2010; Causeway to Petrie Island

Sunday, July 4, 2010

where did the weekend go? sigh.... (#74-76)

A four-day weekend has just breezed right by and I'm really not looking forward to going in to work early tomorrow to go to French class!

I stuck around in Ottawa for Canada Day and didn't do too much special aside from some lovely outdoor yoga, a little of my fave new hobby (other than birdwatching) and hanging out with some friends.

We were supposed to be camping all weekeng in New York state but our plans got derailed and we had to drive to Toronto and back to visit Matt's aunt in the hospital. 9 hours of driving in one day...boo.

That left us with Saturday and Sunday so we ended up near Morrisburg/Ingleside at the Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary. We camped there for the night and did some birdwatching on Sunday morning before heading back to Ottawa. Identified about 25 different kinds of birds, including a few new ones.

I was very excited to see an American Redstart, but the picture is lousy...so will need to get that one again.

We went for a short hike the night we arrived and saw this little guy. I almost didn't take a picture thinking it was an Eastern Phoebe, but something seemed a little different. Glad I did because it turns out it is an Eastern Wood Pewee--a similar, but different bird!
#74: Eastern Wood-Pewee; Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary (Ingleside, Ont); July 3, 2010

Another new bird there was a Common Tern, which we watched fish for quite a while! There were a few of them hanging out at the causeway that links the sanctuary to the campground.
#75: Common Tern; Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary (Ingleside, Ont); July 3, 2010

Of course I have seen cormorants but this is the first time one posed nicely and close enough for me
#76: Double-Crested Cormorant; Upper Canada Bird Sanctuary (Ingleside, Ont); July 4, 2010

I got so close to one more, but couldn't figure this one out between Alder Flycatcher and Willow Flycatcher. I think it's an Alder, but that's ok!!

Matt also got this amazing shot of an Eastern Kingbirds with its babies. Awesome!!!

More than three quarters there!