Thursday, August 26, 2010

new backyard bird alert! 87!

I haven't been out birding for the past while, so it was much to my surprise that I looked out the window today, and saw, among a flurry of finches and chickadees and sparrows at the thistle feeder, some new yellow birds! If I hadn't looked closely, I could have easily missed them, but they are decidedly different than finches--all yellow with a little grey cap. I didn't actually see them on the feeder...they were hanging out in the lilac bush right beside it. Not sure if I missed them on the feeder or if the finches/chickadees were being big hogs as usual.

#86: Wilson's Warbler; My backyard in lovely Kanata!; August 26, 2010
I haven't seen this one around before so my guess is he's a traveller!

Now I have come to wonder about this egoistic Wilson dude. I mean, he must have named every bird he found after HIMSELF! So far, I have seen a Wilson's Warbler, a Wilson's Phalarope, and a Wilson's snipe. Anyways, maybe Wilson needs a little bit of who the heck was he?

Well, I did a little research to find out, so here is your history lesson for the day. Wilson (1766-1813) was born in Scotland where he was a poet and weaver. He moved to the U.S.A. and that is where he got the birding bug. He decided to make an illustrated set of books of the birds of North America, and this was what inspired Audubon. So now you know.

That little yellow finch feeder has been great. I got rid of the sunflower/regular mix one because the squirrels and chipmunks were devouring the stuff, so I got the thistle seed feeder. It took a while to get visitors, but there are tons now and they seem to empty it in 2-3 days (even though I never see I discovered today, they like to visit during business hours...oh the joy of working from home!). I may put the other one up again for the fall though, and see what I can get!

Now, this may rank as the worst photo on my blog. All I have is my point and shoot, and I just sort of realized that I might complain about my cheapie 70-300mm, but it's still infinitely better than my point and shoot! Just a few more days....unfortunately won't have my camera back to do any shooting on the weekend...again. I'm starting to panic I going to get to 100?? Anyways, I'm going to sit by the window watching the feeder to try and catch another one!

Well, that was a long entry for such a little picture!

Friday, August 20, 2010

had to share...

10 more days till my camera's back in my hot little hands...
for now, enjoy these incredible birds shots!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

birding break (#86)

Today I really wanted to get out and find a new bird before my birding hiatus...Matt is going on vacation for a few weeks and kidnapping my camera, so there won't be much to add here unless I can find some sort of decent alternative.

I had been out to Constance Bay once before without luck to see these birds, but after a bunch of reports I decided to try again. It didn't take long to find them; they were chattering away and easy to spot. At first I saw a juvenile, and then one that looked like an adult but with its head not quite fully red, and finally a full adult (it's totally backlit in the shot I got). Really cool birds. At one point there were 3 woodpeckers in one tree---two Redheads and one Hairy, and they seemed not too pleased to share. Interesting to watch!

#86: Red-headed woodpecker; August 11, 2010; Constance Bay (Old Burn site)

Since I'll be MIA for a bit, remember you can subscribe via Blogger or RSS feed to be updated when I'm back with new birdies! TTFN

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

PEC/Algonquin (82-85)

Sorry I've been away folks. Five days canoeing, and now the unfun stuff: lots of unpacking, photo editing, having to go to work, etc!

Aside from the famous duck in PEC, I also saw these guys, which are pretty common but new to me! I enjoyed watching their antics!

#82: House Wren; outside Consecon; July 27, 2010

I also saw a Black Tern at Sandbanks, but didn't manage to get a picture. Oh well!

After a few lovely days in PEC, we headed north to Algonquin Park. One of the best shots (ok, the best shot) I got was of a loon, but I'm torn over whether to post it's a long story. You may see it yet.
Anyways, here are the new birds I got while I was there!

#83: Brown Creeper; Campsite on White Trout Lake; July 30, 2010
I heard about these but could not for the life of me manage to spot one. There were 2 on the site, and the only reason I spotted is because I could hear this rustling on the tree. Very funny birds to watch.

#84: Herring Gull; Joe Lake; August 1, 2010
I guess these guys aren't in Ottawa yet. This was the nice thing about being in Algonquin: it's kind of a different zone so you get to see some different stuff! I'm sure he'll be in Ottawa but I'm still learning migration patterns/timing and all that jazz. He was s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g I guess (or he was about to fly off but decided I wasn't as intimidating as he thought)!

Also of interest.....ducks in a row.

While in the park, I saw other birds that could have made the list....sandhill cranes and ravens being a few, but I missed getting shots. Guess that just means I have to go back!
Saw this guy on the way out of the park. I can't for the life of me tell what it is. It was maybe a bit bigger than a kestrel. I'm thinking Merlin, but maybe a Peregrine? Any comments on this one would be appreciated. What it's eating is a dragonfly (should help not just with diet but also with scale!)!

A couple of readers have helped me identify this as a Merlin. Thanks!
#85: Merlin; Hwy 60, just outside of Algonquin Park (east); August 1, 2010

So now I have to figure out my plan for this weekend and decide on what I'll go out looking for. Thanks to those who have left me comments and given me tips on where to find some the birds. I do apreciate it!