Monday, June 28, 2010

#73: Pied-billed awesomeness

I'd been wanting to go to Orleans for a while now to find the Pied-Billed Grebes that nest there. First of all, I'm so jealous that they aren't out in the west end. Second of all....I freaking love these birds. But they were skittish so it was really hard to get close enough for decent shots.

The babies look nothing like the parents. They look like little tigers! I wish I had seen them when they were even smaller. There were two families that I saw in the pond.

#73: Pied-billed Grebe; Orleans (Aquaview), June 28, 2010

Mom feeding one of the babies.....ahhhhh!

After that, we went to Mer Bleue, first to look for birds, but instead decided to try geocaching and found one! Turns out it's an activity that I can pair up quite nicely with birdwatching. Sweet!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

new la la la la! 2 for 1 special: Great Crested Flycatchers (#72)

#72: Great Crested Flycatcher; Mud Lake; June 27, 2010
I had seen a Great Crested Flycatcher at Mud Lake before but the picture was truly terrible. I'm so glad I FINALLY saw another...actually saw two! I couldn't manage to get both of them in one frame despite them being so close together since there were a bunch of trees in the way. It was quite strange: They did not fly off or make any noises, just patiently posed for about 5 minutes while I stood there!

Also of note today, a couple of Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers were were making quite a ruckus in the park, but posed nicely together for me.

And a juvenile American Robin, with a very spotty breast!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


#71: Chipping Sparrow; June 26, 2010; Cattail Creek Park
Found this pair nice and close to home. They definitely do "chip."
Today is the first day I saw cedar waxwings from my window. So exciting! I think they might have been babies.
I have a little more time to do some birding now that my photo class is done and dragonboating is sort of on pause. I was hoping to check out Mer Bleue and the east end lagoons but I'm car-less this weekend, so I'm stuck with bike/rack n roll. Hopefully I'll have something to add tomorrow!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

#70 - mmmmmbugs!

I went to an OFNC outing on Sunday morning at Jack Pine trail. I learned lots of songs and calls, and we heard quite a few birds that aren't on my list, but we didn't see them. Also lots of pretty dragonflies, which is a new thing for me, and a snapping turtle laying eggs, which I got video of! I may post it in the near future if I can find 5 minutes of time somewhere.
#70: June 13, 2010; Common Yellowthroat; Jack Pine Trail.
Another silly name for a bird: clearly this one should have been called "Yellow-bellied Bandit."
I find it a little nuts that this is the "common" yellowthroat. How is it possible that a "common" bird is entirely new to me? Am I really that ignorant?
I'm at a sort of scary part of my challenge. There are few birds left I can think of ever having seen before that aren't on my list, and I have most of what I consider "the easy ones" out of the way. That means that the next 30 are going to be a lot harder to see and, for the most part, new to me. I still have a few in mind that should be around and that I have an idea of where to find, so that should get me a little closer to 100.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


#67: Great Blue Heron; June 5, 2010; near Godfrey, ON
Finally got a GBH to pose for me for a few seconds! I had seen another one earlier in the day with an injured wing. It's wing was just hanging down very awkwardly :( 68: Wilson's Snipe; June 5, 2010; Hwy 10
So apparently the common snipe and the Wilson's snipe basically look the same, but one has a couple extra tail feathers and stripes on its underwing. They used to be classified as the same bird. I'm 90% sure this is a Wilson's, since I guess the common snipe is not in this region. I hope I'm right.
#69: Common Loon; June 5, 2010; 13 Island Lake, Ont
A little Canadiana here. I know this is a lame shot...bad light (light was fading fast...what could I do?), chromatic aberration, etc....and I'm sure I'll get way better shots of loons when I go to Algonquin this summer, but I'm antsy. Plus by that time, the babies are going to be much bigger and I love that they are riding on the parent's back in this adorable is that? I never really looked at loons this closely before (and didn't realize they are so big?!)