Tuesday, April 26, 2011

island adventures ii (134-136) long weekend

If you missed the first half of this post about my day on the island, start there!

You can usually get some good looks at ducks on the south shore, sometimes nice and close. There were lots farther out, but looking at things so far away is just not very satisfying to me. So I focused on the nearer familiar ones. 

A red-breasted merganser was splish splashing everywhere...having a bath! I love that my dad calls them "mergies."

These bufflehead were really close to shore! Look at the flies though...

As usual for this time of year, there were tons of tree swallows along the edge of the KFN property.
Three amigos.
 I made a gif! lol

We tried getting down to the water but didn't realize you can't from the northern entrance. So we didn't really see much else around KFN, except another osprey nesting, sparrows, and a couple of snipe-type things doing the mating thing! (woo woo woo woo woo). I didn't feel like going all the way back around (you know Jenna's getting tired out when she says "I don't care.") to look for shorebirds.

On Friday, Mud Lake had been swarming with people with the day off. It was at this point that I realized NOBODY else was around on this "holiday" and I thought this a little strange. I had a moment of "am I supposed to be at work today???" My boss has a penchant for April Fool's jokes and missed me this year...I was wondering if she was getting me after all, with "April Fool's, I got you on a day other than April Fools" because she had emphasized that I had today off. Well, I quickly logged into my work email and was very releived that none of my colleagues or my manager had sent me an email saying, "where are you?...."

Around the bend on the north shore were a couple of mute swans and a brown thrasher making a racket on top of a tree until a red-winged blackbird de-throned him. No indication of this flock of Bonaparte's I heard about..somehow I missed that entirely.

Ok wait, I just realized...I could swear I'd seen Brown Thrasher...I recognized its sound immediately so surely I must have...but it isn't on my list...so.....you know what!

#134: Brown Thrasher; Amherst Island; April 25, 2011

Speaking of, I'm just awful at identifying birds by their calls. It's one of those things I keep saying I'm going to do...but never do. I don't know how I'm going to motivate myself. I don't know, I'm thinking every time I get a life bird I should make a point of remembering its call? Like when you're learning French and they tell you to learn the gender when you learn the noun? Ya...I never did that anyway. Plus then you only recognize what you've seen and not what you COULD be seeing...

Back towards dad's to drop him off and we saw a partially leucistic robin on someone's lawn.

Also saw some yellowlegs along the main road before the church. There were 3, one doing the bobbing thing. I've kind of agonized over these but am quite sure at least one of them (especially this first one) is a greater yellowlegs: bill-to-head ration, upturn of bill, heavy bars on flanks, "adam's apple." Although I do wish something else was around for scale...

#135: Greater Yellowlegs; Amherst Island; April 25, 2011

On the way out, saw 2 belted kingfishers really close up and posing nicely.....argh...but the race for the 3:00 boat was pretty tight, so we couldn't stick around to try and catch them!

At the ferry slip, i saw this swallow that looked a little different than the others on the island. All day I had been looking for one that could be a swallow other than tree or barn...and there he was, giving me a nice farewell from the island. I thought it would be harder to tell, but the "duskiness" and the grey wash on the throat was unmistakable. Well, how about one more lifer to round out the day!

#136: Northern Rough-Winged Swallow; Amherst Island, April 25, 2011

I've been eagerly compiling a 2011 list, and I'm going to blast my 2010 list to smithereens at the rate I'm going!

Well this is the time I would like to thank you for your patience if you are still reading this very long couple of posts. As spring is arriving, it's getting exciting!

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