Monday, June 6, 2011

buntings abound (#147)

I went to Kingston on the weekend for a wedding on Saturday. I was hoping to hit the island in the morning, but didn't end up having time.

We did have time, though, on the way back to Ottawa to wind our way via Opinicon Road and Chaffey's Lock. This area is known to have golden- and blue-winged warblers, yellow- and black-billed cuckoos, and indigo buntings. Well, I got one of my target birds!

I've been dying to see an indigo bunting, and there were more there than I could shake a stick at. Unfortunately, none wanted to get too close, so it was hard getting a good shot. They were much smaller than I thought they would be! Of all the birds there, they seemed to be the most vocal. Otherwise there were quite a few other great birds that we saw (though none of the other four targets), and by afternoon it got really hot and things started to quite down, so we moved on towards home.

#147: Indigo bunting; Opinicon Road; June 5, 2011
So I just got to tick another bird off my "birds I'm dying to see list." Only it's a bittersweet lifer because I just didn't get the look I was hoping for.
The Queen's University Biological Station is in the area. You can't access it without permission, but you can easily call to get permission. I hadn't called, but next time I will, once I saw the interesting stuff that they were working on.
Nesting boxes on Queen's property. There were some people going around and checking on them.
While driving along the road, we saw someone crouching in the woods and we asked what was up. Matt noticed that there was a bag hanging from a tree with something moving in it. I was a little horrified. So it turns out it was a Queen's student doing a PhD on redstart migration. And the birds were for release, not some bizarre collection. Sigh of relief!
I wish I'd had some more time. I really like the area and think I could easily spend a weekend camping, birding, hiking/biking on the Rideau Trail, geocaching, paddling the many many lakes and waterways, eating ice cream in Westport. Maybe later on in the summer!

How can you not love it here?

4 comments:

dwaynejava said...

Jenna, Congrats on the Indigo Bunting! I've read about Opinicon Road ... I heard that Cerulean Warblers bred there as well. The photos of the local geography are excellent!

deepdowndawn said...

Oh yes, ceruleans too! Didn't see any...I'll be trying again though!

Funkysandman said...

I'd love to get a nice shot of an Indigo bunting too or at least see one.

..ten turtles tanning?

last picture,wow-looks beautiful there

Stuart Immonen said...

I'll echo congratulatory comments on the Indigos-- I tend to find them perched far too high to photograph at all, so I consider these quite good. Looks like a lovely spot.