Tuesday, January 29, 2013

2013 season opener! (#232)

There's been quite a lot of excitement locally about the Great Grey Owls in the area, and I'll have a post on that too, but first, I have some other business to take care of. I'm finally getting to the LAST class in the photography certificate program. I had to chose 2-4 topics that I wanted to focus on...and what a task that was. The funny thing is, it took a long time for me to realize that "birds" was an obvious choice. In  my brain I somehow managed to separate these two hobbies, but I realized I'm out shooting birds all the time anyway--it's an obvious choice! So you'll probably see a slight increase in postings, because I'm expected to be fairly prolific. This will be an intense 4 months as attempt to scrape together a half a dozen *top-notch* shots every week...and not just of this subject, but my others as well.

We were headed to Kingston for my aunt's birthday which happened to coincide with an OFNC trip to Amherst. Unfortunately the trip was cancelled, but we went anyway since we were close by and it's definitely owl season...although we found none that day. We did visit the owl woods and ran into a large group there from the Willow Beach Field Naturalists (Port Hope area). Dad came in tow--I love that his favourite part of the whole thing is feeding the chickadees.
dad and two friends
I did notice some rather striking ducks in the rough waters as we crossed on the ferry. They would take off before we could get even remotely close but in zooming in to review the shots I could ID them. I'll admit I had to pull out the guide (I'm a little rusty these days). I discovered it was a long-tailed duck (notice cute spot on cheek). Unfortunately these ones don't have the long-tails (First winter?)

And then it took me about a week to think to myself...what second...that was a lifer! Which is a good thing, because Matt made the absurd resolution to see 50 new life birds this year...so....one down...

#232: Long-tailed duck; Amherst Island

There were lots of other ducks around the island, and we spotted a Northern Shrike, but aside from that, it was a pretty quiet day (we were actually only there for a few hours).

On the local scene, I checked the Hilda Road feeders a few times this weekend and the Duck Club feeders on March Valley Road a few times too.
Lots of turkeys around! Not the prettiest of birds but when their feathers shimmer in the light it's quite nice.
At Hilda there is an abundance of redpolls, chickadees, American Tree Sparrows, a snowshoe hare, nuthatches, woodpeckers (Hairy/Downy). A brown creeper had been seen but we missed it. There were quite a few people and its nice to talk to the local photographers/birders.
Furry visitor to the feeders!

At the Duck Club feeders, we saw Pine Grosbeaks  two Pileated woodpeckers and rest the same as at Hilda. Pine Grosbeaks were a nice treat--my first time seeing them in Ottawa.
OK, what you are waiting for...Great Grey posts coming up next!

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