Monday, May 21, 2012

Back to an Old Spot

Over lunch earlier last week, I headed over to an Osprey nest that I drive by on the way to and from work every day (bottom of Hwy 6 and Hwy 403 in a cell tower by a Motel).  I think I see at least one of the Ospreys on every trip as I head to the office or home.  But this time they were either sitting on the nest, or out hunting for food and I saw nothing.  Of course, as I drove home I saw one sitting on one of the antennae again.  I'm hoping later on, if their eggs hatch, I can get some flight shots as they come back with caught fish.  

While there, I heard, and then sighted this pretty little Yellow Warbler.  They are a bit special for me as it was the first "non-backyard" bird that I found on my own as I started out on this adventure. 

Yellow Warbler

Instead, I headed down to an old favourite spot - Valley Inn and there was quite a bit of activity.  Terns, the compulsory Canadian Geese and Mallard Ducks, a Trumpeter Swanbut and there were a couple Great Blue Herons, and a Great Egret there.

Great Blue Heron and Great Egret

Great Blue Heron fishing

Great Blue Heron

I walked out onto one of the man made dividers which the RBG staff make out of the Christmas trees discarded every year after they have assisted with the seasonal festivities.  This one has become quite solid and gave some interesting views.  This Red-winged Blackbird wasn't so sure what to think as I don't know that too many people venture onto this location. It seemed paralyzed from getting out of its awkward position.

Red-winged Blackbird

I purchased Sibley Bird guide for my phone, and a small powered speaker to play bird calls.  There is a lot of care needed to be taken with this setup - it can get people quite upset if you use this to attract birds, and is illegal in many parks.  One thing I noticed recently at another location, is that some people are very use this method without asking those close by first.  It can get quite annoying too if used repeatedly.  I thought I recognized the characteristic Oriole sound, and tried out the setup.  Sure enough, coming to explore the potential intruder was a Baltimore Oriole.  It works, though aside from territorial defense, most birds are paired up and aren't going to come quite as quickly to investigate I don't think.

Baltimore Oriole
I'm actually getting quite behind on the blog posts.  Today we substantially finished with some landscaping work around the house.  That has taken a number of evenings and the weekend.  I hope to catch up at some point. Though I guess it's a good problem to be getting good shots that I want to share but can't seem to get to.

Hope you all enjoyed the great weather during this Long Weekend!


  1. Your reference to the phone app with birds brings me back to when I was maybe 12-13 years old, living in Rexdale. Equipment: several extension cords, our portable Silvertone record player on the picnic table, and the record booklet from the National Geographic book Song and Garden Birds. The booklet had transparent 45 rpm records alternating with legend pages which had arrows to show where to drop the needle for a given bird song. Up in a row of Lombardy poplars was my target... a Baltimore Oriole, which I read were highly territorial. Don't know how long I was out there or how many 'cycles' the Oriole and I went through: play the record track, duck behind the table, Oriole dive-bomb attacks the record player and flutters in confusion back to the poplar or up to the TV antenna mast on our house rooftop, re-place the player needle on the record. Did a repeat performance a few days later to great amusement of our family. Boys and their torturous amusements!

  2. The Red-winged Blackbird pose is hilarious!! I love seeing birds doing things you don`t normally see them do :)


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