Tuesday, November 13, 2012

On the Way to a Meeting

About two weeks ago, I took my lunch hour very late in the day, adding it to a trip I had to make to City Hall in Burlington for a project meeting.  I first made a quick stop at Valley Inn Road.  There weren't a lot of birds, but the welcome sunshine and balmy temperature made a quick stop there enjoyable.  A new bird (life bird #102) made the stop very worthwhile.

A Golden-crowned Kinglet was meandering its way through the wildflower greenery that bordered a walking path.  It was very comfortable with me being quite close, meaning a number of almost full frame shots.  At that range though, it was hard to stay ahead the little bird and I struggled to get more than just rear end shots.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

More rear views.
Golden-crowned Kinglet foraging through the wildflowers

Golden-crowned Kinglet eating wildflower seeds.

Golden-crowned Kinglet eating a fly.
A few other birds were there as well, my first Hooded Mergansers of the fall mixed in with the usual Mallards and gulls. A Black-capped Chickadee landed close in front of me to pull a few seeds from the goldenrod which were changing from their summer, bright yellow to fall, soft white.

Mallard Duck in flight.

Black-capped Chickadee feeding on Goldenrod seeds.

A lone Double-crested Cormorant was sunning on the shore one of the Valley Inn Road ponds, and with a  closer look, I noticed that sadly, it had a deformed wing.  Unless it's a mild winter, I'm not sure it will survive.

Double-crested Cormorant with deformed wing.

After my meeting, I headed to LaSalle Park in Burlington with the remainder of my "lunch hour" time.  To be clear, regularly my lunch hours often disappear into work hours at the office.  So I'm not advocating shifty use of my work day hours at the expense of my employer!

View from LaSalle Park across Hamilton Harbour looking
at the Industrial shore of Hamilton.

There were lots of Mallard Ducks, and a gather of Swans.  People regularly feed the waterfowl there by the bucket full.

Mallard Duck drake.

Mallard Duck

There is a small tail there which starts from the parking lot and splits to a short boardwalk through the forest or heads along the shore of the harbour.  With the sun out after a number of gloomy days, the birds were active.  A few Downy Woodpeckers were drumming the trees.

Downy Woodpecker

There were also a number of Golden-crowned Kinglets flitting about through the trees.  Their movement is similar to Chickadees, though their foraging calls are a softened, higher pitched peeping call, almost monotone.  They will often hover trying to pick off bugs that are at the end of leaves or that have tried to escape the little birds.  Similar to Chickadees, these birds are constantly moving.  With a straight on view, they have a comical looking face as thy have two dark lines that trail down from their beaks.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

I met another photographer gentleman (Rey, please email me if you read this) there and talked for a while.  During our chat, I first thought I was being distracted by a nuthatch.  But it was well camouflaged to the tree, and was going up, not down as is typical of the former.  It was quite far up in a huge, beautiful, old Oak tree.  The best picture I could capture was the one below.  Upon looking at a zoomed in few on my camera screen, and checking my Sibley's app on my phone, realized it was a Brown Creeper.  I've never even seen or heard of this bird before so it was kind of an exciting moment.  (Life bird #102)  The shot below is heavily cropped with lots of sharpening!

Brown Creeper
(in this picture, actually moving down the
tree rather than its characteristic movement up)

On my wayback, I chased a small flock of Dark-eyed Juncos that have moved into the area for the winter. Along with them was one lone White-throated Sparrow which was life bird #103 for me.  Not sure why, but I had never seen one of these before till now.  The light was really getting low and I was badly in need of heading home for the night.

White-throated Sparrow with
Dark-eyed Juncos (male (right) and female (left))

So, I was thankful to be able to combine being outside on a beautiful day with a work errand, and got three new life birds to boot!

Late afternoon sun shining through fall
colours of Oak Trees at LaSalle Park

1 comment:

  1. What a great day! Congrats on the life birds! I think you got some great shots of the Golden-crowned Kinglet and the Mallard Drake shot is fantastic! Nice addition to a work day :)


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