Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snowboarding Crow!

I saw this on another bird blogger's site and had to share it.  Hilarious!
Amazing as it is to figure out how to repeat it, I wonder how it discovered this for the first time!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Left Overs

Well, I don't think it's going to my 8 year old son Andrew's head, but the "guest appearance" post of his pictures had more hits than any of mine. :)  He was quite pleased with the post and Facebook comments and emails he got.  I'm happy for him.  He got that sheepish, shy, trying to hold it back grin some will know of him.

I have a few pictures left over from after my previous CBC count post which I never put on the blog yet.

The first and only bird we saw of the elusive, late staying warblers was the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.  As you can tell from this picture, this little bird does not stay still.  Here it is just about to drop off to somewhere below.  I had to check once to see that the picture editing software hadn't missed a picture rotation, but it hadn't.

Blue-gray Gnatcather
 This is the closest I've gotten to these cute little ducks.  I finally had some nice lighting and was able to capture some of the iridescence of the feathers on it's head.

Male Bufflehead

Common (to us) but still beautiful Male Mallard.

I really don't know what this female Red-breasted Merganser was going to do with, what I think is a perch.  It was struggling with it for a while.  Between constantly re-arranging it in it's bill, and repeatedly losing its grip only to recapture it after a short chase, we had to give up on seeing the meal go down and moved on.

female Red-breasted Merganser with fish.

On our way home we quickly stopped along York Road as we saw a Bald Eagle in the sky slowly circling over towards us from the north.  It was very high up, and this is more of a "wishing shot" (you know... taking the picture knowing it's really too far away, but taking it anyways) than of any pleasure to you or me after the fact.  This is even a cropped picture.

Bald Eagle

Not much has happened since my post on the Orange-crowned Warbler as I haven't been able to get out.  Work has been very busy so no lunch outings, and the home front is VERY busy as Holly is expecting our 5th and suffers morning, afternoon, evening, and night-sickness for all of her pregnancies.  Things do approach a manageable level towards the due date, but for now she's not capable of much else than overcoming the impulse to deliver (her stomach contents, not the baby) to the sink her latest attempt to keep food down.  We'll just say that both her and I are both eagerly awaiting Aug 10 (or earlier would be fine if that's in the Lord's plans!)

We'll see how long it is till the next post.  Till then, don't hold your breath. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guest Appearance by Andrew

As mentioned in a previous post, Andrew and I stopped off at Bayfront Park after the Christmas Bird Count to see if the highly followed warblers were still there and for him to see some of the many waterfowl still enjoying the warmer, ice free waters of Hamilton Harbour.  The waterfowl didn't dissapoint.

UPDATE: I should add that Andrew is 8 years old. :)

Male Mallard Duck

Female Bufflehead

A juvenile Common Loon?

Mute Swan

female Red-breasted Merganser with catch.
(be sure to click on this shot to view larger)

We were not able to find the Black-throated Gray Warbler (I have popped in there a couple times and have never seen it), but did get to see the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.  Andrew got a better shot than I have of any time I've been there I think.  You be the judge and let him know.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Andrew enjoyed the outing, and so did I.  I think I enjoyed this part of the trip the best with him, as he got quite excited about the pictures he was getting and trying to find different birds and shots.  And he got some pretty nice shots too, if I may say so myself! :)  We'll have to do it again right Andrew?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


On Jan 2nd most people had the day off, but I decided I'd head in to work and get some quiet time in the office to clean up email and get some uninterrupted work time.  At lunch I headed down to Bayfront Park to see if any of the rare warblers were still hanging around.  This time I put my bike in the back of the car instead of spending 20 minutes walking the almost 2km from the parking lot to where the birds were being seen regularly.  I got their quicker, but that didn't help me to see the Black-throated Gray Warbler.  So far I hadn't had any luck seeing this bird, so I thought to try and get a better picture of the Gnatcatcher I had seen  every time I had visited the trail lately.  But I wasn't to see this little bird either.  I did see Stephen, a gentleman I met during the Hamilton Christmas Bird Count on Boxing Day, and it was nice to meet his wife who had also joined him in search of the Black-throated Warbler.  They had just missed seeing it by 10 minutes or so according to others who had found the bird previously.

Orange-crowned Warbler eating berries.

There were reports of other warblers on the Marina side of the park, so I headed out that way and soon found two excited birders/photographers who were following two Orange-crowned Warblers and a Yellow-rumped Warbler around a clump of trees and golden rod.  I saw the latter bird fly around a bit, but never got close enough to actually really see it.  I did get to see one of the Orange-crowned Warblers and got two brief, poorly lit pictures on a cold and overcast day.  The Orange-crowned Warbler is more native to the western part of the continent, so it's neat to see one in our neck of the woods.  The orange crown on these birds is rarely visible, and mostly visible from the back of the bird as the under feathers on the head are where the orange colouring is hidden.

Orange-crowned Warbler

And I promised I'd post some of the pictures from Bayfront Park  after the bird count - mostly because my son Andrew gets to guest appear with some of his bird pictures he took - he's looking forward to this with great anticipation. ;)