Blog Archive of earlier posts

Friday, 11 December 2015

Farewell for now

Over the last four years I have enjoyed posting some of my bird photography onto this blog site to share with interested parties.
I have decided to behave like the birds and fly away to a friendlier locale. 
Having found a more user friendly place to post my photographs, this series will continue at Flickr. 

I have found through some experimenting that Flickr is going to be more convenient. It has these advantages; 
Easier uploads. 
Easier editing (I have been known to make some mistakes).
Better ability to locate where my photographs were taken via the map function. 
For the photography technology geeks, the ability to look at all the information in the EXIF files. 
And hopefully for my followers a more enjoyable experience.

Please enjoy my further work at;

Monday, 12 October 2015

October migrants

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophyrus) - Brady Park, Garson, Ontario - 2015 October 1
Early in October a beautiful morning found me on a hike along trails from Brady Park in Garson. A sure sign of fall in Ontario was this White-crowned Sparrow. These birds spend the summer months in the open areas mostly north of the tree line and only travel south when the northern seasons have turned cold. The plain grey underparts and striped brownish back are topped by bold white and black stripes on the sparrows head.

Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum) - Brady Park, Garson, Ontario - 2015 October 1
Nearby in a grove of birch I found this Palm Warbler. In this photograph the brownish cap does not show well but the yellow undercoat with light streaking, brownish back and constantly wagging tail made this identification easy.

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) - Brady Park, Garson, Ontario - 2015 October 1
Near the end of my hike I came upon this Blue Jay which was quite intent on digging something out of the end of a dead birch branch.

Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) - Garson, Ontario - 2015 October 2
The next morning another hike took me along a trail over the hills south of Garson. Here a Hairy Woodpecker was busy excavating in a birch tree. Every few pecks into the hole would be followed by a shower of wood splinters.

American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) - Brady Park, Garson, Ontario - 2015 October 7
A week later I was back at Brady Park. Just after entering a trail I came upon a bird distinctly walking rather than hopping. It proved to be an American Pipit. This is another bird from arctic regions that is a regular migrating visitor.

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophyrus)
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) - Brady Park, Garson, Ontario - 2015 October 7
Again on this hike, I was greeted by a White-crowned Sparrow. When it posed along a fence it was joined by a White-throated Sparrow. Although the second bird is not in focus its distinctive yellow eyebrow patch is visible.

Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) - Brady Park, Garson, Ontario - 2015 October 7
Passing through the lowlands along Junction Creek, I spotted a blackbird foraging in the grasses. It flew into a low shrub and posed for me. This photograph shows well the whitish eye and namesake rusty back feathers of a fall Rusty Blackbird.

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) - Garson, Ontario - 2015 October 9
A few days later the weather had turned cooler. Numerous American Robins were in our front yard feeding on crabapples. This one was noticeably whiter arond the face. This phenomenon caused by a local lack of normal feather pigment is different than albinism, and is called leucism. It is found only rarely, but in many bird and other animal species.

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) - Garson, Ontario - 2015 October 9
Finally that afternoon the sun came out and here I found a Mourning Dove relaxing in a warm sunny spot in our back yard.

Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) - Brady Park, Garson, Ontario - 2015 October 11
A day later on another hike at Brady Park a trail led me to the Garson Lagoons where I found a large flock of Common Goldeneye. This is a photograph of a juvenile male, as it still has a brownish head with an indistinctive face patch at the base of its bill.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Late September birding

Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa) - Brady Park, Garson, Ontario - 2015 August 25
On a morning hike at Brady Park in Garson I came upon a mixed flock of birds feeding in the trees. This Golden-crowned Kinglet showed off its namesake striped crown.

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) - Kukagami Lake, Ontario - 2015 August 26
The next day with continuing warm weather my morning hike found me in the forest around Kukagami Lake. In the water above a beaver dam a family of Wood Ducks foraged among the grasses in the early light. The colourful male stands out with the adult female on the right and one of five young on the left. The young bird has not yet developed the adult facial markings.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) - Kukagami Lake, Ontario - 2015 August 26
Later when the sun was brighter I came upon a large flock of chickadees, nuthatches and kinglets. This Ruby-crowned Kinglet took time from its feeding to look down at me.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula) - Kukagami Lake, Ontario - 2015 August 26
A second Ruby-crowned Kinglet sat for some time at my eye level while the rest of the flock would not pose for me.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) - Kukagami Lake, Ontario - 2015 August 27
Next day I was out on a different forest trail that took me to a cliff top. With a strong south west wind blowing this Turkey Vulture soared back and forth riding the upflowing air currents.

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) - Kukagami Lake, Ontario - 2015 August 27
Closer to our cottage a Ruffed Grouse was seen on several different occasions. As it seemed unconcerned about my presence, I took an opportunity to lay down in the hopes of getting some close up photographs. The grouse after watching for a while decided I was not a threat and approached within 3 or 4 meters.

Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) - Kukagami Lake, Ontario - 2015 August 27
Although it may appear that the grouse is calling out in this photograph, it did not make a sound. I can only guess that it picked up something sharp or very dry that stuck in its throat as it open and closed its mouth several times over a few minutes.