Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kemptville Creek Canoeing

Augsut 10, 1:00 pm

As part of the checkout for the Crazy Canuck Adventure Challenge, we paddled a section of Kemptville Creek.  I paddled with Stew, and a second was used by Rob, Bendan and Jessica.  Rob workd for the county and the other two are his summer students.

During the car shuttle, we twice saw some Wild Turkeys with young.  I also saw some on the drive down.
While paddling, we saw numerous Belted Kingfishers, most likely a family.  We also saw a Green Heron and a few Great Blue Herons.  Stew also showed me a small sandbank beside the road at Limerick bridge, where Belted Kingfishers had made a nest.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cottage Surprises

August 6/7, 2011

As we would not be visiting the cottage for quite some time, an August loon count was needed.

This time, there were no more pairs, but at least there were seven teenagers, as we call them, loafing and fishing in the middle of the lake. 

We found the first pair  at the end on the Reserve.  The male put on quite a distracting show, dashing back and forth, and even doing the penguin display. 
But we could not find the female or the baby!   Eventually we spotted them on the other side of the bay - mother and baby doing well.  We went into Deep Bay to have our lunch, and Barbara spotted a hawk that we flushed.  We could hear it calling, but did not see it again.

Next we visited Seagull Rock, and to our amazement, saw the adult slip off the nest.  It had been weeks, so we thought perhaps the egg was not viable.  But on close look at the photos, I believe that one can see the baby poking it's way out of the nest right at the moment of our visit!
We quickly went on to discover the last pair with twins doing well at Pike Bay.

We were thinking about that hatchling, so decided that a return visit on Sunday was called for.  Sure enough, the broken egg was all that remained at Seagull Rock. 
But where was the family?  We spotted a pair quite far off in the middle of the lake.  This is surprising behaviour for a pair with a newborn.  We looked and looked with our binoculars, but could not be sure if those bumps on the back of the adults were chicks or not.  When we got close, there was no sign of young.  But loon parents are very adept at hiding their babies.  Another Common Loon showed up, the one in juvenal plumage that we had seen weeks earlier - another surprise.
After a while, we realized that there would be no newborn sightings, so we decided to go into Deep Bay to check on the hawk.  I was sceptical, but it was there!  This time it reappeared circling overhead and was even joined by a second one.  After looking at the photos and listening to the calls, we concluded that it was a Red-shouldered Hawk.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fletcher Wildlife Garden

August 4, 2011 4:00 pm

I was meeting Barbara after work, so stopped in to check Fletcher on the way.  It was remarkably quiet.  Nothing happening at the locks either.  But on the way back, I saw a Warbling Vireo.

Limerick Forest Scouting Trip

August 3, 2011  11:00 am onwards

Kevin Eastman produced maps with the proposed hiking and biking routes for the Crazy Canuck Adventure Challenge on Oct1.  To see what things were like, and to mark waypoint, I made a visit to the area on Aug 3 bringing Boots and Bagel with me.

The dogs enjoyed the day, but precluded the opportunity to see many marsh birds when they were afield.  However, I did see a Pied-billed Grebe at the Limerick Road bridge, and a whole family of American Kestrels on the wires near Bishop's Mills.  There were also numerous Barn Swallows on the wires.  I was pretty sure I saw an Eastern Meadowlark or two, but as soon as I pulled the car over, they took off - the downside of birding alone.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Wetlands Behind the Former Nortel

August 2, 1 pm

This was Craig and Pamela's last day before returning to Saskatoon.  We went out for lunch, then went for a stroll along the paths west of Moodie.

It was warm along the bike path, but a familiar young male American Redstart came out to check us out.  We saw the female too.  We also got good looks at a Cedar Waxwing.

I tried playing recordings at the pond for Sora or Least Bittern, but we saw neither.  We did flush a Green Heron from close by, but got no photo.  We saw a Beaver over by the roadway.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cross Loop Birding

July 27, 12 noon

We dropped off a couple of plants at The Barn for the wedding, and pulled into Cross Loop to have our sandwiches and check for birds.  We did not see any of the hoped-for Bobolinks or Eastern Meadowlarks, but there were several Eastern Kingbirds, Song Sparrows and Barn Swallows under the covered bridge.  Barbara saw a possible female Bobolink, but it flew off before we could get a positive ID.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cottage Birding

July 23-24, 2011

With Kirk & Karine's wedding fast approaching, we decided to drive in to Maniwaki to check out the flowers.  We stopped at our usual two spots on the way, then went via Farley and the KZ reserve, as the road is more birdy than the highway.

After not seeing them for some time, the Eastern Bluebirds were back at the nest box at Arsenault's farm.

At the creek into Blue Sea, we saw a White-throated Sparrow, an Eastern Phoebe, a Cedar Waxwing, and a family of Mallards.  Using the tape to attract a Sora or Least Bittern had no effect.

In Farley, we saw several Eastern Kingbirds together on the wire.
In Maniwaki, across the highway from BMR, we saw several Barn Swallows and perhaps others.  There were more Kingbirds and Cedar Waxwings too, and Barbara pished out a juvenile American Redstart.

We returned by KZ again, stopping at the bridge over the creek from Little Cedar Lake.  I spotted a Belted Kingfisher, but missed the photo.  An Anishnabe man came by and regaled us with tales of a giant snake-eating owl and a Turkey Vulture nest.

We returned to the lake and did our second July loon count.  The number of adults seen was way down, from 17 to 10, but we got a surprise new chick and found the Seagull Rock loon still on the nest.