Tuesday, June 16, 2015

More Common Mergansers

June 8, 2015

Another male showed up with his mate right in front of our place.

First Loon Count of the Season

June 3, 2015

We finally got some good weather and were able to do a loon count in our new Legend Boat.

In Sylvestre Bay, we saw a male Common Meerganser.  We have been seeing a lot of these guys this year.  Normally, once finished mating, they take off for parts unknown.

We saw a total of 16 loons, which is a little above average.  On the reserve, near where a pair of Herring Gulls always nest, we observed two Common Loons exhibiting obvious pair behaviour, with the male (presumably) doing it's distraction display.

We saw three other possible pairs, but they could be simply hanging out - who knows at this stage.  A female was sitting on eggs at the traditional spot at Seagull Rocks, which were barely out of the water.  The water is unusually high this year.

When we left the cottage, we saw a good sized Snapping Turtle out on the main road.  We stopped to make sure she was safely off the road.

A Marbled Godwit

June 1, 2015

A Marbled Godwit was reported on ebird, originally by Rick, on Greenbank Road by Barnsdale, where a pond exists near a construction site.

We finally made the trip, and lo and behold, it was still there giving us great views.  Thanks, ebird!

Sparrow Field behind the Airport

May 28, 2015

We had just returned from the Huron Fringe Birding Festival, and were looking forward to Gord Belyea's OFNC sparrow walk behind the airport.  Then, horrors!  All birding in that area has been cancelled due to trespassers (presumably dirt bikers) ruining it for all of us.  Transport Canada has put up big new signs to keep us out.

We decided to investigate for ourselves.  We found the new signs on the east side of Bowesville Rd, but there were none across the road on the west side.  We drove to the High Road end, and there were no new signs there either.  We birded from the road for a bit seeing Bobolinks and an Eastern Bluebird, as well as several Tree Sparrows in the nest boxes.

We then drove back over to Leitrim Road and parked at the lot for the bike trail.  This trail bisects the area and is legal to walk on to get into the heart of the sparrow fields.  There is even an newly-constructed overlook.  We heard Field Sparrows, but the rain chased us out before we saw too much besides a Common Yellowthroat.  But there certainly is potential.

More Cottage Birding

May 17, 2015

This is what you might call incidental birding.  We were poking around doing various things when an interesting bird would show up at the feeders, or start singing up at the top of the hill.  When hiking over to see neighbours, we often encounter warblers along the road at this time of year.

Mud Lake with Anne & Bruce

May 14, 2015

We took my cousin, Anne, and her husband on a little birding tour of Mud Lake.  As expected, Yellow Warblers stole the show, but we had a nice smattering of other species to hold our interest.

We decided to go to the back of the woods to look for turtles.  There were some, but not as many as I expected.  There were at least 3 Black-crowned Night-Herons in the back areas near the bridge.

We all enjoyed our spring outing.  Anne & Bruce have been going back there regularly to enjoy the tranquility and see a few birds.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Spring Birding at and around the Cottage

May 12, 2015

On the way up, we stopped in Venosta at the bike trail when we saw a familiar-looking car parked in the lot.  Sure enough, we soon met Connie, Jane and Guy, all retirees from Statscan.  The best birding was past, but we did get great looks at a Bobolink.

At the cottage, we had a visit from a couple of Evening Grosbeaks, several Purple Finches and American Goldfinches, and our first Ruby-throated Humming bird of the season.

We went into Maniwaki on business, then birded the side roads near BMR.  Lots of Yellow Warblesr, a couple of Brown Thrashers, an Eastern Kingbird, some sparrows, and a few Least Flycatchers.