Sunday, May 31, 2009

Woodland birds

Our feeders have only a handful of species attending frequently - Hairy Woopecker, both nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-winged Blackbird (mostly females), Brown-headed Cowbird, Common Grackle, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch and a lone Pine Siskin this morning - the first in weeks.

A late afternoon walk through the hardwoods near our home turned up very few birds although I had good looks at Scarlet Tanager, Veery, Eastern Wood-Pewee and Black-throated Green Warbler.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Shield-edge birding

I was out with a friend to do a little birding at the edge of the shield, Between Bobcaygeon and Burleigh Falls. I was very pleased to see and hear some late warblers - Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Mourning and Canada, which hadn't materialized around our cottage. Also new to me were a few open country birds - Clay-colored Sparrow, Bobolink and Savannah Sparrow. Near Woodview, we encountered some Evening Grosbeaks and some Small Yellow Lady Slipper Orchids growing in a boggy wetland - new to me!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Heron on water lily roots

Twenty metres off our shore is an island composed of uprooted water lily rhizomes. The uprooting occurred when the lake level was drawn down in the winter. Ice formed withing the matrix of roots and when the water level was increased, the rising ice tore the roots up from the mud. Now, on any given day, our odd little island may provide footing for Great Blue Herons, Hooded Merganser, Northern Map Turtle, beaver and muskrat.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Spotted Sandpiper

This Spotted Sandpiper landed for a moment on our dock and then flew to the neighbour's. The species nests on the lake but seldom visits out bay.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Yard Birds

We are accustomed to seeing Evening Grosbeaks looking resplendent against a snowy background. It's unusual for us to see them in late may and to hear their calls along with those of BAOR, WOTH, WAVI, and PIWA.

I took a ten minute stroll around the house mid-morning and noted the following:

Canada Goose
Ring-billed Gull
Red-shouldered Hawk with prey (being mobbed blackbirds)
Hairy Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Common Flicker
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Northern Waterthrush
Black and White Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Pine Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

Monday, May 18, 2009

A green birding day.

I went cycling/birding this morning and afternoon around the eastern end of the lake, south along a county road through rich hardwood stands, flooded meadows, limestone barrens and old farms.

Among the known breeding birds on this route are Cerulean, Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers. A pulse of additional northbound warblers at this point in May allows the possibility of seeing 20+ species of warbler. Alas, this wasn't to be. If I count the species I hear around our home (Pine, Yellow-rumped and Northern Waterthrush), I ended up with only 15 species. Few were singing. The highlights were three male Golden-winged and one male Blue-winged Warbler, all in spots where we'd seen these species before.

Other additions to the year list were Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, Red-headed Woodpecker, Warbling and Philadelphia Vireos, Magnolia and Black-throated Blue Warblers, Eastern Towhee, Sandhill Crane and Red-headed Woodpecker.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Skyped hummingbird

This isn't just another bad image of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. It's actually an image captured through the built-in video camera on my MacBook during a Skype "videoconference" with Martha. This is her capture from the video that I was streaming to her, via my wireless router.

The sensitivity of the built-in microphone and the high fidelity of the audio stream are better than you might expect. If I point the WIFI enabled laptop towards an open window, Martha, who's sitting at her desktop computer 1300 km away, has no trouble picking out the songs of Baltimore Oriole, Tree Swallow, Pine and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Skype is pretty awesome - perhaps the coolest thing ever to come out of Estonia.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks

This pair has been visiting throughout the last few days.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tree Swallows nesting?

We found an old next box when we moved here. It looked like it had once been used by House Wrens. After cleaning it out, we installed it about 4 metre off the ground on a hydro pole. It appears that a pair of Tree Swallows are keenly interested.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wild Turkey nest

I flushed the adult off this nest in a hardwood stand near Woodview.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Singing Cerulean Warbler

I was happy to locate this singing male Cerulean Warbler at a known breeding site. It will likely be joined by a handful of others in the coming days. I apologize for the shakiness - I had initially intended to record the song and then I noticed the bird hopping around through the view finder.

Other species singing/calling in this area include Red-eyed and Yellow-throated Vireo, Least Flycatcher, Black-throated Green Warbler, Ovenbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Veery.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pitched migration

I was away in northern Ontario for a couple of weeks. On my first May morning on Stony Lake I walked out into the yard and heard my first Ovenbirds, Northern Waterthrush, Pine, Yellow-rumped, Black and White and Nashville Warblers, Wood Thrushes, Great Crested and Least Flycatchers.

Common Grackles, Red-winged Blackbirds and Blue Jays are dominating the feeders and are sometimes joined by White-throated, Chipping and Song Sparrows. Yesterday, a lone female Evening Grosbeak and a single Pine Siskin seemed like throw backs to winter.

Today, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird hovered in front of a window where our nectar feeder hangs from May through September - it's tempting to imagine that this is a returning bird that remembered that a feeder once hung in that spot. I quickly installed the feeder to the apparent satisfaction of the hummingbird.