Friday 10 October 2014

Godwits and Yellow-headed Blackbirds!

I had the pleasure of carrying out more field work in Ontario's deep south today with a friend of mine, Pat Deacon.  We heard a report of a Hudsonian Godwit at the tomato factory on Comber sideroad, so we nipped over there before work this morning and were lucky enough to get phenomenal views of this elegant bird!  Here are a few shots I took of it.

Hudsonian Godwit, the big guy towering over the Lesser Yellowlegs and Killdeer
Hudsonian Godwit

Hudsonian Godwit, you can really see that distinctive godwit beak, upturned.
 After this we got down to business with our work for the day, and just around 1pm I spotted a large blackbird flock and we stopped to search for Yellow-headed Blackbirds which sometimes hang out with other blackbird species during the fall.  In just a few seconds Pat had spotted one!  A real beauty, appears to be a 1st year male bird based on the markings.  It was hard to get a shot of it since the massive blackbird flock was constantly moving as the birds fed on leftover soy beans.  Also of note were a partially leucistic (albino) starling and cowbird with white tail feathers.

Yellow-headed Blackbird.  You can see how they could be hard to pick out in a flock of several hundred blackbirds!
Much more visible here!
It is always a treat to see rare birds, especially when you can combine it with work!

I almost forgot, here is a bonus Great Horned Owl that we spooked from some trees today.  Gotta love those piercing eyes!

Great Horned Owl

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