Wednesday 23 December 2015

Vermilion Flycatcher - Wallaceburg

This past Friday another incredibly rare bird showed up in Ontario, a Vermilion Flycatcher!  This is a species that is typically found much further south in the southwestern U.S and into Mexico.  At this time of year, most Vermilion Flycatchers would be wintering along the Gulf Coast or into South America!  But for some reason, a young 1st year male bird showed up north of Wallaceburg, Ontario.  Because this bird is a young male, it does not show all the vibrancy of an adult male, but you can still see patches.  As the bird matures it will transform into a striking red colour covering the chest and head.  This is only the 6th record for Ontario ever!

This guy was very active, flying around constantly to catch small insects and then returning to its perch to feed.  Being a flycatcher, it is very lucky to have found itself in Ontario during one of the most mild winters.  A prolonged cold snap would be hard on this bird!

Vermilion Flycatcher

Monday 7 December 2015

Niagara River Gull Trip

I joined the annual Burrell led gull trip on the Niagara River this past weekend.  I ended up having a great day on the river with the highlights being 9 species of gulls, Harlequin Duck, Fish Crows and a King Eider on the way home in Hamilton.

Unfortunately most birds were way to far away to get anything resembling a decent photograph.

I did however manage to finally get a decent video of a Fish Crow calling.  Enjoy!  For some reason I can't seem to get enough of these guys, and I have good luck finding them pretty much every time I look.  Turn up the volume and listen for that squeaky toy sounding call.

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Escalante Video Flashback

As many of you know, I went on a backpacking adventure with my 3 travelling companions this August (trip reports are below) and since things have been slow for me on the birding front this past week, I thought I would share a couple of the videos with you.  They really give a better sense of the scale of the scenery and the feel for it.  For best viewing in youtube click the HD wheel and watch in 1080p.

Trip Report Part 1

Trip Report Part 2

This first video is from 25-Mile Wash.  One of the more rugged and remote areas I have been backpacking, we saw neither sight nor sign of another person for the 3 days we were in this area.  Although the scenery isn't as crazy as in Coyote Gulch, I thought it was fascinating and wild!

The surprises within Escalante are endless. This tiny slot canyon was definitely one of them! It was very muddy but well worth the work to get inside.

 This next video is from Coyote Gulch and shows the Coyote Natural Bridge.  Although this is the most popular canyon in the area, we still only saw a handful of people each day, and the scenery made it well worth it.

This video shows Jacob Hamblin Arch.

This was one of my favourite spots and gives you a great sense of the vast roof that stretched over our heads.


On our way out of Coyote Gulch across the slickrock desert. The sun is just starting to rise.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the video tour of one of North America's natural treasures.  I can wholeheartedly say that I will be back to this area some day!