Monday 5 September 2016

Labour Day Weekend Bird Watching - Merlin vs. Kingfisher

On Saturday morning Ken Burrell and I headed down to Hamilton to do some bird watching.  We started out at Edgelake Park and had loads of warblers!  Magnolia Warblers were by far the most common, followed by redstarts.  We also had a Canada Warbler and a couple Wilson's Warblers.  We had some good luck with shorebirds at the Tollgate Ponds where we saw Whimbrel, Sanderling, White-rumped Sandpiper and American Golden Plover among others.  At Windermere we were surprised to see the Marbled Godwit! We saw over 80 species in a few hours, unfortunately most birds were too far (or quick) to get photos of.

I've been enjoying my new spotting scope, the Vortex Razor HD!

Lesser Yellowlegs
We spotted this cute Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at the Grimsby Sewage Lagoons.

This morning, Cait and I went to Luther Marsh to see what we could find.  Below are a few shots from the trip.

Sandhill Cranes
Trumpeter Swans
We stopped at our last spot before heading home and I saw a Merlin (a small but mighty falcon) fly across the pond.

I was just showing Caitlyn a Belted Kingfisher through the spotting scope when all of a sudden the Merlin appeared in view and tried to attack the Kingfisher, which dove into the water several times to escape.  This went on for about 30 seconds before they both perched in opposite trees.  In the shot below you can see the Merlin in the top right and the Kingfisher bottom left.

The Kingfisher got bold and flew directly into the tree and sat right above the Merlin!  I thought it was pretty ambitious of the Merlin since the Kingfisher is about the same size!  After a brief standoff, the Merlin darted out across the pond looking for easier fare and quickly caught a dragonfly.

Kingfisher sitting above the Merlin