Wednesday 29 December 2021

Niagara River Magic

 I have been out to the Niagara River twice in the past month for some birding.  During these trips I saw many of the usual gull targets and a few rarities!

During my first trip in early December I had the pleasure of seeing two Razorbill at Niagara-on-the-Lake, unfortunately they were very far out, closer to the US side.  This is an ocean going species that rarely shows up on the Great Lakes.

At the Queenston Boat docks Josh P and I had Little Gulls and great looks at Black Vultures!
Little Gull (black underwings), Bonaparte's Gulls, and American fishers.

Black Vulture

I was down in the area for Christmas and went out on boxing day for some birding!  I was excited to test out a new lens - the Fuji 70-300mm.  It is a heck of a lot smaller and lighter than the 400mm and definitely holds its own.  I think it is faster focusing and maybe a hair sharper.

Ring-billed Gull above the falls

Iceland Gull at Adam Beck

Lightly marked gull that I took for a Thayer's at first, but seems like it is just an odd Herring.

The highlight of this trip was definitely a near adult male King Eider (also at Niagara-on-the-Lake)!
King Eider (taken w 400mm)

A Red-throated Loon was hanging out with this bird, and I was able to get both in a single shot!

A couple bonus shots from out and about the last little while around Fergus:

Mallard drakes

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Monday 22 November 2021

Sage Advice

I was down in the Chatham-Kent area last week and had the chance to add another bird to my Ontario list!  A Sage Thrasher had been found by Blake Mann and was still hanging around on Angler Line near Mitchell's Bay.  A few birds were looking at it when I arrived and I soon had it in my sights.  It was fairly skulky, hiding in dense tangles, making photos challenging.

Sage advice: when a Sage Thrasher is found, you go see it!

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Fall Birding

I have been out and about a little bit this fall.  A few of the highlights are below.  I'm looking forward to some more outings in the near future!

One highlight was getting out to Long Point with my good friend Josh Boden on October 2nd.  Although birds were few and far between, we did have some good stuff!

Peregrine Falcon

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Hudsonian Godwit

Hudsonian Godwits

Little Gull hiding amongst the Bonaparte's Gulls

During Thanksgiving I zipped out to do a bit of birding as well.  Great Egrets were feasting on fish in shawllow waters at Waverley Beach.

I enjoyed watching this Merlin chase Blue Jays.

The best bird of the trip was the long staying Black-bellied Whistling Duck at Dufferin Islands!

On my way down to Essex Region for work I swung by Keith Maclean CA and found one of the Nelson's Sparrows!

American Golden Plovers were everywhere down there, mostly preferring the cut soy fields.

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Cottage Time Nature

I was up at a cottage on Denbigh Lake north of Bon Echo with the family this past week.  We had a great time! I even got some time in to do some photography and birding!

Below are a few of my favourite photos.

Bald Eagle

Black-throated Green Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

Black and White Warbler

Tennessee Warbler

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Algonquin Park 2021

I got away for a short trip with the family up to Algonquin Park for the annual canoe trip.  The crazy amount of bookings meant that we were restricted in what was available in the backcountry in terms of sites, and so we ended up spending all 3 nights on Burnt Island Lake.  Not a bad place to be! It is a beautiful lake, and we had a great time.  The weather was pretty good for the most part, with some heavy rain in the evenings a couple of nights.  It was overcast most of the time, which hampered my efforts at any astrophotography, although I did get one small break in the clouds.

This trip was really a good test for the 16mm 1.4, and it performed very well!  Below are a few shots, some of which were also taken with my 100-400mm telephoto.

Everyone had fun and we can't wait until the next time we get out to enjoy the park.

Paul's little dog Suri came along to keep us company.  What she lacks in stature she makes up for in her adventurous nature! She loved exploring, swimming, and sniffing around.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Amanita mushroom of some sort

On our last night we were visited by the largest Snapping Turtle that I can remember ever seeing.  I estimate it was around a metre from tail to snout! 

The only ungulate we had on the trip was this lone doe.  Sadly, no moose this time!