August 10th - 6 more!

Today's wind didn't quite have the gusts that were predicted but with a bit of work we managed to pull a few more of the high-fliers out of the sky.  Actually one of the Red-tails was so high up if I wasn't looking right where it flew I never would have seen it at all.  This one was a true pepper speck!

Time:
7:30AM - 2:00PM

Today:
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 4
Total - 6

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 6
Osprey - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 4
Red-tailed Hawk - 8
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 21

Diane (visiting from Calgary) was in the park again this morning and was lucky in getting a photo of our little Carolina Wren as it sang away along the fence line.  Also, Lee was kind enough to show Diane a Baltimore Oriole which was feeding up in the apple tree.  She got a few nice shots of it as well before it flew.  In other birding news, we watched another handful of Great Blues that appeared to be on their way south...or at least elsewhere.

As it was another gorgeous day, it was no surprise to see so many wonderful folks out.  On hand today were; Allison, Lorne, Pat & Nancy, Phil, Mike 4, Gunnar, Betty, and the above mentioned Diane and Lee.  My apologies to Peter and Terry as I forgot to add them in yesterday's post.

Here are a couple of photos from today courtesy of Pat & Nancy:

'Rosie' the Rabbit

Mourning Cloak

Silver-spotted Skipper

And here are a couple of mine:

Houseboat
 

Regatta

Niagara Falls

It looks like tomorrow morning's weather will be similar with wind being from the northwest at 10 kms.

Walter

August 9th - 11 Bird Day!

With Wednesday and Thursday being too hot and humid for bird migration I really wasn't sure what to expect today even though the wind was right - northwest.  Cloud cover was good most of the morning which helped us spot a few of the high-fliers.  Between 8:30AM and 1:00PM we tallied 11 birds.  Here's where we're at:

Today:
Turkey Vulture - 6
Red-tailed Hawk - 4
American Kestrel - 1
Total - 11

To Date:
Turkey Vulture - 6
Osprey - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 2
Red-tailed Hawk - 4
American Kestrel - 1
Merlin - 1
Total - 15

Frank's mom Diane, who was visiting us this morning spotted 5 Great Blue Herons as they flew over the center of the park together.  Throughout our time today we saw several Great Blues flying westward, most were out over the lake.  One though was way up just under the clouds!  Other birds of note were Mallard and Eastern Phoebe.  We're now up to 48 different species, not too bad for just 9 days.  No new butterflies or mammals to report.

As well as a wonderful visit with Diane, I also enjoyed the company of Cori, Berle, Murray, Hugh, Phil, Peter and another lady named Diane who is here from Calgary.  Terry popped in shortly after we had left but didn't see too much.  We had a good talk early in the AM comparing info about birds and birding and I was also able to get her a few 'Lifers' including a Northern Flicker (the yellow-shafted variety!)

There is a northwest wind predicted for Saturday morning with gusts up to 30 kms so perhaps, dare I say, we may see a couple more migrants fly by.  Let's hope!

Walter

August 6th - A Little Better!

Today went a little better than expected.  This morning while chatting away we saw a Merlin flash across the middle of the park and heading west.  Awhile later we had our first Sharp-shinned Hawk fly past just out over the edge of the bluffs.  Shortly after that we saw our now local Cooper's Hawk fly up and by very close.  An hour or so later we watched another 'Sharpie' fly along the same path as the first one.  We now have 4 birds counted for the season!

We added 3 new birds to our ever-growing 'Park' list, the Merlin, the Sharp-shinned Hawk and a Yellow Warbler which I forgot to add the other day.  That brings us up to a total of 45 different species.

There seemed to be fewer Bank Swallows flying over the park this morning so many of them might have left to go south already.

On hand for today's excitement were Phil, Gord, Lorne, Berle and Betty.  Terry was at the park between 1:30 - 2:00 PM but didn't have any luck unfortunately.

Walter

August 5th - Cooper's Hawk...Maybe.

Today's only hawk sighting was that of a lone Cooper's Hawk.  It appeared to be doing a lot of hunting which gives me the impression that it might be a local bird.  It was quite tattered looking so I'll know it again if I see it.  I'll keep an eye out for it over the next few weeks.

It was a good day for 'other' bird sightings with 7 new species added to the list.  Also 2 new butterflies were spotted today.

Red-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, Warbling Vireo, Chipping Sparrow, Belted Kingfisher, Herring Gull, and Cooper's Hawk.

American Lady and Wild Indigo Duskywing.

This morning I had a wonderful visit with Rob & Angie and this afternoon my 'butterflying' friend Susan was in the park.

Walter

August 4th - Hurray, One Osprey!

I thought, or hoped, there might have been a couple more raptors but, oh well we'll take anything we can get at this early stage of the game.  This might have even been Ann's Osprey from yesterday as it flew over the park at 9:40 AM.  I was at the park from 8:00 AM till 2:00 PM.

New birdies for the list were a Baltimore Oriole and the Osprey.  That brings us to 35 different species.  Four Great Blue Herons were seen flying together out over the lake.  And also of note, the dragonflies were in great numbers by mid-day today.

Visitors included Lorne, Betty, and Cori.

The next several days aren't going to be too spectacular wind-wise.

Walter