Saturday, February 1, 2014


I have had a case of cabin fever lately and was anxious to get out today.  The weather was lousy as usual (since it was the weekend) but there were birds to be found!
I started with the local Snowy Owl (SNOW) outside of Wallaceburg.  It was atop a barn.  Too early for a photo though.
Next bird was another Snowy Owl, the lighter bird, on Holt Line east of Sombra.

Yesterday I saw the darker one along this road late in the day, but not this morning.

I drove by the solar farm and saw no owls, but by mid morning when I drove by again, the darker Snowy Owl was on the fence.
Crappy Weather=Crappy Photo!

It was snowing heavily by this time.  A couple of Northern Harriers were around.  No doubt the Short-eared Owls were resting nearby, as five were seen last evening.

On the river, things have opened up a bit and ducks were spread out all along.  No way to look at all of them so who knows what was out there.  I did see a couple of White-winged Scoters off Mooretown and another at the head of Stag Island.
A good number of waterfowl and waterbirds were at the OC outlet north of Stanley Line.  Included were a number of Tundra Swans and Mute Swans.
Tundra Swan group

Very few Gulls this Winter

Also here was a Horned Grebe.  One was off Mooretown yesterday so I assume this is the same one as I could not find one in the two open spots off that village.
note Horned Grebe at left

Later I saw a Great Blue Heron here, a scarce commodity this winter.

I went as far north as Guthrie Park at Corunna.  Here we have had a concentration of Bald Eagles this winter--the most we have ever seen on the river.  They were scattered about, but I estimated 20 within visible range.  No doubt more were somewhere.

Seems Bald Eagles have really made their presence known this winter with all the reports elsewhere.
Stag Island Perch

The main outing today was our naturalist's club walk and duck box cleaning expedition into Bickford Oak Woods (BOW).  Although it snowed heavily the whole time, we had a good walk with not too much snow on the ground. No owls found in the boxes this year! (One year we had part of a Flying Squirrel!).

Lots of Buttonbush!

Bickford Oak Woods is a large woodlot held by Ontario Parks as a Conservation Reserve.  There is a large wetland area within complete with beaver lodges and a Great Blue Heronry.  The heronry has waned in recent years, but we did see at least two nests today.

Back in 2003, we put up a number of Wood Duck boxes.  Phragmites has really taken over like every place else since then.
February 2003
(a weekday hence nice weather)

Late today, out of curiosity, I went to find the local Snowy Owl.  It was farther down Langstaff Line near hwy 40 atop a hydro pole!

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