Saturday, March 19, 2016

Spring Things and Weekend Wanderings

This week went by quickly.  I did not see much in the way of birds, but things are on the move and the usual signs of spring were evident.  The Coltsfoot outside the workshop is one of them.

Stewart Wetland has had some of the same ducks (Gadwall) for some time.  The first of year Great Blue Heron showed up this week. Water is high like everywhere this year.

Some burning has been taking place in the south marshes of Walpole this week.

Friday after work I headed out to Mitchell's Bay, so I saw the smoke from the south as well!
As expected, thousands of ducks were on the bay, most of which seemed to be Redhead and Canvasback.  Lots of scaup too.  No Bald Eagles in sight this time!
I walked the shore trail for the first time this year.  Much too windy though.  As usual, the wind switched to the north and increased just in time for the weekend, making it very cool.
Three Sandhill Cranes were near Bass Haven.  They are certainly regular anymore.

Today I felt the urge to go to Point Pelee.  The cool north wind made it somewhat uncomfortable and birds were scarce in the woods.  Lots of ducks were on the lake though, including all 3 scoters.  Three Black Scoters were new for the year, as were a few Surf Scoters.

Lots of Horned Grebes in various states of plumage were around.

A tell-tale sign of a beaver was along De Laurier Trail.

There has been much erosion along the west side this winter and large sections of the trail are gone.

I did a quick walk out to the Hillman shorebird cell as well.  Lots of ducks there, but lighting was bad and I did not carry a scope.  Close by I counted at least 130 Northern Shoveler, 30 Green winged Teal, and a number of Northern Pintail, Gadwall and American Wigeon.
On the way out, I met Kory Renaud who had a pair of Trumpeter Swans fly over about 20 minutes later.

Near Hillman, I spotted this Great Horned Owl on a nest.

Actually Rick Mayos told me about it.  I met Rick earlier in Tilden's Woods.

At Wheatley, I decided to walk Two Creeks CA, something I do not often do.  Not many birds were there (not even a phoebe!).
I walked mainly along the creek which had some interesting features.

Sands of Time

Near Mitchell's Bay, I found some Snowy Owls.  Along Winter Line between Mallard and Marsh, I could see 5.  This particular area always attracts Snowy Owls every year for whatever reason. None were close though.
Along Angler Line, I found another.

Almost missed was yet another very close to the other!  These two I did not see last evening.