Thursday, 28 February 2013

Some Recent Birding - Raptors and Waterfowl

     It's been a few days since I last posted, but that certainly does not mean that I have not been birding! Oh, where to begin...
     On Sunday February 24, I was told about a couple of Trumpeter Swans hanging around at Lake View Park Marina in East Windsor, so my girlfriend Nadia and I picked up one of my best friends, Chris (I have been successfully pushing him into birding recently =D), and we headed to Windsor. On the highway from Leamington to Windsor, we counted 23 Red-tailed Hawks! That's a new personal record for a drive across the county! We stopped at Ojibway Park, hoping to give Chris and Nadia their first good views of a Northern Shrike, but we 'shriked out' as my friend Dwayne says when he does not find a shrike. In its place, quite literally in the exact same place as I expected to see the shrike, was an American Kestrel, who kindly gave us great close views before flying off to find his next victim. I say 'his' because he is a male, identifiable by the extensive blue colour on his wings. If it was a female, it would be mostly orange-red in colour. To the left of this paragraph is a video I captured of the American Kestrel taking off and flying away, along with a photo below from today of him holding a rather large Meadow Vole(this prey probably weighs over half of the kestrel's weight!):

     We made our way to Lake View Park Marina and the Trumpeter Swans were about as close to us as possible, which was awesome! There were many great birds there like usual, including many Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles, Common and Hooded Mergansers, Canvasbacks, Redheads, Greater Scaup, a few Lesser Scaup, and a Ruddy Duck! I love this location because there are always many birds to be seen, and I think diving ducks are great. Here is a short video of one of the Trumpeter Swans. Can you tell why it's called a trumpeter?

     Thank you for reading, and happy birding!