Thursday, 28 June 2012

Whitewater Lake Part III - June 2012

Whitewater Lake Part III

We enjoyed our outing to Whitewater Lake even though the weather was not the best and we didn't see as many birds as we had hoped. We may try to go again in the fall.

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow


Western Grebe

Western Kingbird



Yellow Headed Blackbird

A huge storm we watched develop on the drive home, it was probably 60-80 miles away when we took this picture

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Whitewater Lake, Manitoba Part II - June 2012

Whitewater Lake, Manitoba Part II

Here are some more of our pictures from our outing.

Barn Swallow - Wind was so strong the Barn Swallows were just hanging in mid  air.

Garter Snake - Rose almost stepped on it. It moved away quickly and hid under some weeds, then disappeared into a hole under the weeds. This was the only decent shot I got of it. Rose does not like this picture 

Great Horned Owl. It was being chased by 3 Blackbirds. We think is was a juvenile. It seemed frightened and confused. Almost got a shot of it as it flew past our van, but just as I was about to snap the picture it veered off over the van and crashed into this tree about 50 feet away.

Muskrat - There were two of them swimming beside the road

Northern Shovellers

Rabbit - It was about 50 feet in a field, we thought it was a stone.

One more set of Whitewater Lakepictures to come

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Whitewater Lake - Part 1 - 10 June 2012

Whitewater Lake, Manitoba -  Outing, 10 June 2012

We left for Whitewater Lake at about 11:00 AM and got there around 2:30, it is located several miles west of Boissevain, Manitoba. It was an interesting drive, saw several hawks and one Turkey Vulture while driving.
We were a little disappointed as we got to within about 30 miles of Boissevain and the weather turned from a beautiful sunny day to a windy over cast and cool day.
We saw almost 50 different birds during the drive and while at the lake. We timed out outing perfectly to coincide with the start of wood tick season, I removed 5 after a walk through some knee high grass.
We didn't see as many water fowl or shore birds as we had hoped, but it was a miserable day by the time we got there.
The viewing area is located on a mound a short ways out on the lake. There was a dike made of earth and hay bales going out into the lake which I walked out on to look at a large group of large white birds, which turned out to be a large flock of Pelicans, we must have seen close to 100 of them while at the lake. There are no trails to walk.
Rose almost trod on a large Garter Snake, it was over 2 feet long, biggest we've ever seen.
My lens was acting up again, this time making a very audible screeching noise. Focus didn't seem to be quite right and and it seemed to be either allowing to much or to little light in. We took over 1,000 photos and only kept 47. I don't want to send the lens in under warranty just yet as it would mean I would be without a zoom lens for the remainder of the summer.
Here are some of the pictures we took.
Black-Crowned Night Heron Adult -  We saw at least a dozen adults and juveniles

Black-Crowned Night Heron Adult

Black-Crowned Night Heron Juvenile

Black-Crowned Night Heron Juvenile - The hay bales are part of a dike used to control water levels, they were very spongy to walk on.

Black-Crowned Night Heron with a Salamander

Blue Winged Teal and Mallard at a road side pond

Brown Headed Cowbird - We saw lots of them

Bison - There was a herd of Bison at the lake

Forster's Tern I think

Fox checking out a farmyard near the lake

        We'll post some more photo's in the next few days.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Red-Eyed Vireo Collecting Worm Webbing - 14 June 2012

Red-Eyed Vireo

Busy week so not much birding, although we did finally make it to White Water Lake on the 10th. We will post some pictures from that outing in a few days.
I did come across a Red Eyed Vireo collecting the green worm webbing. Never having seen this behavior before I was quite fascinated.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Bird Photos - June 2012

Some more photos from the last week.
 Baltimore Oriole
 Deer - looks like a stag
 Deer - looks like a stag
 Great Crested Flycatcher
 Redwinged Blackbird
 Robin juvenile
 Wood Duck family
Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Bird Photos - June 6 2012

A good few days of birding, saw several deer, almost hit one on a back road, brush was right up to the edge of the road and it just burst out of the bush and across the road, must have missed hitting it by inches.
One deer followed me for several hundred feet down the trail and actually ran to catch up with me when I disappeared briefly behind some bush.
Was taking pictures of a Red Tailed Hawk at a few hundred feet when a small bird flew into the frame, it dove down onto the hawk and seemed to drive its beak into the hawks back, the hawk jolted and immediately turned away and flew off. I had them framed the whole time and as I put the camera down thought Idiot, why didn't you take a picture. I guess it was one of those rare moments that the amazement of what you are seeing blots out anything else.
Later on I came across a Wood Duck with its brood, the mother was in the water and I saw the ducklings running along a log to the mother so I knew they would have to jump about a foot off the log and into the water. Got my camera up and was anticipating a phenomenal series of photos, but there was a small branch somewhere between me and the ducklings that the camera tried to focus on, as I struggled to get it into focus I could hear the plop, plop, plop of the ducklings as they hit the water. I missed the much anticipated shot.
Was very fortunate as I saw another brood of Wood Ducks further up the river, I walked to the spot and crept up to the river bank, as I stopped at the edge of the river bank a Belted Kingfisher flew in from around the bend and passed below me but within 10 feet of me. It landed on a log about 20 feet away with its back to me, I got several pictures of it as it turned around, saw me and took flight. I think this is only the third time I've been able to get within a few hundred feet of a Kingfisher.
I'm probably missing a lot of birds on my walks as the green caterpillars are out and hanging from the trees, so I have to stop every several minutes and brush them off me. I find I'm watching for caterpillars and their sticky webbing more than I'm watching for birds. They should finish their cycle this week.
Hardly any birds coming to our feeders the last two days, cracked corn is still almost full from yesterday, it is usually empty by evening, and the suet is usually gone in a few hours, there was a tiny bit left from yesterday this morning.  We had several Orioles visiting our feeder and they too seem to have gone already. Up until yesterday we could hear them calling where ever we went, have only seen two today and heard only one calling during my walk. Unusual year, birds started arriving really early in fewer numbers and seem to have departed about 2 months early.
Here are some photos from the last week.
 Belted Kingfisher just after it landed
 Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher - I've been spotted
 Deer that was following me 
 Scared it off
 Eastern Kingbird 
 Grackle Fledgling
Great Crested Flycatcher 

 Hairy Woodpecker
 Monarch Butterfly
Wood Duck - female