Some rain, more birds and the return of friends!

Wed. May 28:  After a rain delay Monday, we got out today although showers persisted here and there.  Heading past Mud Ck. out to The Narrows, an immature Bald Eagle flew over, eliminating our need to find their nest across the water.  This is good, since it is too wet to get to the bench and the docks are still sitting on the grass.  The lake has finally completely melted of ice, so more activity around.  The clouds are hanging heavy over the water, like fog, with temps around 8C.  Nonetheless a few new birds for the list and a few photo ops.   Here’s a little cutie-patootie – Black-capped Chickadee.

black cap-1

A mother bear and her 3 cubs were feeding alongside the road – these are yearlings.  We haven’t seen any tiny newborns from this year yet.  3 cubs still going strong is pretty good though!  Couldn’t get all 3 in the photo, as one was misbehaving – staying behind while Mom and the 2 others left the scene (these are babies)!

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On one of the lakes we found a female Yellow-headed Blackbird busy in the grass.


The trees are just starting to leaf-out.  This has usually happened by the time we arrive – so very late this year – like everything!  Colors and textures are beautiful.

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At the boat dock we found Bonaparte’s Gulls strutting around – another great-looking gull with great red legs, checking out his reflection.


Common terms were making a lot of noise, so Bill shot one of them  (didn’t shut them up).


A Lincoln’s Sparrow sang in a bush – a plain little bird with a lovely song.


Despite the rather inclement weather, it was a fun morning!

Wed. May 28:  A trip into town for groceries today and on the way, a reconnoiter of some of our old haunts.  Still managed to nab a few new birds for the list.  At Sandy Lake we scanned for Western Grebes, but instead found a row of about 10 Black Scoters (too far away for a photo)!  Just shows it’s worth scanning any time you go by.  At the entrance kiosk at the south end of the park we heard and saw more than 1 Nashville Warbler.  They are darn hard to photograph – but Bill will keep trying!  We drove out the east road to one of our favourite walks, hoping the road wasn’t blocked.  Despite a small slough overflowing its banks across the road, it was drivable.  Chestnut-sided Warblers sang, and another Bluejay sat nicely for his photo (can’t resist these beauties).


We found our Eastern Phoebes here also and Bill managed to capture part of a Purple Finch peeking out from behind a tree!


The promise of more good stuff to come when the weather is better!

Sat. May 31:  Yesterday was a trip to PA to get out little cat checked out.  He wasn’t “keeping regular” so thought we’d better do it before  the weekend.  The vet gave us some new food, a laxative and a few things to look for.  Hopefully all is well. Last night Moe and Marg arrived, but they were tired, we were tired and no festivities ensued!  However, this morning we got out early-ish with Moe to Mud Creek and today were able to walk around the complete trail.  (Maggie stayed in bed).  Just the parking lot produced a few new birds – first a Gray Catbird, then Mourning Warbler and finally 2 pairs of Evening Grosbeaks.  Here’s a male.


Three of us made it across the bog on the boardwalk, which had been slightly repaired, but held together okay.  Marsh Marigolds will be profuse shortly, but few were in full bloom.


The trees haven’t progressed too much since a couple of days ago, but the bright lime green of new leaves is wonderful.


When we first got to the creek we saw 4 river otters frolicking in the water.  They didn’t stay for a photo, nor did a beaver, but we heard the “slap” of a tail a few times.   pair of Common Mergansers sunned on a small islet.

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We’re pretty sure this is the same imm. Bald Eagle we saw the other day at the narrows – markings look right – pretty scraggly as it moults – “the eagle is landing”.

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One of our favourites is the Chestnut-sided Warbler, which we call with our phone each year and it responds.  We try not to do it too much, since it is defending its territory and we don’t want to wear it out!  It stays closer to the ground, so is not as hard to photograph as, say, Bay-breasted.

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We also heard and saw the Bay-breasted as well as Canada Warbler.  Will try for photos again of those 2.  Moe spied an Olive-sided Flycatcher high in a tree – just a record shot.


Moe’s hearing isn’t so good any more, and since Bill got his hearing aids, he has passed his little “bird song” device to Moe, who is using and enjoying it.

Back at the parking lot we found a Spotted Sandpiper just close enough for a photo.  We’ve seen them in many places.


In the evening M and M came for dinner to our trailer.  The only other guests we’ve had is Don last year!  It’s about time eh?  A delightful evening and our guests brought gifts!  Moe a red and white of his own wine – and Marg 2 bottles of her homemade chokecherry syrup – yummmmmm!  (Don’t tell anyone eh, all the family will be jealous!)

Sun. June 1:  Another beautiful day – mostly sunny and high about 20C.  Headed straight to our much-loved area near Hunter Lake at the south end of the park.  The birds were singing everywhere!  Many Amer. Redstarts – both male and female flitted among the trees.  Also caught this Rose-breasted Grosbeak, which I can’t resist.


Three types of vireos were singing:  Red-eyed, Philadelphia and Blue-headed.  Here is a Red-eyed and we needed the book to confirm! These ones are tough!


Half way along we finally got a half-decent shot of a Canada Warbler – we love this guy with the necklace.

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Virtually the whole way we heard Yellow Warblers singing.  They are so beautiful with their red-streaked breasts, that I couldn’t resist throwing another in – and such a cute pose!


Walking with our rubber boots allowed us to go as far as we’ve ever gone down this trail.  This little House Wren was singing from a high perch in a swamp.


At the end of the trail we added a Baltimore Oriole to our list, but try as we might, we couldn’t spot him high in the trees which have leafed out and provide excellent hiding spots.

PS – added bonus this little violet I took with my phone.  It is the 1st I saw and Bill wasn’t around to use his camera.  It wouldn’t download from my phone until a trip into PA!  Not bad for a phone.


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