September 17, 2018

Black crowned night heron, Rondeau Provincial Park.

Another image taken from the pontoon along Rondeau's marsh edge.
We came upon a pair of immature night herons and they posed beautifully for me.
Far too many images to chose from.

Nycticorax nycticorax
Young Black-crowned Night-Herons leave the nest at the age of 1 month but cannot fly until they are 6 weeks old. They move through the vegetation on foot, joining up in foraging flocks at night.
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Great egret.

I was out on the pontoon with a few birders looking for the great kiskadee when we saw shorebirds and great egrets on the weed mats in the bay.

We didn't find the kiskadee.
Ardea alba
Great Egrets fly slowly but powerfully: with just two wingbeats per second their cruising speed is around 25 miles an hour.

September 15, 2018

I'm forever blowing bubbles.

Nashville warbler doing a head plunge into our small water feature.
The plunge was followed by a robust bath.

Oreothlypis ruficapilla

The Nashville Warbler sometimes uses porcupine quills as nest material.

September 14, 2018

Milkweed beetle/bug

We call them milkweed bugs but i don't know the proper name.
They were swarming on the milk pods of the milkweed plant. Usually there are just a few but this time they were massing.

Seen in rondeau Provincial Park, southwestern Ontario, Canada.
If you know what they are please let me know in the comments.

September 12, 2018

Yes, it is another sora.

Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Sept 11, 2018.
When they pose this nicely it is only good manners to post their portrait.

Porzana carolina
Soras have earned several nicknames including Carolina rail, soree, meadow chicken, and ortolan. The name ortolan was probably given to them by hunters keen on eating the small bird, much like the actual ortolan, which is a bunting from Europe that is a delicacy in France, although an illegal one.
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September 11, 2018

Two jewels.

After watching the great kiskadee at Rondeau we watched ruby-throated hummingbirds in the jewelweed.

Archilochus colubris
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird beats its wings about 53 times a second.

September 10, 2018

Great kiskadee.

Although I had partial looks at this bird over the last few days I hadn't been able to get a photo.

Today I went out in the fog/drizzle/rain and had good looks at the bird.

It perched in the open, me without my camera due to the wet.
After watching for 5 minutes I made my way back to the car and grabbed the camera.

The kiskadee was down low and eventually came up with a frog.

Certainly worth going out in the rain.

Pitangus sulphuratus

Great Kiskadees readily come to feeders to eat fruit such as bananas. Watch out for these bold birds: they also readily steal other kinds of food, such as bread, peanut butter, and pet food.
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Cape May warbler.

Cape May warbler, Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada, Sept 8, 2018

This Cape May warbler is about to eat a tiny insect.

Can you imagine how many bugs a warbler has to eat to sustain it?

Setophaga tigrina

The tongue of the Cape May Warbler is unique among warblers. It is curled and semitubular, and is used to collect nectar during winter.

September 09, 2018

Not a Great Kiskadee.
We had a rarity at Rondeau Provincial Park the last two days, a great kiskadee.
Their range is Central America and south Texas.
Saw the bird but didn't get a photo.

While waiting for the bird I had the opportunity to play with a four foot long eastern fox snake which was just as good.
It had been captured by park staff and they were taking it in to see if it had been pit tagged.
Thanks to Don Webb for sharing his photo.
Pantherophis gloydi
The eastern fox snake is the third-largest snake in Ontario and can reach a length of up to 1.7 metres, 5.5 feet, although most individuals are smaller.