December 28, 2011

Great Grey Owl

Great Grey Owl by ricmcarthur
Great Grey Owl, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

We have only seen a great grey owl once before and that was across a field. They are a northern bird that is very rare in our area.
This is the first record for Essex county.
This owl showed up in southwestern ontario a few days back and has been perching in trees beside the road.

It comes within 10-20 feet and doesn't pay much attention to people.

He was hunting and flying down into the roadside ditch.

Great looks for a great owl.

December 16, 2011

Red billed gull

Red billed gull by ricmcarthur
Red billed gull, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

I like bird names that actually describe the bird.
New Zealand.

December 14, 2011

Don't sneeze

Look Ma, no hands.

Some kids will swallow anything.
Don't believe it, just look at this street entertainer in Toronto.
Sneezing is not recommended.

A spoonfull of sugar helps the sword go down

December 12, 2011

Rough road ahead

Rough road ahead by ricmcarthur
Rough road ahead, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

When I see a hubcap collection I'm always confused.
Should I slow down because there is rough road ahead or should I go really fast as they are good at stealing hubcaps?

Monday mornings are hard.

This photo is from New Zealand. They drive on the wrong side of the road. Does that mean they put hubcaps ON your car?

Monday with out coffee is really hard.

December 09, 2011


Odonata by ricmcarthur
Odonata, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Spoted this large dragonfly - Colourus craftus- resting on the end of a garage yesterday.
Big one, probably eats dunkeys and mules.
Odonata are dragonflys.

December 07, 2011

Birders go to the nicest places

Dumps and sewage lagoons are high on the list.

The birding center was beside the sewage treatment plant.

Maybe people look at birders funny because we smell?

Ah, who cares, that's where the birds are.

December 05, 2011

They're at the post...

They're at the post... by ricmcarthur
They're at the post..., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

they're off............. they're (turtle) neck and neck...

Soft shell hatchlings headiing for cover.

December 02, 2011

You know you're in the city when......

the outdoor johns have attendants.

Love the name on the one in the centre, Tropic Thunder!!
What have they been serving in the beer tent?

Have a good weekend.

November 30, 2011

Anybody home??

Anybody home?? by ricmcarthur
Anybody home??, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

A downey woodpecker checking to make sure he didn't miss anything.

November 28, 2011

If bulldogs were cattle....

this is what the would look like.
Not sure what a wee heeland coo (a small highland cow) is doing in Southern Ontario. They usually don't migrate from Scotland.
Small wings I guess.

November 23, 2011

Heavy water

Heavy water by ricmcarthur
Heavy water, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Had severe weather Tuesday, very strong winds and lots of rain.
It came out of the east resulting in 7-8 foot waves pounding into the beach in front of the cottage.
A lot of sand was stirred up by the waves making them look thick, almost sludge like.
If you look at it in large you will see what I mean.

I decided not to go swimming.

November 16, 2011

You mallards are all quack

and no waddle.

Lots of ducks on Rondeau Bay.
It is hunting season so they are a little sjittish.

This pintail doesn't seem to hold the sleeping mallard in very high esteem.

November 11, 2011


tense by ricmcarthur
tense, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

tense :
1. stretched or stressed tightly; taut or rigid
2. under mental or emotional strain

November 04, 2011

Around and around you go....

Crash has taken a liking to the dryer. He hops in when it stops and likes to curl up in the warm clothes.

If they aren't quite dry and it gets turned on again..... around and around we go.

November 02, 2011

Still on the job

Still on the job by ricmcarthur
Still on the job, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

What has three legs, one eye and attitude?
This dog.
Still patroling his yard and challenging strangers.

I assume he was a rescue dog, he lives near Port Aranasas Texas.

Texas--- yah that explains a lot.

October 28, 2011

Sometimes the kids need a break.

Not sure what the sign is for. Do you really drop of your parents?
If it is to give care takers a break that's great, otherwise it seems odd.

October 26, 2011

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler by ricmcarthur
Yellow Warbler, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Haven't had much opportunity to get out for a few weeks.
This is from last May

October 21, 2011

misty sunrise

misty sunrise by ricmcarthur
misty sunrise, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Early morning, just grabbed the camera, opened the door and shot.

October 19, 2011

FOOD FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

FOOD FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!! by ricmcarthur
FOOD FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

When we were in New Zealand in 2009 we went on a pelagic trip, a fancy name for taking a boat out into the ocean to see sea birds.

They put a bait ball bull of fish bits over the stern of the boat and albatross and other birds came in.
Occasionally they were very aggressive.
The bird on the right has a 10 foot wing span.

October 14, 2011


Thrush by ricmcarthur
Thrush, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

When I was a young fella there was a brand of mufflers named Thrush.
They were desined to be fairly loud and rumbly.

Considering how melodious thrushes are I don't understand the muffler name.
You can hear the wood thrush here.

October 12, 2011

Burrowing turtles

Burrowing turtles a video by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Something different today.
A short video of hatchling soft shelled turtles burrowing into the mud.
When your small and something big comes along, you hide.

October 11, 2011

It's hard being green

It's hard being green by ricmcarthur
It's hard being green, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

A green tree frog on a branch. He's about the size of two thumbnails.

October 07, 2011

Home Inspector

Home Inspector by ricmcarthur
Home Inspector, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Mike Holmes would be proud.

For those of you who don't know the reference, Mike Holmes has a show on HGTV called Holmes on Homes.
It deals with homes that need repairs despite what the home inspectors said in their reports.

October 05, 2011

Rusty Mackaw

Rusty Mackaw by ricmcarthur
Rusty Mackaw, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

The Mackaws of Rondeau like pine cones and grass seeds on occasion.
This one turned up in our yard and I was able to get a shot of one eating a pine cone.

I think the propane delivery guy is playing a trick on us. I like his sense of humour.

October 03, 2011

Now THAT is a steep hill.

Now THAT is a steep hill. by ricmcarthur
Now THAT is a steep hill., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

As seen in northwestern Ohio. If you have ever been to northwest Ohio you know it is flat as a table.

September 29, 2011

Going squirrelly

Going squirrelly  by ricmcarthur
Going squirrelly , a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

According to Crash, the cat, it isn't fair to have squirrels running up and sown the screen door.
Now if the door was open a bit...

September 28, 2011

Big Bird

Big Bird by ricmcarthur
Big Bird, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
He may not be yellow but he is still big.
The birds beside him are caspian terns which are a fairly large bird.
The one in the foreground is a ringbilled gull, another good sized bird.

He is a great blackbacked gull and is is really big.
We get them in the early fall as they migrate through.

September 26, 2011

The Kingfisher

The Kingfisher by ricmcarthur
The Kingfisher, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

He is stting on a charter fishing boat on one of the rod holders.

Not sure if he is mooching for a meal or looking for some equipment to make him a better fisher bird.

Belted kingfisher
Megaceryle alcyon

September 21, 2011

Any shelter in a storm

Any shelter in a storm by ricmcarthur
Any shelter in a storm, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

An enterprising bird found a sheltered spot to build a nest.
It probably was a robin based on where the it was and the construction.
Found while birding at the Midwest Birding Symposium

September 20, 2011

American Redstart

American Redstart by ricmcarthur
American Redstart, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

We were in northern Ohio over the weekend at the Midwest Birding Symposium and the birding was good.
We stopped at Magee Marsh and birded the boardwalk near the lake shore.

The birds were down low and feeding which is SO much better than having to look at the tops of trees to see them.

The MBS is a great event, if you are a birder and live in the midwest check it out.

September 15, 2011

The skulker

The skulker by ricmcarthur
The skulker, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Hidden deep in a bush an ovenbird looks for a few bugs to snack on.
The fall migration is underway and we are getting lots of fall warblers and other types om birds, moving through the park.

Ovenbirds are more often heard than seen and they are not calling this time of year.

September 14, 2011

September 12, 2011

messy eater

messy eater by ricmcarthur
messy eater, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

We have had a number of woodpeckers still feeding their young.
This redbellied woodpecker, yes I know it has a red head, had a mouth full of suet which it feed to the young bird at the left of the photo.
Shot through a screen.

September 09, 2011

September 08, 2011

Wind in the willow

Wind in the willow by ricmcarthur
Wind in the willow, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

This is the remnant of the willow that fell on our roof last year. It has filled out and provides shade in the morning.
We have been having strong winds and rain the last few days, blowing in off Lake Erie, stirring up the lake and whipping the trees near the shore.

Out willow looks like an inside out umbrella or a little bit like a palm tree.

The view is from the lake side to the forest across the road from the cottage.

We did have to tie the gazebo down.

September 07, 2011

Coal Mine

Coal Mine by ricmcarthur
Coal Mine, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

That small opening on the side of a hill is a drift mine in West Virginia.
Drift mines have horizontal entries into the coal seam from a hillside. This one was probably used back in the 1930's.
Men would crawl in and excavate a coal seam and sell the coal to one of the mines.
Dirty dangerous work.

Would You crawl in there?

September 06, 2011

Wilsons warbler

Wilsons warbler by ricmcarthur
Wilsons warbler, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

We put in a small water feature in the yard.
It has a recirculating pump and two small shallow ponds that the birds are attracted to.
Since the water flow was added we have had lots of activity.
Yesterday we noticed 3 warblers on the south bound migration that stopped for a drink and bath.
This one, a wilsons ,a black and white ,and a nicely cloured Cape May warbler.

September 05, 2011

Hi, I'm Gremlin and I'm 7 weeks old.

I was adopted early as I was abandoned. Now I live in a nice house with a BIG cat called Ninja. He's 14 weeks old.

September 02, 2011

A different perspective

A different perspective by ricmcarthur
A different perspective, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

I don't think you are supposed to do that on a pogo stick.
In the process of doing a back flip.
I can barley stay on one just bouncing around.
Have a great long weekend Canada.

September 01, 2011

Tiger swallowtail

Tiger swallowtail by ricmcarthur
Tiger swallowtail, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

In the front Yard. We have had a good selection of butterflies this year.

August 31, 2011

Looking for a snack

Looking for a snack by ricmcarthur
Looking for a snack, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Wandering insectivors, standing 9 feet tall roamed downtown Toronto last weekend. Turned out they just wanted cotton candy.

Buskerfest, Toronto.