June 30, 2011

how many chin ups can you do?

This young red bellied woodpecker - with no red belly - was having trouble hanging onto the crossbar of the feeder pole.
He was waiting for mom to come back with a peanut.

As he tried to get upright it looked like he was doing an exercise routine.

Have a great long weekend Canada.

June 29, 2011

Feeding time

Feeding time by ricmcarthur
Feeding time, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

I made a blood donation to the mosquitoes while I waited for the female to come back to the nest to fee the two chicks.

The nest is about 20 feet up and 75 feet away.

They should fledge in the next few days. I don't know if they reuse nest.
Anyone out there know?

June 28, 2011

A beaver in the backyard

A beaver in the backyard by ricmcarthur
A beaver in the backyard, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

We happened to hear that there was a beaver in a backyard garden pond just a few blocks outside Rondeau Park.
The homeowners were very kind in allowing Anne and me into their yard to see the beaver.

There are usually a few reports each year of beavers in the area but we hadn't seen one.
We live in the southern most part of Ontario and beavers are rare here. Up north they are common and in many instances are considered a nuisance.

To have one in an 8x5 pond that is about 2 feet deep is sort of neat.
I imagine it will leave after it cleans out the water lilies, they eat the roots.

June 27, 2011

Please sir, some assistance?

















We were at the marina, heading out on the pontoon yesterday when I spotted what looked like a dead animal in a piling.
Turned out it was a live, small racoon that had tried living on board a sail boat.
The owner had opened the anchor locker and out popped the racoon.
The owner nudged the racoon with a stick to try to get it to leave the boat.
It jumped into the water and swam to the adjacent piling.
There it sat for hours.
When we came back from our afternoon on the boat it was still there and was being dive bombed by barn swallows.
Racoons are nest predators and enjoy eggs for breakfast or any other time for that matter.
















He shimmied down the piling to get away from the birds but had nothing to hang onto, so he went back up and suffered in silence.


















He could have swam to shore easily, it was only 20 feet away but there he stayed.

I received an email from the boat owner who confirmed that he had rescued the racoon who was sitting on the bow of the boat.
Full circle.

June 24, 2011

You gotta love Texas

You gotta love Texas by ricmcarthur
You gotta love Texas, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

If Texas didn't exist we would have to invent it.
Where else could you find a city called Gun Barrel?
I suppose someone has to make gun barrels but why would you name the whole city after an industry?

Maybe there is a Fishing Rod City or Garbage Bag City out there somewhere.

What is your favourite city idea?

June 23, 2011

Sectional

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

We put out oranges for our woodpeckers, grosbeaks and orioles.

By the end of the day the birds strip the orange to the rind. Earlier in the day they still have work to do.

June 22, 2011

I'm a road runner baby...

I'm a road runner baby... by ricmcarthur
I'm a road runner baby..., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

I also climb trees.

Sort of..

I can run up branches, but not really climb.

One of the birds we really wanted to see on our Texas trip was a roadrunner.
We were told they were every where.
It didn't seem that way and it took a long time to find the first one. Then.... they were every where we looked.

So often the way with bird watching.

We also say coyotes not far from the road runners but we didn't see an Acme story anywhere.

For non north americans refer to
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wile_E._Coyote_and_Road_Runner

it's a cultural(?) thing.

June 20, 2011

Two fishermen

Two fishermen by ricmcarthur
Two fishermen, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Who will catch a fish first?
One has natural talent, the other technology.
Fair contest?

Or maybe the heron is mooching.

June 17, 2011

Specialty of the House.

Specialty of the House. by ricmcarthur
Specialty of the House., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Obviously the house specialty is a monster hit down in Hill Country Texas.

They just can't get enough chicken fried steak.

Can you imagine, 3 dozen sold? Three Dozen!? What if they start a marketing campaign? Could they reach 4 dozen??

June 15, 2011

Muddy feet

Muddy feet by ricmcarthur
Muddy feet, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Oh boy, are you ever in trouble! Mom's gonna smack you when she sees those feet.
You track that dirt into the den and you'll be grounded for a month.

This young fox was wandering around an almost empty campground on the weekend.
I don't know if he has eye problems or if it was squinting in the bright sunshine.
We mentioned it to park staff who were going to check on the fox.

June 14, 2011

Brown thrasher and chick

Brown thrasher and chick by ricmcarthur
Brown thrasher and chick, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

We don't have a tidy, better homes and garden type of yard.
Lots of leaves and long grass and untrimmed shrubs around the edges which is perfect habitat for brown thrashers.

We have had several calling all spring and recently we noticed a young bird being feed by adults.

Thrashers love to toss leaves around checking underneath for creepy crawlies that they eat. If you see a pile of leaves moving for no apparent reason watch to see if it's a thrasher.

The chick followed the adult around and begged food but also checked the tossed leaves for bugs.

Fun to watch.

June 13, 2011

Willow Ptarmigan

Willow Ptarmigan by ricmcarthur
Willow Ptarmigan, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

A really rare treat for birders who were near Toronto Ontario this weekend and were able to get to the nuclear power station where this bird was seen.

Normally access to the plant area is not allowed, however, through the generosity of Ontario Power Generation, a special, one time visit was allowed.

About 150 birders had the opportunity to view the bird for about 3 minutes before it went back into the brush.

It is a male in summer plumage and has been at the plant since last Wednesday.

This is a bird that lives in the high arctic. The last confirmed sighting in this area was 125 years ago in 1886.

A real rarity.

Special thanks to Ontario Power Generation.

June 08, 2011

Life lesson 87

Life lesson 87 by ricmcarthur
Life lesson 87, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

Never take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

June 07, 2011

Altamira Oriole

Altamira Oriole by ricmcarthur
Altamira Oriole, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

The Altamira Oriole is a Mexican bird ands its range has expanded into southern Texas.
This is the largest oriole in the United States,.
Its nest is a woven basket-like nest that can reach 65 cm (25.5 in) in length.
Pretty isn't it?

June 06, 2011

Sometimes you have to believe the sign.

On South Padre Island, Texas they have a sign warning about alligators, turns out it is VERY accurate.

June 02, 2011

Sun in your face

Sun in your face by ricmcarthur
Sun in your face, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

I was trying to read the morning paper on a rare sunny morning and the light was right into my eyes.
I took of my glasses and set them on the table.
When I went to pick up the glasses this "sunny face" was looking at me.

June 01, 2011

In the pond

In the pond by ricmcarthur
In the pond, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.

This american toad was enjoying the sun and calling through out the afternoon.

Taken at Rondeau Provincial Park.