December 27, 2012

Lesser goldfinch

Lesser goldfinch by ricmcarthur
Lesser goldfinch, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
Such a good looking bird to be called lesser.
This is a male with a black cap and black back. Yellow underneath and white on the wings

Carduelis psaltria

December 26, 2012

December 20, 2012

Cardinals really are a stunning bird.

As a year round bird I tend not to look closely at cardinals because they are just cardinals.
When I do stop and look I am impressed all over again.

Cardinalis cardinalis

December 14, 2012

California Towhee

California Towhee by ricmcarthur
California Towhee, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
A drab bird about 9 inches long that likes to hide in bushes. Definitely the least colourful towhee we have seen.
Still it was another first.
Someday I should add up the birds we have seen.

Pipilo crissalis

November 20, 2012

Blue on green

Blue on green by ricmcarthur
Blue on green, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
Dragonflies are amazing to watch.
A little like hummingbirds, they can hover,backup and fly with incredible manoeuvrability.
Their colours are interesting as well.

November 16, 2012

White throated sparrow.

White throated sparrow. by ricmcarthur
White throated sparrow., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
As far as bird names go this one is fairly accurate.
It does have white stripes on its head and yellow eye brows (yellow lores) but the bright white throat is the main filed identifier for me.

zonotrichia albicollis

November 15, 2012

Long-billed Curlew

Long-billed Curlew by ricmcarthur
Long-billed Curlew, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
I just love the bill on this bid.
The bill can be up to 8 1/2 inches long.

Numenius americanus

November 14, 2012

Northern pintail

Northern pintail by ricmcarthur
Northern pintail, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This is one of the easier ducks to identify. It does have long thin pin feathers in breeding plumage.

An easier id is the white line going up the side of the neck.

Anas acuta

November 08, 2012

Tree kangaroo

Tree kangaroo by ricmcarthur
Tree kangaroo, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This is one of many species of tree kangaroos in Australia.
We were lucky enough to find this one up a tree.
Looks odd up there doesn't he?

November 07, 2012

Paradise shell duck chicks

PAradise shell duck chicks by ricmcarthur
PAradise shell duck chicks, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This is an older photo from our trip to New Zealand in 2009.
We found a family of shell ducks working a shallow stream along the roadside.
The parents were nearby and were paying close attention to their brood.

November 06, 2012

Northern saw-whet owl

Northern saw-whet owl by ricmcarthur
Northern saw-whet owl, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
A friend found this saw-whet roosting in a tree in the campground at Rondeau Provincial Park.

He must have investigated every pine tree becuase this owl was very well hidden and difficult to photograph.

He was looking at something of to the right so I couldn't get a full face shot.

aegolius acadicus

November 05, 2012

The Buck stopped here.

The Buck stopped here. by ricmcarthur
The Buck stopped here., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This is probably the largest deer we have seen in the park and certainly the largest seen from the yard.
He casually feed while keeping an eye on the cottage.
Seen through the wonderful wildlife window.

November 02, 2012

November 01, 2012

White winged cross bill

White winged cross bill by ricmcarthur
White winged cross bill, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
While this is not a great photo it does show the various field marks including the wing bars yellow batch on the rump and the crossed bill.
Taken through a dirty window in poor light.

Loxia leucoptera

October 31, 2012

Full of evening grosbeaks

Full of evening grosbeaks by ricmcarthur
Full of evening grosbeaks, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
We have had an influx of evening grosbeaks today.
We had two or three earlier in the week.
They don't come into our area often however this seems to be one of the times.
Taken through the dirty double pained wonderful wildlife window in poor light.
All in all not to bad.

coccothraustes vespertinus

October 27, 2012

Every morning my human scrapes the fur off his face.

He's funny that way.

I admit that this is plagiarism. I saw the wording on a bill board somewhere and couldn't resist using it.

October 22, 2012

The trees were leaking colour all over the road

It always seems to be such a waste that all that colour is used up in a few weeks.
The aftermath is months of greys and browns.

October 16, 2012

On the beach

On the beach by ricmcarthur
On the beach, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
I took turtle researchers out on a quiet summers day.
We were able to beach the boat so the could access the areas they were studying.

It usually isn't this calm on the south beach at Rondeau so it was a treat for me to be able to leave the boat and watch the researchers. Normally I stay with the boat the entire time.

October 12, 2012

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush by ricmcarthur
Hermit Thrush, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
Another fall visitor to our little pond. We have had two at the same time and there are probably more in the area.

Catharus guttatus

October 10, 2012

A pound and a half of butter butts

One of the nick names for yellow rumped warblers is butter butt because of the big yellow patch just above the tail.

We have been swarmed by yellow rumps for the past week. At times they take over the pond and nothing else comes in.

October 09, 2012

Altamira Oriole

Altamira Oriole by ricmcarthur
Altamira Oriole, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
We saw these gorgeous birds when we were in Texas last winter.

I am partially colour blind but I can still see the intensity of colour on this bird.

Icterus gularis

October 07, 2012

Well, I guess we will find out.

Whether pigs can fly.

I mistyped whether as wether. Turns out a wether is a castrated ram.
Who knew?

October 04, 2012

Ring-necked duck

Ring-necked duck by ricmcarthur
Ring-necked duck, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
I've not seen the ring aroung the neck.
It does have a ring around its bill.
So, why isn't it the ringed bill duck?

Aythya collaris
Peaked head, dark back, pale spur on sides behind neck, gray on the sides

October 02, 2012

How it really looks out in the woods.

Never mind those nice photos you see in magazines or the illustrations in field guides.
This is the typical view you gt of a warbler as it flits around in a bush.
Usually the are at the tops of trees and even harder to see.
Having a water feature in your yard will bring them down and hopefully you can get a better look.
This is a fall plumage yellow rumped warbler.

A yellow rumped warbler caught in the open.

Whonder why they call it a yellow rumped warbler?

October 01, 2012

A fall visitor

A fall visitor by ricmcarthur
A fall visitor, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
A male black throated blue warbler(dendroica caerulescens for those of you so inclined) spent an hour feeding in the hedge above and behind the pond.
He eventually came down for a drink and a bath.

September 28, 2012

White eyed vireo

White eyed vireo by ricmcarthur
White eyed vireo, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This is one bird name that actually makes sense. It has a white eye.
Bird names are not always descriptive such as the red bellied woodpecker.

It has red on its head but at best just a pinkish blush on the belly.
Even then the pinky colour can only be seen in certain light or if you have the bird in the hand.

Way back when birds were being named there were no binoculars.
They shot the bird then examined it for specific field marks.
The red headed name was already used so it became the red bellied.

So, be thankful when a descriptive bird name actually makes sense.

Have a good weekend.

September 21, 2012

Immature chestnut sided warbler

Since putting in a small water feature a year ago we have had over 100 species of bird come in to bath and drink.

I can sit about 20 feet away and most of the birds don't mind.
This chestnut sided was looking for bugs in the water lettuce we put in the pond.

September 19, 2012

It's not just pigeons anymore.

Seems if you are a concrete figurine of any shape or size you are fair game.
Usually I see pigeons doing most of the work, however, this immature rose breasted gross beak was doing his bit for the cause.

September 17, 2012

Perhaps it is used for doges to get their P mail.

First spotted a sign like this about 5 years ago.
This is located in a campground.
If it isn't a fire fighting hydrant maybe they put it out there for visiting dogs.

September 14, 2012

The new, improved lily pad!

Why bother with those old vegetation based pads?
They take forever to grow, wither away in the fall and flip over in the wind.
The all new styropad last forever, is available for use year round and being bright white is easy to find even at dusk.

Best of all they are free and are delivered by litters every where.

Get yours now!!

Perhaps if this policy was in effect we would have fewer polluters and litter bugs.

Probably not, there would be bodies everywhere.

September 10, 2012

One eye open

One eye open by ricmcarthur
One eye open, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
Even when sleeping Crash seems to keep one eye open for Oz.
Crash is at least twice the weight and size of Oz but speed trumps size, at least around here.

September 09, 2012

Whirling dervish

Whirling dervish by ricmcarthur
Whirling dervish, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
Crash is never sure just where Oz is coming from.
He isn't there and then,WHAM, he is there.

September 06, 2012

Red breasted nuthatch

Red breasted nuthatch by ricmcarthur
Red breasted nuthatch, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
We have had a number of red breasted nuthatches migrating through the yard in the past week.
We see one or two during the summer so it's nice to have them in the yard on a regular basis.

September 04, 2012

Say Ahhhhhh

Say Ahhhhhh by ricmcarthur
Say Ahhhhhh, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
How do you cool down your falcon.
Spray him down with water of course.

At a recent raptor show at Rondeau Provincial Park, sponsored by the Friends of Rondeau, some of the birds were starting to overheat.

The presenters son was spraying the birds with water to cool them down.
This falcon decided he wanted a drink so the young lad obliged and sprayed water into its mouth.

August 30, 2012


expolsive by ricmcarthur
expolsive, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
How to take a bath when you really don't like water.
Dive at speed, hit water, explode off surface.

August 24, 2012

Immature Wilson's warbler

Immature Wilson's warbler by ricmcarthur
Immature Wilson's warbler, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
You can tell it's immature because it taunts the other birds and goes,"Na na anna"

Actually it has a light brownish patch on its head. Adults have a dark black hair piece.

August 23, 2012

Not exactly Baywatch

Not exactly Baywatch by ricmcarthur
Not exactly Baywatch, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
An impromptu mini triathlon broke out at Rondeau yesterday.
It wasn’t exactly Baywatch as the swimmers left the water.

August 22, 2012

Busy bee

Busy bee by ricmcarthur
Busy bee, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
The yard is full of interesting things this time of year.
Bees,wasps,skinks,salamanders, snakes and more.

August 20, 2012


Display by ricmcarthur
Display, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
A chipmunk was threatening this dove with darting movements.
It was trying to drive the bird away from the seed on the ground.
Each time the chipmunk would dart forward the dove would flair its tail and lift its wings.

Suddenly the chipmunk would charge the dove, who would exploded into the air .

It looked like the chipmunk was bowling for doves.

August 17, 2012

Carolina wren

Carolina wren by ricmcarthur
Carolina wren, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
A little late for nesting but it may be a young bird and It is good practice for next spring.

August 16, 2012

I don't think you're supposed to park your boat there

Cigarettes littering the beach.

This happened last year about 3 miles from the cottage.

The driver made a right hand turn about 2 miles too soon. The shore does make a right angle turn much further on.

Surprisingly alcohol was not a factor and no one was hurt.
When they towed the boat off the beach, the motors started and they drove the boat away.

A friend sent me the photo.