May 31, 2013

Yellow warbler

Yellow warbler by ricmcarthur
Yellow warbler, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
A small bird on a small nest.
This is the most extensively yellow of the warblers. Even the tail spots re yellow.
The male has rusty breast streaks which the female doesn't have or they are extremely faint.


Dendroica petechia

May 30, 2013

Taking his camera for a walk.

Shoulder pain is the mother of invention.
It's great to have a big lens and get those tremendous photos, however, those things are heavy.
Try carrying 4 pounds of lens and another pond or so of camera around for a day.
Five will get you ten that that will feel like 50 by the end of a long day.
The solution is to modify a stroller to carry the rig, including the tripod and just push it around.

May 29, 2013

Lurking

Lurking by ricmcarthur
Lurking, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This Eastern Fox Snake was sunning at the edge of a walking path. It wasn't moving so it was hard to see. Not sure why I looked down at that point.

The following is from he Royal Ontario Museum web site:
The Eastern Fox Snake (Pantherophis gloydi) is Ontario's second-largest snake after its close relative, the Eastern Ratsnake (Elaphe obsoleta), and usually grows to about one metre long (some individuals grow to 1.75 metres). Eastern Fox Snakes have a reddish head and a yellowish-brown body with dark blotches down the back and a row of smaller blotches along each side. They are usually found near water in both marsh and woodland, and often near human habitation. They will enter barns and travel along roads and ditches when hunting for small rodents and birds, which are killed by constriction. Fox snakes are good swimmers, and they have been recorded swimming over two kilometres between islands. In late summer, females lay their eggs in rotting logs, though they have also been known to use sawdust piles and manure heaps. As temperatures drop in the fall, snakes will converge on local communal overwintering sites (called hibernacula). Individual fox snakes may travel several kilometres to these underground hibernacula.

May 28, 2013

Where would you expect to find a wood duck?

In a tree of course.

I always find it odd to see a duck sitting in a tree. It is counter intuitive. They should be in the water or in some cases walking around the shore.
Just not up in a tree.

The Wood Duck is one of the most stunningly pretty of all waterfowl. Males are iridescent chestnut and green, with ornate patterns on nearly every feather; the elegant females have a distinctive profile and delicate white pattern around the eye. These birds live in wooded swamps, where they nest in holes in trees or in nest boxes put up around lake margins. They are one of the few duck species equipped with strong claws that can grip bark and perch on branches. -source All about birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wood_Duck/id

Aix sponsa

May 27, 2013

Black-billed cuckoo

Black-billed cuckoo by ricmcarthur
Black-billed cuckoo, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
This black-billed cuckoo was doing its song/call of a fast, rhythmic "cucucu,cucucu,cucucu"
In this photo the throat is bulging slightly as it does its call.
It tends to do a grouped rhythm of three or four but it often does irregular cadences.

The Black-billed cuckoo is a fairly large bird at 11 1/2 to 12 inches in length. (29-30cm)
The bill is dark grey to blackish It has small under tail spots which can be difficult to see.

In profile


Coccyzus erythropthalmus

May 25, 2013

Couch potato heaven

Couch potato heaven by ricmcarthur
Couch potato heaven, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
I knew there had to be someplace like this.

We wouldn't want healthy,active people now, would we?
Seen at a municipal building in Chatham-Kent, Ontario.

Stay on that couch playing your video games kids.

May 23, 2013

Chestnut sided warbler

Chestnut sided warbler by ricmcarthur
Chestnut sided warbler, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
True to its name it has chestnut colour along its sides.
Other field marks include a yellow crown and a tail that is usual cocked up.
It prefers undergrowth, overgrown field edges and small trees.

Its call is "please please pleased to MEETcha" with the last note dropping.

Dendroica pensylvanica

May 22, 2013

Black throated green warbler

with worm.
This is one bird who's name actually makes sense.
A small bird with a black throat and olive green on its head.

A spring migrant that we wee each May.
Just like the other warblers he flits around grabbing insects and caterpillars off the bushes and plants making it hared to get a decent photo.

Dendroica virens

May 20, 2013

Happy Monday

Happy Monday by ricmcarthur
Happy Monday, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
I don't know what they were selling but I will take a dozen.

We saw this little store in the back streets of Barcelona.
Sounds like their product would be a hit in north America.

May 17, 2013

Just the one.

Just the one. by ricmcarthur
Just the one., a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
American avocets show up in our area each year. They aren't common but they aren't rare either.
A fellow birder called us to let us know there was just the one avocet about 3 miles outside of Rondeau Provincial Park.
The bird was exactly where she said it would be.
That is rare as birds have wings and know how to use them.

The avocet is a large, slim shorebird with a very slender upturned bill. In breeding plumage the head and neck have a pinkish tan or orangey buff colour.

Recurirosta americana

May 16, 2013

Brewster's warbler

Brewster's warbler by ricmcarthur
Brewster's warbler, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
The Golden-winged warbler and the Blue-winged warblers hybridize where their ranges overlap.
This results in two types Brewster's and Lawrence's warblers.

The resulting bird has a combination of field marks.

May 15, 2013

Cerulean warbler

Cerulean warbler by ricmcarthur
Cerulean warbler, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
The normal habitat for the Cerulean is high in deciduous forests foraging for insects in the tree tops.
Due to cold weather and a major shortage of insects this Cerulean was foraging on the ground giving bird watchers great looks.
Nice for the birders but stressful for the warbler.
Ceruleans are a small warbler with a short tail. Blue above with white below.

Dendrocia cerulea

May 14, 2013

The ruby in the ruby crown.

This is the first time I had a good look at the ruby colour on the ruby crowned kinglet.
They are fast movers that rapidly hop from branch to branch.
This one was displaying the crown, in full sunlight, and paused long enough for me to get the photo.

Regulus calendula

May 13, 2013

The bridges of amsterdam

The bridges of amsterdam by ricmcarthur
The bridges of amsterdam, a photo by ricmcarthur on Flickr.
We were in Amsterdam for a few days before going off to a wedding.
We did the tourist thing and did the canal tour by boat.
Interesting seeing a city from the water, lots of bridges and houseboats.