Bald Eagles at Prince Edward Point

Sept 11, 2015
It is the time of year when migrating birds start winging their way south, so yesterday (for the first time since the Birding Festival in May) I went to Prince Edward Point to see what I could see.

The morning sky was hazy and overcast, but very bright. This always makes it difficult to get good shots of birds in flight or those perched at the top of tall trees, like this Merlin who greeted me as I drove into the park yesterday.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
(click on the photo to enlarge it, then use the ‘back’ button to return to the blog)
This powerful little falcon is known colloquially as the ‘pigeon hawk’. It can take down birds, like Mourning Doves, that are much larger than itself.

After getting a few shots of the Merlin, I parked my car and immediately noticed a number of small birds flying quickly from the thick bushes to my right, over and into the thick bushes to my left. A few more flew overhead, and as I got out of my vehicle to look around I could see the branches of some nearby shrubs twitching from the movement of birds that were just out of sight. With so many leaves on the trees, the birds were difficult to see and I knew there would be very few chances for clear photos.

One small bird did cooperate though. It was a Song Sparrow.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015

I really wanted to get some shots of the warblers – and I saw several – but I never did get a chance to take a decent photo.

While the photography remained challenging, the morning proved to be very good for just watching birds. I saw three Wild Turkeys, a Hummingbird, Northern Flicker, several Accipiters, Flycatchers, and a Raven.

By far the most exciting find of the morning was a pair of Bald Eagles – an adult and a juvenile.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
This is a shot of the adult.

(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
This is the juvenile eagle. It will take at least three years before this young eagle develops the characteristic white head and tail of an adult.

As I walked the trails of Traverse Woods, trying to avoid all the spider webs, I thought about how different the Fall Migration is from the Spring. Of course the male birds are not as colourful, and they are quiet now. They are also not preoccupied with finding a mate so they are more wary and skittish. I prefer the Spring Migration! :)

I did get a couple of shots of smaller birds. Here’s one of a Blue-headed Vireo.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015

…and this is a young Rose-breasted Grosbeak – probably a first year male.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015

Despite the difficult conditions, I had a great morning of birding!

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