Sept 22, 2015
The forecast for Sunday morning looked to be perfect. However, the reality was something else again. Sure, it was sunny-ish, but it was also quite cold and very blustery. It was the kind of morning which made me think I might not see any birds let alone get any decent photos.
It was quite dark when my alarm rang, and I was halfway to Prince Edward Point before the sun poked it’s bright self up and above the mountainous bank of clouds that lined the eastern horizon.
I pulled into the park around 7:30 with the sun hiding behind a small dark cloud. The bushes were being buffeted by the wind, and there was nary a feathered friend in sight. Still I was undaunted. I drove down to the Traverse woods, armed myself with a small twig to clear away the spiderwebs that crisscrossed the trails, and set off towards the bluff.
Despite the wind and cold, I did begin to notice a number of small birds darting about and feeding in the bushes that lined the trail.
Here was my first capture of the day.
It’s a “Black-and-white Warbler” (Mniotilta varia). Ironically, a species that I didn’t see during this year’s Spring Migration!
(click on the photo to enlarge it, then use the ‘back’ button to return to the blog)
What happened next was definitely the highlight of the day – and made all my efforts that morning worthwhile. As I stepped towards the edge of the bluff, a juvenile Bald Eagle flew over, circled and flew back in the direction it came. It was just a brief, wonderful moment that lasted long enough for me to get this shot.
All morning flocks of Blue Jays were flying overhead, typical of this time of year. I also saw vireos, kinglets, a female Scarlet Tanager, and a variety of other warblers including Black-throated Green, Northern Parula, Yellow-rumped, and Pine. Of course there were also Northern Flickers which I almost always see as they are flying away displaying their prominent white rumps. On this morning though I managed to catch a Northern Flicker before he saw me.
You can tell that it’s a male by it’s black malar (or moustache as I call it).
On the way back home I stopped at Melville Creek where it crosses Highway 62 just south of Ben Gill Road, and I got this shot of a Great Egret.
It was a great (pun intended) way to end a surprisingly good morning of birding!