October 11, 2015
Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I hope you’re all enjoying some great food and visiting with family and friends. I hope you all have lots to be thankful for. I know I do.
As an extra treat this weekend my friend Jeff organized a photography outing for some of us bird photographers. It was nothing elaborate, just an invitation to all meet up at Prince Edward Point yesterday morning at 8:00am. Jeff and I were joined by our friends Barry, Ian, John, and Gilles – all great guys, avid birders, and excellent photographers. The weather was a touch cold (about 4 degrees Celsius) and a little windy, but it was also very sunny. We all dressed appropriately and the nip in the air was no deterrent at all.
The first birds we spotted were Pine Siskins – a really pleasant surprise.
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These little birds frequently visit this area in the winter time. However, this year the experts weren’t expecting them to come because the White Spruce crops are generally low. We saw half-a-dozen, so who knows. Put out your nyger seed feeders and maybe they’ll visit your yard. If they do come, you can expect them to hang around for as long as the weather is cold and feeders are full.
The most common bird in the woods yesterday was definitely the Yellow-rumped Warbler, followed closely by Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets. Here’s one of the Golden-crowned Kinglets that I saw.
The high point of the morning had to be a Sharp-shinned Hawk that perched about 25 feet from the main trail.
He stayed for quite some time, sheltered from the cold wind, and obviously quite full because all the little birds that flew in and around him didn’t tempt him to move. One bold Eastern Phoebe perched on a branch less than three feet away.
I stayed with the hawk for more than 30 minutes. Most of the time it sat with its back to me, but finally it turned.
What a beautiful little hawk!
On the morning we also saw a juvenile Bald Eagle, a Raven, Blue-headed Vireo, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Red-breasted Nuthatch, a Cooper’s Hawk, and lots of Juncos. It was a terrific time enjoyed by everyone!