Loon feeding the youngsters

Well I did a U turn today and went from the original plan to photographing loons. I was glad I did.  Have a look at the size of fish the parent is attempting to feed the juvenile, it was relatively huge, yet it gulped it down!


Killdeer nest

While photographing a horse show I noticed some commotion on a hill near some spectators. This Killdeer was working hard to distract th spectators from walking on its nest.  After the show  I went to see what the commotion was all about, the Killdeer changed antics becoming more and more wounded the closer I got, I quietly walked past the nest taking a couple of photos without stopping and let them be.    

Sora #180 new bird!

Never heard of them? Neither had I,  however we have all heard them and mistaken them for frogs or just assumed we were hearing general marsh sounds. This is one of the many songs they sing:

The Sora is found in freshwater marshes, flood fields, and swamps, where they walk around like little chickens pecking at the water. The biggest threat to these birds is wetlands being drained, as this is where they nest.  Having been over hunted, they have made a come back due to the high survival rate of chicks.

Trumpeter Swans

When you see a tagged bird, you can send the details in the to Birds Bander’s, and they will get back to you with information as to the age of the bird and where it was banded.  these birds are migrating so it would be interesting to find out where they are from. https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv/

Within 24 hours I received two certificates which can be viewed as you scroll through the batch of swan photos.

Trumpeters were at one time hunted to the point of reducing its numbers significantly, they have now bounced back to a population world wide of about 18,000.

click here to view the certificate pdf

Click here to view the certificate as a pdf

Tundra Swans #144

Tundra Swans are identifiable by a tiny yellow patch below their eyes, other than this they look a lot like Trumpeter Swans.   These have a strong international population of about 300,000 and are doing well.  They nest in the far north up in Alaska and Baffin Island, they are just passing through these parts after spending the winter in the south.

I met a nice birder with a powerful scope, through the scope we could clearly identify the yellow patch, however it was a cold day and my lens was only so powerful, trust me the yellow patches were there 🙂

This was a new bird for me, I had made a category for it which sat empty after I realized I had a case of mistaken it’s identity.  So finally here is my first post of Tundra Swans. 

Slurping up the fish!

In just a few minutes, this Heron slurped up 7 fish, have a look at the photos, one after another, down the hatch they went … the last victim was drinking at the waters edge had a narrow escape


Fish 1


Fish 2

heron-fishing-102 heron-fishing-103

Fish 3

heron-fishing-104 heron-fishing-105

Fish 4

heron-fishing-106 heron-fishing-107 heron-fishing-108

Fish 5


Fish 6


This was almost the 7th victim, a narrow escape!

Flocking Sandhill Cranes

The Sandhills are plentiful these days, this flock in the Stayner area is well over 1000 birds.  Daily, smaller flocks are passing over our farm in the Beaver Valley, we can usually hear them before we see them as they are very noisy when flying … they sound like a litter of young racoons at war.  I literally look around for racoons, then noticed the sound is coming from the sky.

sandhill-flock-100 sandhill-flock-101 sandhill-flock-102 sandhill-flock-103 sandhill-flock-104 sandhill-flock-105 sandhill-flock-106 sandhill-flock-107 sandhill-flock-108 sandhill-flock-109 sandhill-flock-110 sandhill-flock-111

Wood Ducks in the fall

Hunted nearly to extinction these beautiful ducks are making a comeback here in Ontario.  Distinctively North American, they are not found anywhere other than the wetland forests of eastern North America.wood-duck-1-edit wood-duck-10 wood-duck-13 wood-duck-14 wood-duck-15 wood-duck-2 wood-duck-3 wood-duck-5 wood-duck-6 wood-duck-7

Great Blue Heron

Many of the blue Herons have flown south for the warmer weather, perhaps the one knows about the Hurricane hitting the east coast today and decided to stay a little longer, but I doubt it.   This one was settling in for the evening and eventually went to sleep whit’s head tucked in. blue-heron-7

blue-heron-9 blue-heron-11 blue-heron-1 blue-heron-2 blue-heron-5 blue-heron-6

Sanderling in winter plumage

Wasaga Beach is a great place to family portraits, which is what I was doing when Tammy pointed out this shore bird running in the surf.  I was intent on what I was doing and it had run right up behind me.  So of course I took a few photos, challenging to identify it’s first year fall/winter plumage.   they spend the summers in the high Arctic, migrating south for winter.

sanderling-5-2 sanderling-8-2 sanderling-9-2 sanderling-13-2 sanderling-1-2 sanderling-2-2


Sandhill Crane Chick

This family was working their way along the shore line, I stayed somewhat still, and they walked right by me minding their own business.  I feel good when my presence doesnt interrupt what they were doing and they continue on without giving me much notice. As they mosey along finding bugs to feed the chick, they also tried to show it where the bugs are found and encouraged it to pick them up. Fascinating.

sandhill-crane-36 sandhill-crane-30 sandhill-crane-27 sandhill-crane-21 sandhill-crane-17 sandhill-crane-12 sandhill-crane-09

Ring Billed Gulls #175

Wow #175 is one of the most common shore birds in Ontario… sometimes we simply need to stop and enjoy the birds right in front of us.

ring-billed-gulls-1 ring-billed-gulls-2Mature Ring Billed Gulls

gull-3 First year Gull without a clear ring around it’s bill.

gull-2 Young Gulls with brown feathers, preaning  on the beach.



Roseate Spoonbill

This is a Florida bird from earlier in the spring.  They look prehistoric to me, I am somewhat infatuated with them and would love to search out a wild flock to photograph.  This single bird was at a popular state park known for birding. Spoonbills have a large, flat, spatulate bills and feed by wading through shallow water, sweeping the partly opened bill from side to side trading  small aquatic creatures inside… info from my iBird ap.roseate spoonbill preening16 roseate spoonbill preening15 roseate spoonbill preening10 roseate spoonbill preening11


Snowy Plover

Why the fake bird? Biologists are trying to establish the population on Sarasota Beach, unfortunately the local crows enjoy the eggs so a girl goes out each morning and places these decoys and eggs.  The idea is that the crows eat the decoy eggs which are actually some other birds eggs. These decoy eggs have been injected with a substance that will cause the crow to vomit and not like plover eggs.  hmmmmIMG_8338 Plover snowy-100 Plover snowy-102 Plover snowy-103