01 November 2016
This week's outing took place in Cambridge, ON, starting at Bannister Lake where we thought there might be a wide range of waterfowl, given that many species from the north should now be arriving in large numbers. The fact that temperatures of late have been so mild has perhaps slowed southbound migration, for there was a lack of variety, with Mallards Anas platyrynchos predominating, with only small number of a few other species.
The day was a little drab; Bannister Lake, however, was breathtaking in its autumnal splendour.
A lone Mute Swan Cygnus olor and a pair of Trumpeter Swans Cygnus buccinator were very pleasing and they were close enough for Franc to get some decent pictures.
Obligingly it flew away in short order, permitting this interesting shot of the bird in flight.
This magnificent sculpture of a Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus was for the longest time located at the head office of rare in a garden at the back of the property, where it was hardly seen by anyone. Recently it has been moved to the trail head near the slit barn and now commands the attention and admiration of all who view it.
Miriam thought that a group picture surrounding the eagle was pretty appropriate.
From left to right above - Judy Wyatt, me, Jim Huffman, Francine Gilbert, Carol Gorenc, Franc Gorenc, Mary Voisin.
No sooner had we started to walk across the alvar, this distant Northern Harrier Circus hudsonius put in an appearance. Some individuals of this species are migrating farther south, but others will settle in for the winter and make a living on the abundant rodents in the fields and meadows.
Most Western Ospreys Pandion haliaetus have departed for warmer climes and we were surprised to encounter this bird. It is my first ever sighting of an osprey in the Region of Waterloo in November.
All of the gulls we saw loafing at the water's edge were Ring-billed Gulls Larus delawarensis except for these two American Herring Gulls Larus smithsonianus.
A Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias was perched far off atop a tree like a sentinel over the river.
Suddenly it took flight enabling Franc to capture these quite remarkable images, one head on and the other showing the powerful wing beats of this large bird.
A pair of Mallards was content to expropriate a Muskrat Ondatra zibethicus lodge as a place to hang out and watch the world go by.
Several American Tree Sparrows Spizella arborea were spotted, many of them feeding on the seeds of Goldenrod.
We decided to finish off our morning's walk at the Grande Allée area of rare, a location new to all except Miriam and me. It is a lovely walk down Grande Allée to Indian Woods and this Blue Jay Cyanocitta cristata seemed to be enjoying it as much as we did.
A Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus was clinging onto a snag while being buffeted by the wind.
That remarkably hardy, tiny little bird, Golden-crowned Kinglet Regulus satrapa, was moving through in small flocks.
While gathering together at the junction of Grande Allée and Indian Woods, we decided that one last group shot was in order, following which we returned to our vehicles, well satisfied with another successful day together.
Next week will feature a visit to Mountsberg Conservation Area and Raptor Rehabilitation Centre. Stay tuned for that one!