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Friday, 6 March 2020

Tuesday Rambles With David - A Foggy Day at Hillside Park

03 March 2020

     Francine and Jim were freshly arrived back from their visit to Guadeloupe, and we were all ready for a walk, despite the weather. 


     Hillside Park seemed like a good destination for we know where an Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) lives, and if Lady Luck favoured us it would be sitting at the edge of its hole.
     It was grey, the air heavy with moisture, the visibility poor at times, but we were happy to be together to enjoy what we could find (and see!).


     Even poor conditions can create magic.


     A Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) has spent the entire winter along the creek, and it alerted us to its presence by uttering its signature rattle. It was indeed a spectre in the mist.


     I am not sure what else had seized our attention, but we were all trying to find it!


     The park still held its charm, although the paths were icy and the walking difficult.



     Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) are beginning to sing from tree tops and this male urged us on.


     We slithered and slid, wobbled, pirouetted, flailed and grabbed onto each other, and used our arms as balance beams. After all, with the promise of a screech owl in the offing, what's a broken limb or two?
     Justice was served. Sitting boldly at the edge of its hole in a dead stump was this most delightful of creatures.




         A fitting reward for a bunch of hardy naturalists it appears to me, especially given that the youngest of our group is sixty years old. Never give up seems to be the message of the day!

76 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    Indeed - rewards were there and bravo to all! YAM xx

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  2. Wonderful to see the pics of the owl, proving that perseverance in the face of danger still pays off!

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  3. Oh my Gosh ... do you know what Spring is ?!
    I love that red guy!
    The owl certainly laughed at you … 😅

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  4. You were all very brave to go out. And you found what you were hoping to find, wonderful captures David.!

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  5. Wow, how fantastic to really see the owl sitting there. Glad you braved the elements and ventured out together. The owl was certainly a fantastic reward. Have a great weekend, Valerie

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  6. What a beautiful event! Successful, too.
    It's wonderful seeing people get together for a common goal. I cannot, as groups give me anxiety these days.
    Thanks for sharing your event.

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  7. I'm impressed what you can find and see, David. The conditions looks like here. Snow, ice and very wet.
    The owl was very funny!

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  8. I like the red cardinal's picture.
    This bird is good omen; it's supposed to bring Luck. In certain cultures it's considered the daughter of the sun. According to some belief, a red cardinal is the representative of a beloved one who has passed away.

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  9. Absolute bliss. I saw the smiles on the faces of the doughty explorers and mine joined them as I wandered through your post. Any day with an owl in it is immediately made better. Thank you.

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  10. A proper winter walk! How delightful.
    I am not sure that the owls I hear hooting at night are screech owls, more likely to be tawny owls. I am not even sure that we have screech owls in the UK.

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    1. You are correct, Friko, there are no screech owls in the UK. A few of your politicians might be able to deputize, however - vocally, that is!

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  11. Hello David, Woh what a result at the end. Well worth the effort and hazardous walking in this winterwonderland. A most beautyful Owl.
    Warm regards,
    Roos

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  12. I like the owl in its habitat in the less edited photo especially.

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  13. Une belle balade et un hibou en récompense!
    Bonne soirée

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  14. Hello David!
    A great winter walk with a friend. As always, great photos. I admire the owl and the cardinal.
    Have a nice weekend.

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  15. Where's Hillside Park, I want to see the wol. A Cardinal, that's a surprise. Somebody told me they saw a robin last week too. If you had walked in the snow instead of on the ice, you wouldn't have had so much trouble.

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    1. Hi Jo: Hillside Park is on Columbia Street, east of Weber Street in Waterloo. We usually park at Dearborn Plaza.

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  16. Fantastic images, I love that owl. Thanks for sharing, David.

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  17. That walk strikes terror into my soul. You do not want a broken anything. On the other hand, thanks for the owl and the cardinal.

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  18. good eye for finding this one. Seniors are the best.

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  19. Sounds like a rather dangerous walk, but worth the rewards :)

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  20. Way to go you guys and gals...

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  21. Härligt David, ni blir alltid belönade på era upptäcktsfärder men jag förstår att det inte är tillfälligheter utan att det beror på en gedigen kunskap, ni vet var ni skall leta.
    Vi har också samma väder med dimma och fukt men ingen snö. Här sjunger mesarna för fullt och har gjort så länge. De är nog lite vilse i den ovanliga värmen vid denna tid på året.

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    1. You are correct, Gunilla. Understanding habitat is critical to success.

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  22. Buenos días amigo David, muy buena recompensa de un día precioso a pesar de la poca neblina. Una agradable mañana en muy buena compañía y con buen avistamiento. Un paisaje muy bello del que hay que disfrutar pues la primavera está muy carca.
    Un fuerte abrazo amigo y compadre David.

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  23. Es un día gris y también muy frío también. Lo intuyo, por la cantidad de nieve, que de ve en las imágenes.

    El recorrido ha sido fructífero, por la cantidad de aves que se pueden ver.

    Besos

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  24. Hello, looks like a cold but successful outing. Love the cardinal, he is a beauty. The Screech Owl is awesome, great sighting. It does blend in well with the tree. Pretty winter scenes and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend. PS, thank you always for your visits and comments on my blog.

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  25. You are so right David that poor conditions create magic. It is very brave to venture out in icy conditions. What a face on that screech owl!

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  26. Hello. The Screech owl is a fun-looking and beautiful owl.
    Have a nice weekend!

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  27. There's nothing much to beat the draw of a possible owl sighting, David, particularly when it's a beauty such as this one! I'm delighted to learn that your intrepid band of birders got their just rewards. Stay safe - - - Richard

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  28. Awesome birds: the owl especially, but also the Cardinal... :)

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  29. Beautiful pictures of the winter landscape and I do love the owl pictures. Screech Owls are such amazing creatures.

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  30. Yes, the message is fantastic, you never have to give up! not even when it's cold or cloudy as it happened to you, oh, I'm cold just seeing the pictures! but yes, it is a walk full of magic and well if you found the owl and other birds.
    Many kisses

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  31. What a spectacular owl, worth hurrying back from Guadeloupe for! Our Blackbirds and Song Thrushes are singing now so spring must be on its way.

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  32. I totally agree we should never give up and be with friends and enjoying nature is a marvel.
    All the photos are beautiful but I particularly liked the 7th one where the orange trees make a spectacular contrast with the rest of the landscape and I loved the 8th photo of the Northern Cardinals, it is such a beautiful bird.
    Have a nice weekend

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    1. You are right, Maria. The picture with the orange leaves is indeed quite lovely. I get so accustomed to focusing on the birds I ignore the quality of the other pictures more than I should,

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  33. No one broke a limb and you found your target bird. Sounds like a successful outing to me!

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  34. Mooi deze winter opnames, lijk me heerlijk zo in de sneeuw om 'n wandeling te maken, bij ons hier deze winter niets van dir alles, geen sneeuw en geen ij. Jammer.
    Groet Kees.

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  35. Lijkt me heerlijk zo in de sneeuw om 'n wandeling te maken. Hier bij ons niets deze winter geen sneeuw en geen ij. Jammer
    Groet Kees.

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  36. I'm sure you meant to write 'sixty years young!'
    A day of not optinum conditions can be far more exhilerating because you have braved and survived it! The 'snow owl' [?] was a fitting reward as well.

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    1. You are right,Helen. That's what I should have said. I can't believe that I just turned seventy-seven. How did that happen?

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  37. Nice ramble through snow, and find the Belted Kingfisher and Owl.

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  38. Ooh là là, we must be well dressed!
    The weather is different from Guadeloupe for your friends.
    You've made some very nice encounters.
    Soon Australia for you David ! And us Shetlands. If we can travel because of the virus :(
    Gros bisous de France.

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    1. Australia is four months away, Nathalie. i am really hoping that the Coronavirus doesn't prevent me from travelling, and I equally hope it does not deter the the people in whose homes I will be staying.

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  39. I am delighted that the Screech Owl came into view for you finally but I suspect that I would not have got out of the car. Slipping and sliding with my back would have been a sure visit to the hospital!! Since I broke my back at 16 it has just never been the same since! We are both pretty much the same age - as you say how did that happen!! Cheers Diane

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  40. Fantastic! The entire outing. My favorite photo is the kingfisher...but the owl is truly a prize!

    Thanks for joining us today at I'd Rather B Birdin...it's always appreciated!

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    1. An owl is always special, I think. They are more difficult to find than most birds, so the thrill is always greater.

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  41. First.Very Nice New header!And New blog design!

    I love that walk!Guadeloupe,isnt that Place there was a Battle in 2 www?

    The Kingfisher is beautiful :)))I have never seen it but it is quite often here in my community

    All in all a very good post!

    Wish you and family a very nice sunday

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    1. Good morning Anita: Guadeloupe is a French island in the Caribbean. You are probably thinking of Guadalcanal in the Pacific, site of intense conflict in WWII.

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  42. It looks like a dismal day but I'm glad your owl was in sight. All the photos are fabulous.

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  43. Hello David
    Wonderful to be able to take a winter walk.
    We miss that here this year.
    Now you can enjoy the winter of David through you, that's great.
    Nice that you could photograph an owl.
    Greetings Tinie

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  44. Despite the weather you have had interesting walk, David. I love Miriam's photos, say her: Happy women's day! I wish her joy and happiness, love and health.

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  45. Your reward was waiting...that is awesome!

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  46. A perfect outing! Obviously none of you feel old, nor are you!

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  47. You proved that it's rewarding to get out when you can and not stay home due to less than perfect weather. All of the images have something to appreciate and the mood created by the wintry conditions is wonderful.

    Of course, any trip that includes an owl observation is a successful trip, indeed!

    Thank you, David, for sharing your walk!

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  48. Walking in winter is relaxing. Congratulations!

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  49. Beautiful snow photos David. Nice coulours. I love the owl and kingfisher.

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  50. Hi David,
    Another of your interesting walk or slips and slides, at least everyone returned without breaking anything. Good to see your Eastern Screech Owl, and always a delight to see the Northern Cardinal.
    All the best,
    John

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    1. Indeed, we are all still intact, John, and the owl made us very happy. We went for a coffee afterwards which quickly morphed into a late breakfast which substituted for lunch.

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  51. I especially like the photo of the kingfisher. I heard one during a little excursion on Saturday, time after time, but it was flying hither and yon so quickly I never spotted it. There certain is no mistaking their call!

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  52. Todas las fotografías me gustan, especialmente la lechuza, yo siempre la veo de noche y no puedo fotografiarla. Un abrazo.

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    1. Yes, nighttime photography is difficult, Teresa. Un abrazo.

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  53. It looks like a good walk with good finds! Lovely photos, as always!

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  54. Despite the fog some birds you could see, anyway that snowy landscape looks great. Good thing you could see the owl. You have to enjoy each birdwatching while the body allows it despite the age, you never have to give up

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  55. hard to see any wildlife in that fog :) But the red ones are easy. :)

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  56. Amazing photos ... that screech owl is just beautiful - thank you so much. Looks mighty cold - but the best days to walk out are often these sorts ... sounds like a good morning out - cheers Hilary

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  57. The cardinal is so beautiful against the snowy background! Wonderful walk as always ... thanks for taking me along virtually ...I didn’t even need to wear mittens!

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  58. Oh so beautiful here in this park :-))))
    Snow, beautiful trees and birds and some birds. The red cardinal is a beautiful bird anyway and then I also see a kingfisher on many but ........ the owls in the tree ohhhhhh .... so cool to see! Wonderful post David!
    A hug

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  59. Querido David me a encantado el paseo, las aves son hermosas y la Lechuza increíble. Enhorabuena por tan espectaculares fotos a pesar de que el tiempo no ayudaba mucho. Un fuerte abrazo para ti y Miriam. Besos.

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  60. That owl is quite a sight to see, David!

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  61. Amazing photographs, the owl and the cardinal especially.

    All the best Jan

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  62. hello David
    great group a shame that this time the weather did not play along, but the good mood did not detract from that the owl .. I would have run past ...
    Greetings frank

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  63. Wonderful! I would love to photograph an owl but by the time I grab my camera they are flying away. The foggy images are great too!

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