Saturday, April 14, 2012

He's Back!

Since the beginning of April, I've been waiting with anticipation for the return of a migrating species I've observed from our yard for the last 4 years. As the days past, I became concerned that it was not returning this year. Had something happened while the bird was wintering in the south-eastern United States?

Well, though 9 days later than its latest arrival, the male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Jean and I  have come to rely on for a FOY tick has returned.

I spotted it earlier this morning, in the trees, south of our yard.

I ran back inside to alert Jean of the sighting. When we scanned the trees a few minutes later, we were surprised he had company. There were 2 female Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers travelling with him. That's one sweet observation for a yard that's a stone's throw away from downtown St. Kitts.

Based on previous observations, the sapsucker should rest in our neighbourhood for approximately a week before moving on to its breeding ground and with a bit of luck, I hope to have a sighting for John to add to tomorrow's BOS count.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

World Bird Wednesday: April 10, 2012

Wow, WBW LXXIII! It has been a while since I contributed to this meme. Check out the images from around the world posted at The Pine River Review.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Niagara Digiscoping: Easter Sunday Eagles

A nice way to end a holiday weekend!

After ticking a few firsts of the year at the Niagara Hawk Watch Open House on Good Friday and then successfully finding one sweet and extremely rare visitor at Jaeger Rocks on Saturday, Jean and I headed to another spot within the Niagara Region after receiving a tip from a friend.

The Sir Wilfrid Laurier Look

It was not too long ago that the population of Bald Eagles was greatly reduced in eastern North America. With the banning of pesticides and the implementation of recovery plans, the stunning raptor can now be observed year-round in the Niagara Region.

At our last Peninsula Field Naturalists meeting, it was announced that a nesting pair was found near Lake Erie. Though we have seen photographs, Jean and I have not had a chance to view the Port Colborne nesting pair.

So with no spare time to stop in Port Colborne after the Jaeger Rocks lifer tick, we pocketed the tip and went for a Sunday afternoon drive the next day. After picking up a steak from my favourite butcher shop we travelled along rural roads familiar to the Nishiki. Near the start of the Moyer Street t.t.,  we found a FOY Eastern Phoebe.

We descended the Niagara Escarpment on a winding road (another cycling memory but usually going the opposite direction) and continued towards the area where eagles dare (high school memories of my younger brother's record collection). As we approached the "spot", both Jean and I scanned the trees without the aid of binoculars. We were not sure of its exact location and for a brief moment, I actually thought we may not find it. I did not want to "dip" on the tip. That would just be downright embarrassing.

Finally, there it was. It was one huge nest and not only did it contain two adults. It also contained two eaglets.

I'm sure we'll revisit the spot so I'll keep you updated on the chicks' development. But before then, there's the hawk watch and a lifer to discuss.