Backyard Views

I was sitting out on the patio this evening with my camera in hopes of catching something interesting. 

One-Legged Robin

One-Legged Robin

I got lucky when a robin decided to visit. She look a little rough land in this photo seem to be a one-legged robin. Okay, she wasn’t really one-legged but she kept sitting there staring at me with her foot up. It looked so odd. Eventually she had enough and flew away. After her brief visit I decided to explore the garden and work on some close-up photography.

Cherry Bark

Cherry Bark

This closeup is of a cherry tree that is over 40 years old and unfortunately will not be around much longer. The trunk has been split open for years and the main branches have broken in the past due to the weight of the cherries. Nowadays there are very little cherries to eat in the hot summer sun so its time for this tree to go and a new one to take its place.

Wildlife at Mew Lake

We’re back in Algonquin for the weekend and our first stop when arriving is Mew Lake in the hopes of getting a photograph of the local pine marten.

Crow

Crow

As we eagerly wait for the possible appearance of the marten I happily take photos of the birds that come to visit the area. First up the beautiful crow.

Junco

Junco

Followed by the small white breasted junco.

Pine Marten

Pine Marten

And then the pine marten appeared for a few minutes before darting back into the forest.

Common Redpoll

Common Redpoll

Surprisingly we had a visit from a bird I have never seen before – the common redpoll. He didn’t stick around long but his brief appearance was exciting.

Duck Displays

After spending a couple hours taking photos of Santa and loads of children at work, I decided to stop by Humber Bay to get photos of the local water birds. It was beautiful weather – the sun was out and the temps were on the warmer side for early December.

Mallard taking a break

Mallard taking a break

The ducks were out in force. I’m not sure if that was the weather or if they always congregate here. It is a secluded spot and great shelter if the weather does turn. I just never suspected there to be so many of them.

male bufflehead

Bufflehead – male

There were so many types of ducks here. Its the most I’ve seen here at one time. There were Buffleheads, Gadwells, Hooded Mergansers and, of course, Mallards along with a few others.

Gadwell

Gadwell

The male mergansers were putting on quite the show. I’m not sure if they were trying to impress the ladies or just fighting between themselves. Whatever they were doing the ladies were unimpressed.

Merganser couple

Merganser couple

By the end of the day I had way too many photos of the ducks and it was time to get these photographs into the computer to see what I had captured.

Woody Woodpecker & Friends

My friend Nigel and I headed to the Royal Botanical Gardens this morning. Our goal was to photograph some of the local birds that were sticking around for winter.

Male Downey Woodpecker

Male Downey Woodpecker

Things were a little quiet as we started hiking the trail and we weren’t sure we would find any birds to photograph. Luckily, about halfway down the trail we found a number of different birds with a surprise visit from a red-bellied woodpecker. We were also visited by a Downey woodpecker and a Blue Jay.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Male Bluejay

Male Bluejay

As we headed further along the trail we spotted a nuthatch who came a little closer in the hopes of some seed.

White-Breasted Nuthatch

White-Breasted Nuthatch

Although the start of the hike was very quiet we were successful in getting our photographs of the local bird life. A very successful day on the trail.

Herons and Egrets

I went back to the Humber Recreational Trail today for a nice long bike ride. I wanted to see how far I could get and I’m sure glad I decided to go further. I found a large pond and in it, I found a White Egret wading.

Great Egret

Great Egret

And then as I sat there a Great Blue Heron flew past and into a tree. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a heron perch in a tree. I usually see them wading along the shores of the river.

Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

What a lucky sight. I’m definitely coming back to the spot to see what else I can find here.

Just Ducks

Today was the day of the duck on the Humber Recreational Trail. I biked out to the path to my favourite birding spot at Esther Lorrie Park located right on the trail. It’s always the place to find ducks. And there were ducks aplenty today.

Juvenile Mallard
Juvenile Mallard

This juvenile duck was just getting his colouring which made for a fascinating pattern on his head.

Stretching Legs
Stretching Legs

It wasn’t long before the ladies waddled their way along the grass and into the water to find a good “napping” spot as they float on the river. A peaceful, sunny day on the river. I could almost take a nap here myself.