Monday, March 31, 2014

Oatka Creek Park • March 31

Song Sparrow. My first Song Sparrow pictures of the season.

Song Sparrow

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Oatka Creek Park • March 30

Fresh snow. Half a foot deep and very heavy.

Fresh snow. The limbs ahead are weighed down with snow and blocking the trail. Time to back up and go elsewhere.

Fresh snow

Fresh snow

Cooper's Hawk. "You shall not pass!"

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk. After this shot and as the hawk was literally over the trail, I was going to back up and go elsewhere. However, as I slowly lowered my camera the hawk sensed the end of the photo op and moved off to a large tree around the corner, unblocking my path. So, onward I went.

Oatka Creek

Oatka Creek

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Oatka Creek Park • March 29

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

Eastern Bluebirds. The nesting boxes are now open and the bluebirds are looking to set up housekeeping!

Eastern Bluebirds

Eastern Bluebirds

Friday, March 28, 2014

Oatka Creek Park • March 28

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Downy Woodpecker

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Owl Woods • March 27

Northern Saw-whet Owl. This was the first of two owls found in the Woods today.

Northern Saw-whet Owl. The second owl was so well concealed it was nearly impossible to see it, let alone photograph it. However, the result was a set of pictures with interesting affects produced by the surrounding cover.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Northern Saw-whet Owl. On the flip side, however, was a rare great look at the saw-whet's talons.

Bald Eagle. Down by the bay a Bald Eagle surveyed the thousands of geese, swans, and ducks in the water below.

Bald Eagle

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oatka Creek Park • March 26

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

Snow Goose. This is a dark morph bird, also known as a "Blue Goose".

Snow Geese. These are the more usual white morph birds.

Snow Geese. There were hundreds of these birds flying over Oatka this morning.

Eastern Bluebird and American Robin. Elsewhere in the park the bluebirds and robins were working the edges of the trail, flipping over leaves to look for insects. Today these two species didn't cooperate photographically, but when they strike similar poses you can easily see that bluebirds and robins are both members of the thrush family and really look rather similar to each other.

Eastern Bluebirds, American Robin, and Northern Cardinal. The cardinal is a female in the center of the picture and facing away from the camera.

Wild Turkey. Looking across the bluebird fields, I saw strange running "dogs" along the trail up ahead in the distance. No, they weren't dogs, but turkeys! I could never catch up to them, though their tracks were clear in the freshly fallen snow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Owl Woods • March 25

Northern Saw-whet Owl. I got pictures of two of the four saw-whets in the Woods today.  This is the first owl.

Can you spot the owl?

There it is!

Northern Saw-whet Owl. This is the second owl. It is in what is known as "concealment pose". It is actually looking in my direction, but it has its left wing drawn across its face, like Dracula's cape. This is a sign that the owl is rather stressed. It eventually calmed down and when I saw it again later in the afternoon it had returned to a normal pose and was asleep.

Snowy Owl. Owl Woods is on Braddock Bay, which is in turn on Lake Ontario. The bay is starting to melt and as result now hosts thousands and thousands of Canada Geese and other water birds. From the dock this Snowy Owl was looking on, hoping to catch a meal.

Snowy Owl. Now that these birds are definitely moving back north, we are getting a front row seat to the parade. As a result, Snowy Owl sighting in our area may spike for a week or two before finally trailing off to zero.

Oatka Creek Park • March 25

Cooper's Hawk. These birds are smart and when they spot me near their nesting territory they immediately fly into the sun, making them very hard to see (and photograph!)

Common Mergansers