Birds in England

In late April, we had the chance to travel in south central England (Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire).  While most of the following birds are considered common in England, it was a pleasure to see these species of a different continent.

Grey heron

Black-headed gull




Bullfinches (female and male)

Great tit 

Gold finch


Blue tit 

Great-crested grebe

Wren (winter wren)

Tufted ducks (female and male)

Greater black-backed gull

Great spotted woodpecker

Ontario Warblers in May

Having been in Europe for the first half of May, I missed much of the warbler migration. Stops at Thickson’s Woods (Whitby), Prince Edward Point Nature Refuge, Long Point and Mc Gregor Point however still proved to be eventful. The following pictures were taken this month from those locations.  At long last I managed to see a golden-winged warbler, but unfortunately a photograph proved elusive as she hopped from branch to branch, behind branches in the foreground.

Black-throated green warbler, after banding at Long Point

Magnolia warbler (female)

Magnolia warbler (male)

American redstart (female or juvenile)

Chestnut-sided warbler (female)

Black-throaed green warbler

Northern waterthrush

Black and white warbler


From Vancouver

The Boundary Bay IBA and Reifel Bird Sanctuary (Ladner) are great places for bird watching, year round.  They are particularly good for ducks and raptors, at this time of year. Without exaggeration, I easily saw more than 100 bald eagles a day, and more than 50 great blue herons a day.  In addition, there were very large numbers of swans (tundra), back-crowned night herons, harriers, as well  as some short-eared owls (Boundary Bay).

Northern harrier

Northern pintail

Wood duck (female) 

Great blue heron

Wood duck (male)

Juvenile bald eagle

Bald eagle 

Ring-necked duck

Northern shoveler

Eurasian wigeon 

Snowy Owls

After many days of snow, followed by freezing rain, it was nice to drive out in the country today, in the sun!  Managed as well to see four snowy owls, including a very white male! Still hoping to manage to photograph them in flight! (Wellington County, Ontario).

Florida Birds

January is a great time for birding in Florida. The following pictures were taken at Merritt Island NWR, Ding Darling, NWR, St. Mark’s NWR, the Corkscrew Sanctuary, the Viera Wetlands and Marco Island.

American bittern

Peregrine falcon attacking bald eagle

American white pelicansWhite ibis

Turkey vultures

(Little) Blue heron

Loggerhead shrike

Painted buntings 

Florida scrub jay

Snowy egret

Reddish egret

Juvenile red-shouldered hawk

Green heron

Blue-grey gnatcatcher

Great crested flycatcher

Anhinga chicks with mother

Burrowing owl

Juvenile bald eagle

Black-crowned night heron 

Nest Building

Over the last week, I have had the opportunity to watch anhingas, great blue herons and bald eagles build or enhance nests. It has been noteworthy that this is a shared activity, but that the female is apparently the “boss” and “accepts” contributions from the male.

Winter Hawks

Winter months are an excellent time to see hawks in both Southern Ontario and Kentucky, where I spend most of the winter.  Most of the North American hawks, tend to be short distance migrators (broad-winged travel further), and many species such as the red-tailed can be found year round.  The rough-legged, seldom seen in the summer is prevalent in the winter.  Today (in Kentucky) was a good day for Cooper’s hawks, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers and red-shouldered hawks.

Cooper’s hawk taken from front door of house

Red-shouldered hawk