Sunday, December 7, 2014

Ontario sparrows, (from September) photo essay

This past September (now it's December), I again visited my brother and sister-in-law at their beautiful and rustic property in Northern Ontario.  It didn't seem as good for birds this year - for example, no cooperative woodpeckers or raptors - but it didn't matter.  It is such a beautiful area and the weather was again fantastic.  Something is always going to be stirring about in mid-September and this year it was sparrows.  

I've been trying for a good Lincoln Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) photo for a long time.  This isn't it, but at least I can tell it's a Lincoln.

Song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) were plentiful.

No two ways about it - it's so beautiful.  This is the marsh on my brother's property. 

A few common yellowthroats (Geothlypis tracheas) were present and chipping.  This is a first year male bird.

Cyclops!  Probably a female common green darner (Anax junius) because they are, well,  common, and also because it looks like a green darner.  There are other darner species dragonflies this far north too.

Sympetrum species dragonfly, probably White-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum obtrusum), since this seems to be the most common this far north.  And in this photo the big white face is easily visible.  I've been taught that you need to have a Sympertrum dragonfly in hand to identify it to species.

I was hoping to see clay-colored sparrow, but it's a song.

We canoed to "daytona" beach, nicknamed by my nieces and nephew, when, as teenagers they came here to swim with their friends.

My brother stripping down to swim.  He needed a bath!  The water was freezing - this is northern Ontario after all.  All I could do was wade, but my brother did dunk himself.  

Photo speaks for itself.

Song sparrow

I think these are my favorite photos of the weekend.  A song sparrow and white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) perched together in the early morning mist.

Swamp sparrows (Melospiza georgiana) were also plentiful.

1:19 minute video with active Swamp sparrow and quieter White-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis).  That's me phishing in the beginning to keep the bird's attention.  Other sparrows are chipping in the background and at about 30 seconds that's a Pileated woodpecker's brief call.

These spider webs fascinate me.

Above and below, first year song sparrow.

Very worn, White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis), the northern species of our more southern Red-spotted Purple.

Still trying for a good Lincoln sparrow photo.  Again, this isn't it, but too good to throw away.

Basswood Lake from the Melwel Lodge deck where we had dinner one evening.  The lodge was not open for business, but they rent out cabins to a local college to house students participating in environmental field research in the area.

This year we did finally see a young black bear, perhaps two or three years old, run across the road as we were leaving - too fast to get a photo.  Alas, no moose seen.

1 comment:

Christopher Carlisle said...

Lovely photos of Ontario. I have never been to that part of Canada. Thanks for sharing!