A Northern Flicker Flashes Some Yellow

A Northern Flicker Flashes some Yellow
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Bob and I were surprised when we visited my mom’s place at Oxtongue Lake, Ontario, in late April to see so many Northern Flickers, or Yellow-shafted Flickers as they are also known.  On the first day alone, we saw no less than 8 Northern Flickers, 6 at one time in a leafless deciduous tree.  The same can be said for a day trip into Algonquin Park where these handsome woodpeckers were seen frequently and their rattling calls heard more often than that. Read more

The Courtship Ritual of Cedar Waxwings

The Courtship Ritual of Cedar Waxwings

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My childhood home at Oxtongue Lake holds a very special place in my heart, and we visit there often.  Every season has something special to offer and to excite Bob and me.  In early June, it was the nesting pair of returning Eastern Bluebirds that first captured our attention, but with expansive views from mom’s sunroom windows, we saw at least a dozen other species of birds including four pairs of Cedar Waxwings. Read more

Eastern Bluebirds at Carden Alvar in Ontario

Eastern Bluebirds at Carden Alvar in Ontario
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Bob and I were up early on May 3rd in our attempt to get to the Carden Alvar at a decent morning hour.  We’re usually a little slow to get off the sheet, but in this case, we did better than usual and found ourselves on Wylie Road by 8:30 a.m.  I know it’s not sunrise, but we still scored lots of sightings, among them several pairs of Eastern Bluebirds. Read more

A Wilson’s Snipe at Ontario’s Carden Alvar

A Wilson’s Snipe at Ontario’s Carden Alvar
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Bob and I came home from Ontario’s Carden Alvar very satisfied with our experience in that unique habitat.  The combination of grasslands, forests, shrublands and wetlands creates a landscape that is not only favoured by a wide variety of wildlife but also is attractive to those people who go in search of the birds and animals that live there.  One such bird that we managed to see was a Wilson’s Snipe. Read more

Visiting the Spanish Steps in Rome

Visiting the Spanish Steps in Rome

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On the afternoon that Bob and I landed in Rome, Italy, we were in dire need of a stretch given the long hours of travel time from Toronto.  Our accommodation, Hotel Manfredi, was centrally located in the Old Quarter so The Spanish Steps were less than ten minutes by foot from the hotel lobby.  It seemed a likely destination given its close proximity. Read more

White Ibis at the shrimp ponds in San Blas

White Ibis at the shrimp ponds in San Blas

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What great fun to set off exploring the vicinity around San Blas, Mexico, in search of wildlife.  The morning that Bob and I scoped out the shrimp ponds on the outskirts of this small fishing community, quite a variety of birds met our searching eyes, most of which we had never seen before.  Among those plying the water for something to eat was this impressive White Ibis. Read more

A Brown Thrasher at Carden Alvar

A Brown Thrasher at Carden Alvar

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Our first time visiting the Carden Alvar had Bob and me astonished by the myriad sounds of nature that combined into a marvelous symphony:  choruses of frogs, whirring of Wilson’s Snipes, echoing conk-la-rees from the Red-winged Blackbirds, and Savannah Sparrows raising their voice in song.  On several occasions, all were overshadowed by another lively bit of birdsong that had us mystified…until we finally spotted this Brown Thrasher. Read more

A Black-throated Blue Warbler in our Garden

A Black-throated Blue Warbler in our Garden
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One day in early May, as I returned home from doing some errands, I found Bob tied up on the telephone.  He no sooner hung up the receiver but what he declared, “there’s a new bird in our back apple tree!”  It turned out to be a male Black-throated Blue Warbler. Read more

A Blanding’s Turtle at the Carden Alvar

A Blanding’s Turtle at the Carden Alvar
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Bob and I had been looking forward to getting up to the Carden Alvar for at least a couple of years.  Our schedule and family commitments just did not allow us the opportunity until this May.  I was filled with excitement at the prospect of seeing a number of early spring migrants and birds that favour the specialized habitat of the alvar plain, so it came as a pleasant surprise to also come across a rare Blanding’s Turtle. Read more

A Moose Cow and Calf enjoy spring in Algonquin Park

A Moose Cow and Calf enjoy spring in Algonquin Park

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A Moose cow and her calf stand along the forest’s edge in Algonquin Park, in Ontario, in late April. Read more

An American Woodcock at the Carden Alvar

An American Woodcock at the Carden Alvar

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Our anticipation ran high the night before our first visit to the Carden Alvar that is located northeast of Toronto, Ontario.  We had our alarm set for 5:45 a.m. but I woke up at 5 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep.  We were on site by 8:30 a.m. and spent hours touring the area.  It was around mid-afternoon that we came across an American Woodcock, and the sighting pretty much made our day! Read more

A Northern Potoo in the mangrove swamp at San Blas

Northern Potoo in the mangrove swamp at San Blas, Mexico

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On our boat tour through the mangrove swamp near San Blas, in Mexico, we saw no less than three Northern Potoos, one of the most highly-sought-after species for birdwatchers.  Bob and I had booked a week’s stay in the tiny fishing village on the Pacific Coast and planned to use our time wisely.  Known as a birding hotspot, the town attracts scores of avian enthusiasts, so we had to secure our guides and tours promptly upon arrival to ensure availability. Read more

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