Osprey, Worms and Loons
Yesterday was the first I have seen the Osprey since the snow started on Wednesday. It is hard to believe that it was only a week ago when I was watching these large birds gathering nesting material and copulating at this same platform. Since Osprey captures their food in the water, their wings and muscles do not do well with these colder temperatures. Although, this one individual appeared to be doing alright and I am glad to see they are still in the area.
Temperatures should be back to normal (for this area) by mid week and all our birds should be starting to get back to their normal activities. I am still seeing many of these birds along the roadside (like this Hermit Thrush above). After watching them for 4 days, I was quite amazed at the number of worms that they were able to find. On numerous occasions the Robins and Hermit Thrushes would be seen picking up a cluster of leaves, throw it to the side and then quickly attack if they found any worms there! I even watched this one robin playing tugga war with a worm that refused to come out of the ground! The Robin won that war and its prize was some free lunch but was truly a battle till the end.
This snow has also disrupted the migration of many of our waterfowl. Yesterday I observed some Canada Goose, Mallard, Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Mergansers, Bufflehead, Horned Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Scaup sp., and Common Loons. Not one or two but I counted 9 different Common Loons out on Red House Lake. I was lucky enough to hear this one loon vocalize while it took flight and began circling the lake as if to be ready once the weather breaks to continue its migration north. This might not be a first time ever but it has been a very long time since I have seen so many (9) Common Loons together on the lake at the same time. What is unique is that they are all in their alternate plumage (also know as breeding plumage) suggesting that these guys are adults trying to make it back to their breeding grounds early to start nesting. Typically the birds we find in April are the younger birds still in their basic plumage. Many great things should be happening and it is going to be a busy week for me!! Howie Mandel on Thursday, YEAH!!! I will try my best at keeping the blog updated.
I remember Howie’s standup routine from the 80’s
and thought some of it was very funny.-Did you ever see his little bit about asking the audience member their name 3 times?-enjoy the show.
9 April 2007 at 6:36 pm
I went for a long walk today along the river, and saw very few ducks. Now I know where they are. It is still snowing here and the temperatures are below freezing, far too cold even for Canada in April. That osprey nest is something else! Hope he doesn’t have any loose wires in there.
9 April 2007 at 9:10 pm
*It will get warm* – repeat 3 times along with me!
9 April 2007 at 11:13 pm
Great pictures – love the Thrush. In addition to all of the other hazards these birds have to overcome, snow at the wrong time of the year must be tough. I hope it is over soon for them.
9 April 2007 at 11:29 pm
I agree about that thrush picture… wonderful. I watched a robin squeeze its way between a snow drift and the railroad ties that hold up our garden at the Center. The bird was invisible, but every once in a while, you would see dead leaves exploding from the seam… and once in a while a little robin’s head, too. It was funny.
10 April 2007 at 7:10 am
Living further north we have to wait a bit longer for those early spring sightings but I’m hoping that I might catch my first glimpse of an Osprey today. I have been watching some old nest sites for a while now hoping for an early arrival and it has to be any day now for there was one reported sighting of one nearby yesterday. Your posting makes me eager to capture my first Osprey photo of this marvellous season of returning migrants.
10 April 2007 at 8:38 am
I’m so glad the temps are going to warm up. Those little birds are going to be so happy. It’s grand that you heard the loon vocalize. That’s quite a beautiful sound. How lucky that you had all of that, plus the osprey.
10 April 2007 at 11:01 am
@ Larry – thanks and never seen him live! Can’t wait!
@ Ruth – the electric company has added all those extra padding for them so they don’t kill themselves! I found out that those paddings are “VERY” expensive.
@ Laura – I will do that every day for the rest of my life, well except when its 100 degrees out and I want it colder!
@ Shutterbug – Temps have finally gotten above freezing after 5 days of being in the deep freeze. They should be doing better if they have made it this far!
@ Winterwoman – they are so fun to watch! Glad you had a chance to watch them also!
@ you and your camera – love all the pictures on your blog! Thanks for visiting! Shouldn’t be too long and I bet they start showing up! Thanks for visiting!
@ Robin – Me too! The loon vocalizing was great! But, you know I ended up with 10 loons yesterday evening after posting this. Crazy how many are out there! Was great because they were all lined up side by side!
10 April 2007 at 11:54 am
I once heard a loon in High Park, I thought I was crazy but a friends who worked at the Park confirmed it later, usually I only hear them up north! I love that haunting call.
Have fun seeing Howie, I know you will 😉
10 April 2007 at 12:09 pm
Interesting mix of birds that you get up there:
— That osprey picked quite a nesting spot, but if it works…
— Most of the waterfowl have left our area, sadly. Only Canada geese and typical ducks, mostly.
— Saw a rather ugly loon at Barnegat Lighthouse the other day – man do they go from attractive to UGLY to attractive.
11 April 2007 at 8:09 am
@ Marg, they are very cool and glad you had a chance to hear them. Will have fun, thanks!
@ Marty – mix is right! LOL then again we are inland! We still should have some ducks moving through but most have probably moved through also! But, lets hope a few are a little behind!
12 April 2007 at 9:43 am
You see so many cool ducks. I see Mallards.
12 April 2007 at 9:55 pm
Barb – helps having a spotting scope, brings those ducks right in!
13 April 2007 at 10:37 am