Sunday, May 30, 2010

Baby Robin's First Day Out


First day out of the nest for this baby robin!

He's just a little fella' and keeps mom Dad hopping as she 
he follows him around everywhere he ventures.
According to Kenn Kaufman's Lives of North American Birds,
Dad takes care of the fledglings while Mom
builds a new nest for the next brood! 
And, Robins are fruit eaters!  No wonder they devour the
jellies and jams I leave out!

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

My World Tuesday

Today was a lovely day for a ride 
and I found myself on the headlands. 
 Here are the crowberry barrens,
 the feeding grounds for the migrating Whimbrels in the fall.

Here is where one can go to escape the hum drum of every day life or the neighborhood noise.

Here is where one can spend hours alone (I call it getting 'lost in time')
without even realizing it.

This Willet was sharing space with a Spotted Sandpiper, who flew
away just as I raised my camera!

Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense), 
almost ready to bloom,
carpeted the headlands.  This little beauty is also called
a Wild Lily-of-the-valley.

An empty mussel shell left behind after providing someone's lunch!

Looking across the harbor at the historic church,
Notre Dame de L'Assomption
in the village.

On the re-tern ride home, we stopped to check out "Tern Rock", 
where I guess-timate over 100 terns nest during the summer months.
Just this early morning, my shore was in the flight path
for two of them, a delightful sight first thing in the morning.

A little closer view!

Another lighthouse sits behind and just to the left of Tern Rock.
It's lobster season, as evidenced by the boat trolling the harbor
 on the right, checking traps.

I couldn't resist taking a picture of this outcropping.
It looks like a man, looking down,
keeping watch on the shoreline.

That's my world!  
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Sweet, Sweet, Sweet, so very Sweet

That's what they sing to me every time
they see me!
It is the

Yellow Warbler
Dendroica petechia

Finally, a day made to order here on the island.  
Even as the afternoon wind picks up, today from the NW,
 it's a warm wind. 

Yellow Warblers are residents on my property each summer 
and I am always delighted to welcome them home,
to step out the door each morning to be greeted
by their cheery call.  

Peterson's Field Guide describes them as being
the yellowest of all warblers.  "Even the tail spots
are yellow (white in many other species)."

Sadly, Yellow Warblers are among the most frequent victims
 of cowbird parasitism.  But, unlike many other birds,
 they can quickly recognize these rogue eggs,
and will either abandon their nests,
 or will rebuild right over the unwelcome eggs,
 sometimes persistently over and over again.
There are no cowbirds here, however, so it isn't a problem for my little family.

Their diet consists mostly of insects and spiders, but they will also
eat a few berries now and then.

Today, the Yellow Warbler shared it's space with a visitor 
who was just passing through!

Blackpoll Warbler
(Dendroica striata)

I couldn't miss the unmistakable shrill, high-pitched trill of this beauty!  
And I knew instantly to go take a peek among
the budding branches of the tamarack and maple.

The Blackpoll Warbler stops by every year for a day or two,
before continuing along it's journey. 
 I have found them nesting in the white spruce of the heath and scrub
of a beach approximately an hours ride from here.

"The Blackpoll is the greatest warbler migrant: weighing less than a wet teabag, eastern migrants are known to fly south over the Atlantic, leaving land on the east coast of Newfoundland and not resting until they reach the northern coast of Venezuela.  In a single year, a Blackpoll Warbler may fly as far as 24,000 kilometres!"
Source:  Birds of Atlantic Canada, Roger Burrows

They certainly are  welcomed visitors to my yard!!
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just click HERE!

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wilson's Warbler

I am very excited this morning to have stepped out to observe a lone, FOY Tree Swallow skimming the calm, early morning water's surface for tasty insects only to find a Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla) in my budding maple tree on the corner of my property.  Although the Wilson's has been reported on the island in the past, I've never seen one here!!  And in MY yard!

He wasn't the easiest subject to photograph as he flitted around catching insects, but I managed to obtain a few.  It seemed just as I was in a good position, my resident Song Sparrows would fly in and chase
him to the other side of the tree, where undaunted, he just continued to feed.

He had a sweet little song, quite similar the the Yellow-rumps that have been hanging around for the last couple of days, but with a different ending.

According to Kenn Kaufman's Lives of  North American Birds, the Wilson's nests from coast to coast across Canada, but is far more common farther west.  In the east, it is seen in small numbers.  So I feel honored to have welcomed this spritely little warbler to my home.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Baltimore Oriole

For the past three days, I have had the pleasure of a visiting
Baltimore Oriole(Icterus galbula),
a nice treat as they are not very common in Cape Breton.  
I took a flurry of photographs, but few came out worth keeping.  
However, here were a couple that barely passed muster.

After gorging himself at the suet feeder for the duration of his visit,
he's apparently moved on, as I have not
seen him today.

In spring, the Baltimore Orioles come to North America
from the tropics to breed.  The Baltimore Oriole's name, 
wrote Mark Catesbyin his eighteenth-century book 
Natural History of the Carolinas "
comes from the Lord Baltimore's coat of arms."  
The lord, Sir George Calvert, was governor of Maryland
 in the early 1600's, and the coat of arms 
was the same colors as the bird's plumage.
(Source:  100 Birds and How They Got Their Names, Diana Wells)


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My World Tuesday

Arichat Harbor

Arichat Harbor is the 4th deepest harbor in the world.  In the 1800's, it was a booming seaport.  
Now it rests quietly for all to enjoy.

During late July and into August, it is not uncommon to observe
Atlantic White-sided Dolphins and Pilot Whales feeding on the incoming tide.
The harbor hosts a small boat club, and the tiny islands and rock outcroppings
sprinkled throughout the harbor bear rookeries for terns and cormorants, 
and a nesting site for eider.

from all around the world.