Monday, July 18, 2011

Silly Willet

Eastern Willet
(Catoptrophorus semipalmatus)

Upon my return to Cape Breton late this spring,
(spring was late, too!!),
The Ranger surprised me with 3 completed 
and installed Tree Swallow nesting boxes.

Much to my delight, the Tree Swallows returned the very next day
and after much 'to-do', inhabited all 3 boxes.

What does that have to do with silly Willets, you ask?
Well, they were under the impression that the Tree Swallow houses
were installed for their benefit!

It gives them a perfect vantage point for
keeping an eye on their territory, my 2.5 acre wet meadow.
From spring until mid-July, my airspace is filled with

On this particular morning, there were two willets
 really making a racket,
and they were everywhere....

These two birds filled the sky.  
You could have easily thought there were 20!
The Willet is often described as a large, chunky, shore bird with drab brown plumage.
That is until it takes of in flight!!

They were on the house top.

On the shed roof.

On the street lamp and.
even on the road.

This went on all day long.  I couldn't figure out what was going on.

Until around 2:00 when I was taking clothes in from the line.

Yep!  Three baby willets finally emerged from the grass 
and went across the road to the shore, one at a time.
A fourth wasn't too far behind. 
 I grabbed my camera and binoculars 
and sat on the shore,waiting patiently. 
 Almost one hour later, they worked their way through more grass,
and popped out onto the shore, 
where I lost them because they blended in so well.
It took them all day, but those babies made it 
across the 2.5 acres of meadow,
and across the ditch by the side of the road.

I was so impressed with the parent birds.  
They stuck to those babies like glue.
An eagle came down 4 times, 
and they fought him off each time.

They stuck around for a day and a half, 
then worked their way down the shore.
Today I observed them about 1/2 mile away
 at a friend's house.
I will miss them.

The female will eventually take off 
and leave the rest of the parenting to the male.

Reminder:  Tuesday is the last day to enter for a chance to win
a copy of Avian Architecture over at KaHolly.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Avian Architecture: Book Review and Give-away

Avian Architecture
How Birds Design, Engineer and Build
by Peter Goodfellow

When Peter Goodfellow was growing up in England, he must have been one of those affectionately annoying little boys that asked a lot of questions, all the time. “How does this work?”, “Why does that happen?”, Where do you imagine that goes?”. And now, as an adult, Peter has taken that need for knowledge, that childlike curiosity, to a whole new level.

To read more, 
and to enter the give-away, 
click HERE!
(This will take you to my other blog.)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Silver-bordered Fritillary

Silver-bordered Fritillary
(Boloria selene)

This sweet little butterfly was fluttering
 around the property with it's companion. 
I felt lucky that it decided to land for a few minutes
and that my camera was handy.  
I've seen them before, but they don't usually 
stop long enough for me to grab the camera!
 This is one of the fastest flying of the lesser fritillaries, 
but it regularly visits flowers, such as asters and daisies.
It's host plants are violets.

Measuring approximately 1 3/8 - 2 1/8 inches,
the Silver-bordered Fritillary is the most common 
and widespread lesser Boloria in the Maritimes
and is found in a variety of wet habitats 
- lucky me with over 2 acres of wet meadow!
The underside is distinct with bright, 
metallic silver spots on an orange-brown base.

They have two overlapping broods 
from mid-May to mid-September,
so perhaps they'll grace me with their appearance
a few more times!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Just Another Scene From the World of Inbetween

You never know what you will find,

while hiking interior Cape Breton.

This moose dropped both it's antlers in one spot,
with a mighty shake of his head.

This is a full sized, man sized back pack!
One antler weighed 13 lbs., the other, 17!

(Photos compliments of The Ranger)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Finally, A Few Nice Days!

Mother Nature saw fit to grant SE Cape Breton a reprieve from inclement weather just in time to celebrate Canada Day, and I took advantage.  We literally had no spring, but a few warm, sunny days isn't quite reward enough!  I need MORE!  However, if you follow my other blog, KaHolly , you already know I have kept busy at the sewing machine, patiently waiting for a break in the weather.  Any random nice day that DID come along was regretably spent mowing the lawn!

A day on the water resulted in these photos:

Lobster season is over and traps are stacked and ready for storage.

Moon Snail egg case

There were a total of 15 Great Blue Herons

Barrier Beach, low tide.


Coming in for a landing

Moon Snail with it's 'foot' extended under about 6" of water.

Black-headed Gull