hqspbirds

The Culprit

Pileated Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker

For those who saw my black and white posting referring to a superstitious bird (knocking on wood, of course) linked below, I thought I would share a photo of the actual culprit, the pileated woodpecker himself. He was on a huge and very old maple that is one of my favourite trees, behind our house. This bird is doing his best to bring it down single handed beaked.

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Watching Like a Hawk

 

But isn't it supposed to be spring?

This hawk sat in the tree outside our house keeping an eye on our bird feeders, during another snowstorm. Most of the photographs we took were spoiled by having so much snow flying across the bird that it was not even clear what it was. Also, the camouflage of this bird is striking and unless you looked very carefully you couldn't even see it at all. And yes, this was taken in April. So this poor hawk is probably thinner than usual and desperately in need of a good meal although the fluffed up feathers make him look big and fat. Will this winter ever end?

Apparently it will and the clue is the sound of birdsong is filling the air as it always does in the spring. We even had an invasion of robins that managed to find some verges that had been cleared of snow by the plows next to the towering banks of white snow.

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HQSP Birds
#hqspbirds +HQSP Birds curated by +Andy Brown +Dilip Mundkur +Wade Cochran and +Serkan Mutan

#backyardbirdingmonday +Backyard Birding Monday #BackyardbirdingMonday by +Celeste Odono +Ricky L Jones +Marilou Aballe

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Winter Red Tailed Hawk in Flight

 

We have an abundance of beautiful birds here, many of them being majestic birds of prey. The most commonly admired is the bald eagle, but we have hawks and owls as well. I just caught this red tailed hawk as it soared overhead when we were on our walk in our back garden. These raptors always make me hold my breath as they seem so proud, elegant and free in the skies over the poor earthbound mortals crawling around on the ground beneath.

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#hqspbirds +HQSP Birds​​​​ curated by +Andy Brown​​​​ +Dilip Mundkur​​​​ +Wade Cochran​​​​ and +Serkan Mutan​​​​
and
#backyardbirdingmonday +Backyard Birding Monday #BackyardbirdingMonday​​​​ by +Celeste Odono​​​​ +Ricky L Jones​​​​ +Marilou Aballe​​​​
and
#birdphotographymonday +Bird & Wildlife Photography​​​​ by +David Hemmings​​​​
And for
#minimalmonday +Olivier Du Tré

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(Probably) Immature Wood Duck

 

Until I learn otherwise, I am saying that it is probably an immature female wood duck, as identified by +Mike Goodwin and seconded by +Stephen Thackeray – thanks a lot you two! I will change the title once we are 100% sure.

Another young bird photographed on the same overcast rainy day in Miner's Marsh in August. I thought it was a young mallard, but I see more clearly now that it probably isn't, as there seem to be no photographs of mallards with white stripes around the eyes and the base of the bill is not the right colour. There are many wrong things about it (not wrong, of course, just wrong for mallard) in my thinking, so I am stumped here. My bird app has not come up with an answer. Can you?

If you can identify it I will amend the title with the species name and credit you with the identification! (Now there's incentive for you! 😉 – it can be a real claim to fame. LOL)

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#hqspbirds +HQSP Birds curated by +Suzi Harr +Mark Rayner +Andy Brown
#waterbirdwednesday +Water Bird Wednesday by +Margaret Tompkins
#webbywednesday +WebbyWednesday by +Celeste Odono
#wildlifewednesday by +Mike Spinak +Morkel Erasmus

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Immature Pied-Billed Grebe

 

I walked around the Kentville Miner's Marsh area a few weeks ago, on a dull day and managed to see quite a number of wildfowl, many of which were too far away to get decent photographs especially as the light was poor and it was windy. This youngster was swimming and diving not too far from the shore and I got several of him. I thought at the time that when he went underwater it was almost as if he didn't so much dive as simply submerge out of sight. Almost as if he sank underwater.

He was a little hard for me to identify and even another (much better) bird photographer didn't have any idea what he might be, looking at my photographs. I was a little disheartened (feeling that my images had not done the bird justice) until I found it on my bird identification app and the images of it were no better than this one. He looks very odd, quite like a clown as the article below says.

Today I found this information about the species, which is the second smallest grebe found in North America. http://ecobirder.blogspot.ca/2010/11/adventures-of-clown-duck.html

Are you not able to comment on Google+ because you don't belong? Would you prefer to comment on my blog? It's right here with all my G+ posts on it: https://www.elliekennard.ca .

#hqspbirds +HQSP Birds curated by +Suzi Harr +Mark Rayner +Andy Brown
#waterbirdwednesday +Water Bird Wednesday by +Margaret Tompkins
#webbywednesday +WebbyWednesday by +Celeste Odono
#wildlifewednesday by +Mike Spinak +Morkel Erasmus

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Least Sandpipers, Kingsport Beach, NS

As we were walking on the beach for the past few days, we have watched many small flocks of these little shorebirds as they foraged for food or swooped and dipped over the water. When in the air they keep a tight formation, wheeling and banking so that at times the flash of the underside of their wings makes them invisible against the water behind them. I hope I have identified them correctly, but will change the title if someone lets me know otherwise. They are approachable, not being frightened particularly, except with the ball or dog lands in their midst.

This was the photograph I got of them yesterday. I owe it, in part, to Linda who walked with me and Joni (and waded with us through the incoming tide that caught us unawares) as, when I hesitated as to whether to bring my camera or not, she said "you always take your camera everywhere", so I did. And I had chosen the right lens, for once.

#hqspbirds +HQSP Birds curated by +Suzi Harr +Mark Rayner +Andy Brown

#birds4all +Birds4All by +Walter Soestbergen

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Surf Scoters (95/365)

The last of the wildlife photographs for today, this one was another 'lifer' for me, as I had never seen surf scoters before this trip. They were spotted off Corkum's Island, very near where I saw the snowy egret, on "First South".

I was very taken with the faces of these diving ducks (see a couple diving on the right side), as they had wonderful markings that reminded me of a fashion statement that is made by some young people. They put a huge grommet in their ear or nose and it looks as if it is a round black hole. I find it a rather odd look for a human being (and I have had trouble trying to stop staring at it when being served by a shop assistant sporting one or more of these). For a diving duck it seems somehow just right. 

(You have this photograph instead of one of construction work, as somehow I think you will find it more interesting!)

#365project +G+ 365 Project by +Simon Davis-Oakley +Patricia dos Santos Paton

HQSP Birds  curated by  +Anja Wessels +Philippe Avenel +Suzi Harr +Mark Rayner +Andy Brown #hqspbirds +HQSP Birds

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Heading North – 87/365

There was a time when the flocks of geese flying North in the spring, or South in the fall would blacken the skies. Now we have geese that hang around all year and they fly in much smaller flocks. They fly around and it looks as though they are leaving but they settle down on the tidal areas of the dykelands and manage somehow to eke out an existence through the winter months. Cold doesn't bother them. They breed in much colder climes than these I believe. But in the spring and in the fall they are much noisier and the sound of even quite small flocks winging their way overhead is enough to make you run out to watch as they arrow across the sky above. 

#365project +G+ 365 Project by +Simon Davis-Oakley +Patricia dos Santos Paton

HQSP Birds  curated by  +Anja Wessels +Philippe Avenel +Suzi Harr +Mark Rayner +Andy Brown #hqspbirds +HQSP Birds

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Waiting for the Spring Floods to Subside

Waiting for the spring floods to subside- Ellie Kennard 2014
Waiting for the spring floods to subside- Ellie Kennard 2014

Original Post: Waiting for the Spring Floods to Subside – 86/365 – April 11, 2014

We did manage to get out for a walk around the wetland habitat nearby last Sunday afternoon, in the hopes of catching sight of some spring nest building or other activity. Instead, we found the ice still in the middle of the water, only the shores having open areas. On top of this late melt, there have been heavy rains and the paths and inland woods areas were either flooded or still snow covered. These mallard seemed pretty fed up, in what should have been the floor of the forest at the edges of the wetlands. He seems to be on the water, where she has one foot on the rock, balancing neatly, while the other is tucked under her.
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