Monthly Archives: December 2011

December 30, 2011 – great gray owl

Back in the early 90’s, I saw a GREAT GRAY OWL.  It was up near Tobermory, on the Bruce Peninsula.  I was thrilled.  I have never seen another one, until today. 

This northern, mostly boreal owl, occasionally dips southward some winters.  This year one has shown up along a country road near Kingsville, Ontario.  It has been frequently this area since just before Christmas.  This is the mostly southernly record in Ontario for this species.

It is the largest of Canada’s owl species, but feeds mostly on mice and small rodents.

Today there were numurous people with binoculars, cameras and scopes, standing around in awe and wonder of this magnificent bird.  It is only a 2-lane road and the cars have to take turns maneuvering thru that busy portion of the road.  It has been like this every day since the bird was discovered.

I wonder how long the bird will remain in the area. 

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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


December 29, 2011 – afternoon drive

The end of the year is fast-approaching; so, too, is the new year.  I am trying to take advantage of the time I have before I have to start back to work (Jan 2nd)  This afternoon, I drove west of town to where the SNOWY OWLS were seen over the Christmas weekend.  I could not find one today.  From there I drove down to Melbourne to see what might be around.  NORTHERN HARRIERS, ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS and RED-TAILED HAWKS were scattered around in the area.

I took this picture of a RED-TAILED HAWK.

When I got home I checked out the birds at my feeder and saw a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK come gliding in across the marsh.  He pulled up and landed on the brush pile out behind the house.  But before I could get my camera, it was GONE!!!


Posted by on December 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


December 28, 2011 – photos from the back yard

I took these photos from the backyard.

This is fun.

Going to head out and have a look for the SNOWY OWLS this afternoon.  And tomorrow I am hoping to go see the GREAT GRAY OWL.


Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Uncategorized


December 27, 2011 – wet birding

Today I birded in the rain.  Walked woodlots and along streams getting soaked.  The rain turned to snow and still I walked and rode around looking for birds.  Interesting were the number on NORTHERN FLICKERS we saw – 6 in total.  Also, a RUSTY BLACKBIRD flew towards us and landed on a telephone wire right overhead.  Later in the day, I found a BALD EAGLES nest with two adult BALDS.  It is fairly close to the road and would have made a great picture.


Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


great gray owl (and more snowies) in southwestern ontario

I don’t ever remember hearing about a GREAT GRAY OWL being seen in southwestern Ontario before.  There might be records, but wow…………this is a neat report.  I’m hoping that maybe on Thursday I can go see it.  Hope it sticks around until then.

Click on this link to my friend, Blake Mann’s,blog, to read about it and see some pictures he took.

SNOWY OWL sightings keep mounting up in southern Ontario.  One was hanging around Seed Road, northwest of Strathroy, over Christmas weekend.  A second SNOWY was seen in the same general vicinity.  Always nice to have them back.


Posted by on December 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


December 24, 2001 – merry christmas

The full boxes have mostly become empty and the cardboard is piled up in the garage.  Not complete yet, but getting there.  Most of the rooms are set up.  Carol has been concentrating on the upstairs (kitchen, bedroom, laundry room, living room, bathroom) while I have been working on getting the downstairs set up and arranged (entertainment room, spare  bedroom, bathroom, my study, and storage room).  There is less room (guess that is the meaning of the word “down-sizing”) and we are setting aside an area in the garage for “garage sale” items for the spring. 

Spent the better part of Christmas Eve day cleaning.  Floors and furniture.  This is the first house I have lived in equipped with central vac.  And I LOVE it.  I vac’d the floors upstairs and down.  This is fabulous.  What a difference having central vac.

I have set up three bird feeders, but so far nothing has come to visit them.  I have seen BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES at the house on the other side of the cedars, DARK-EYED JUNCOS and AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS out back and a single fly-over SNOW BUNTING.  There is a very nice view out the back windows.  Here are a couple of pics.



And here is a pic looking from the living room into the kitchen.


Posted by on December 24, 2011 in Uncategorized


December 19, 2011 – bald eagles

Most people are quite busy at this time of year.  Christmas holidays.  Cleaning. Shopping.  Their jobs.  (Some even have more than one job.)  Even no answer on the telephone.  But my morning and mid-day was relatively free, so I decided to drive around a bit and see what I could find.  And would you believe it, no less than 12 BALD EAGLES in the flat flooded area just west of Delaware.  I guess the flooded rivers (we have had an awful lot of rain lately) created conditions that caused fish to be trapped in the shallow, flooded field.  And since BALD EAGLES just love fish, it was like ringing the dinner bell.  Not sure where they all come from.  But there they were.  I imagine once the fish are gone, the Eagles will be gone, too.  Should have taken my camera.

Also, drove up Seed and down School Roads looking for SNOWY OWLS.  No luck there.

Sort of in a waiting mode.  Moving into the new house won’t begin until late Wednesday afternoon.  And in the mean-time, there is not much that can to be done.  So reading (a visit from the goon squad by jennifer egan), watching TV(detective shows taped on the PVR), listening to the radio (yesterday I listened to the classical radio show, Tempo, on the CBC, usually hosted by Julie Nesrallah, one hot-looking  babe, but yesterday hosted by, was it Tim Tamashiro??, great presentation of classical music)  and wandering the back-roads are keeping me busy.  Thursday will be spent unpacking and getting settled in.  Come Friday, more un-packing.  But I will feel like getting out for a bit.  After all, I don’t want to spend all my time working.  LOL

And looking WAY ahead into next week.  The only day I have something planned is Tuesday, the 27th.  On that day, I will be participating in the Wallaceburg Christmas Bird Count.

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Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Uncategorized