There are some big trees there. You've probably driven by this first one on many occasions. It is right along Rondeau Park Ave, immediately south of the campground. It is an Eastern Cottonwood, a fairly fast growing species. It measured 135 cm dbh, which is exactly the same diameter as the huge Red Oak I posted about previously.
|Eastern Cottonwood, 135 cm dbh|
|Black Oak, 120 cm dbh|
|Red Oak, 131 cm dbh|
In spite of the snow still on the ground in patches, when the sun was out it was fairly warm at ground level. But I was a bit surprised to see these two Eastern Garter Snakes out basking. I suspect they must have just emerged that day. I noticed a small hole about a metre away, going into an old tree root where they might have accessed a suitable cavity below the frost line.
This Killdeer was a bit more cooperative, and it was successful in getting some small worm-like creatures to feed on.
There was a significant arrival of Northern Flicker, as I saw at least 11 in various places.
|imm White-crowned Sparrow|
I also saw a single Tree Swallow flying low over the still frozen Rondeau Bay, and heading south! There were more Golden-crowned Kinglets around than I've seen in awhile, and a Brown Thrasher was scratching around in the leaves at the side of the trail. Black-capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmice were singing away, and it seemed like there were more Brown Creepers around.
I stopped in at Erieau at one point, hoping that with much of the bay and lake still frozen, waterfowl might be a little more concentrated, providing some photo ops. There were lots of Canvasback in flooded fields just outside of the village, with a few other typical species also present.
While scanning the marina slip for different gulls, I noticed some movement on the far side. A little distant for a good shot, but still identifiable as a mink.
Camera equipment for sale
A few posts ago, I mentioned that I have a new Canon 100-400mm L II lens. It has been working extremely well, and I am looking forward to using its close focus capabilities for birds, butterflies, dragonflies, etc as the opportunities present themselves along the trails. But this means that my faithful older Canon 100-400mm L lens is no longer needed, and I am willing to sell it. Many of the butterfly, dragonfly and even bird shots of the first year of this blog were taken with it.
In looking at some of the main camera dealers, a brand new version of this lens is $1870.00, plus tax. A used version of this lens on their web site is $1300.00, plus tax.
I am willing to sell my lens, which is in very good shape, and includes a Pro 1 77mm UV filter, for $950.00.
If you are interested in either piece of equipment, just let me know.