Of course all that changed in the last few days. Temperatures plummeted (relatively speaking) and we have snow! At least for awhile. So with that, feeders became busier, and it was with that in mind that I headed for Rondeau this week to check on the action at the Visitor Centre feeders. The VC staff are all away right now, but other park staff are checking the feeders, so kudos for them to make sure the birds are being looked after.
As expected, there was a flurry of bird activity, and for the hour or so that I was there with camera in hand, there were no raptors charging through, so the birds were undisturbed. About half of the images that follow were taken on this day, although I delved into my stockpile of images for others.
Some of the most common species were:
|American Tree Sparrow|
Speaking of camera shy birds, the big, noisy and often aggressive Blue Jay shows its true colours by being very reluctant to cooperate for the camera. This shot was from a different visit.
|Eastern Towhee of 2014/15|
The snipe location was just before where the owls were, so I made a brief stop there. I didn't see it at first, so I got out of the car carefully to see if it was tucked in closer to the bridge where I couldn't see it. As soon as I stepped out, the bird flushed and headed downstream just out of sight. It had been tucked in behind a clump of grasses at the edge when I first looked......I couldn't see it, but it could see me! This next image is from early February of 2011, when a snipe was hanging around this open ditch off and on for several weeks.
The owls were just a little farther along...at least I hoped they were. Seeing Steve's car there gave me hope, and even before we got talking, I could see one of the Short-ears on a post. They were quite cooperative, and both of these photos were taken from the car. One bird is slightly paler than the other.
And for those of you who operate bird feeders, please keep them well-stocked especially as this next round of cold weather arrives. Our feathered friends will reward you with lots of entertainment!