Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bonaparte's Gulls

Yesterday, while at St. Andrews, during the period of high tide I was able to take some photos of a group of Bonparte's Gulls. The black bill, dark wing tips, and dark ear- spots, which can be noted in these pictures, are all characteristics of this species.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Thursday, September 27, 2007

White-crowned Sparrow Yesterday

This handsome little sparrow is not a regular visitor at our feeders, but rather a migrant that drops in at our feeder area during a few days in the spring, and then again for a few days in the fall on its returning migratory flight south. White-crowned Sparrows are easily identified by their black and white crown, unstreaked breast and orange-pink bill.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rescue of a Dragonfly

I found a Dragonfly in the water rapidly beating its wings while holding onto a blade of grass. I dipped the end of my shoe under the blade and lifted it and the dragonfly landed on my pant leg and from there onto the shore. After a moment of two it flew away appearing to be unharmed by its watery experience.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ruffed Grouse (aka Birch Patridge)

The one thing better than seeing one Ruffed Grouse crossing the road is seeing three!
Driving along the highway I had seen one mid-way on the road ahead walking across. I immediately slowed and pulled over and put on my flashers to alert others of my stopping; and also to slow oncoming traffic as well. (this is not a very busy highway) I have seen these birds cause a vehicle to serve around one to avoid hitting it for a Ruffed Gruose will often take its time strolling across.
Thnking that I would have to take a photo through my not too clean windshield, I started to do that when I looked to my left and saw another partidge starting to cross. What great luck. As the second grouse was halfway across I saw another on the left shoulder, however, something must have frightened it for the third Ruffed Grouse suddenly flew across to join the other two which by now had disappered from sight.

Friday, September 21, 2007

White-throated Sparrow

We have lots of Chipping Sparrows and a few Song Sparrows that are regulars at our feeders. Recently I have started to notice a few White-throated Sparrows which are becoming to be frequent visitors also.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

It wasn't until afternoon that I took my daily walk to the river. As I approached the bridge I saw a lively little warbler that seemed to be jumping for joy at the fineness of the day. It was busily moving about; darting here and there. When I got closer, it turned as if to introduce itself, and displayed its yellow rump giving me immediate recognition of a Yellow-rumped Warbler. It seemed to delight in its movements and was flying about from one side of the bridge railing to the other. It would find a new location to perch upon and then be gone again as quickly as it had arrived.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Blue-winged Teal

At first glance I had thought female Mallard or Black Duck; but then I noticed the very dark bill which neither have. Also the white at the base of the bill was suggesting 'teal' to me. David Sibley's, Guide to Birds (p.87), points out the "dark eye-line and white eye-arcs" of the female adult Blue-winged Teal, both of which this duck exhibts. We could hear other duck sounds, closeby in the thick marsh grasses alongside the open waterway. This appears then, to be a female Blue-winged Teal with young nearby.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Red Squirrel

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bye-bye Merlin

Located about a block and a half away from my home is an old dead tree situated beside the highway overlooking the river. I always glance at it as I drive by for I sometimes see an Osprey there: surveying the waters below watching for Gaspereau. This time however, I saw a handsome Merlin perched high in its branches.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

American Bittern in Flight

Walking along the Morrow Pond trail at French Lake this American Bittern lifted from the marsh as it heard our approach; giving us a clear view of its dark flight feathers.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Northern Harrier Over Saints Rest Marsh

Pictures of this juvenile Northern Harrier were taken today at Saints Rest Marsh, the Irving Nature Park, Saint John.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Band-winged Meadowhawk Dragonfly

The smallest of the Meadwohawk species, this little male Band-winged Meadowhawk Dragonfly, lends itself easily to identification. When I first saw it I was puzzled for each time it landed it seemed that the rocks under it had an old, yellow cellophane look to them. The mystery was solved when I checked out Meadowhawks in my Dragonflies and Damselflies of Massachusetts Field Guide book. (Nikula, Loose and Burne, 2003). This Band-winged Meadowhawk has a broad amber basal band on its wings and it is more noticable on the hind wings than the front ones. Other identifying marks are the two black spots which are clearly seen in the photo above on abdominal segments S8 and S9, the reddish-brown stigma, black legs, and the bright red abdomen with black triangular shapes on its sides. This was another wonderful photo encounter to add to my much treasured, growing folder of Dragonfly pictures.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Painted Turtle Crossing the Road

I assume this Painted Turtle crossed the road for somewhat the same reason that the chicken did, but in this case I hope there is water on the other side, for unlike the Wood Turtle, which is terrestrial, the Painted Turtle must be in water in order to feed properly. I had planned on stopping by a small roadside pond nearby but when I saw this Painted Turtle on the road ahead of me I seized the opportunity for a few portrait shots. Standing a coule of meters away I was able to zoom in to get some close up photos.
This turtle is SO colourful. Below is a Painted Turtle photo taken in June of this year.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Double-crested Cormorant

Quietly standing on a large hummock of mud and grass in a small fresh water pond, this Double- crested Cormorant was undecided as to should it stay or should it go, when my car slowed to a stop on the highway shoulder beside the pond. At first it remained where it was; then slowly slipped it into the water and stayed nearby until I drove off again.

Monday, September 10, 2007

European Garden Spider?

I have read that an European Garden spider has five or more large white dots forming a cross on its back and I think that is what this spider might be. This spider species are also orb- weavers. I photographed this spider while in the Montreal, QC, area in late August. The photo to the left shows the spider's underside. I would appreciate any comments which might verify the id of this spider.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Tree Cricket

This pale, green insect , a Tree Cricket, was not that easily seen as its camouflage colouring blended it in well with the Milkweed leaf that it was on. I had been looking through a Common Milkweed patch one afternoon, earlier this week, looking for caterpillars when I spied it.

Friday, September 07, 2007

White-faced Meadowhawk Dragonfly

I photo -graphed this White- faced Meadow -hawk Dragon -fly in my garden yesterday. It was only by its white face, that is displayed by the male when it is mature, that I was able to distinguish this male White-faced Meadowhawk from a male Cherry-faced or a male Ruby-faced Meadowhawk Dragonfly.

Shown below is an unidentified Meadowhawk Dragonfly. Photo taken August, 2004.