Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gray Jay

At this time of year, whenever I drive through a woodland area, I am hoping that I will get a glimpse of a Gray Jay. The only other jay species in our area, other than a Blue Jay; the Gray Jay resides in coniferous forests all year long. I have found that this inquisitive bird is rather a tantalizing one to photograph. It does not stay long in one spot and this one yesterday had me twisting and turning in my car seat trying to focus my camera on it as it kept crossing the road in front of me, alighting first on one tree branch and then another. For more pictures of a Gray Jay please use the search blank located at the upper left of this page. By entering the name,' Gray Jay' in the space provided, you will locate other postings on this bird.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Yard Visitors

We frequently have White-tailed Deer visiting our yard. On this particualr day there were three, or perhaps six; for at two different times of the morning we had seen a group of three deer.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Last Common Grackle Gone

One of our first returning migrants in the spring and one of the last to leave in the fall, this lone Common Grackle had been hanging around our feeder area since November 1st. However it has been missing for the last two days now; ever since our morning temper -atures have dipped down to -1o° C for the past couple of mornings. Perhaps this has been the last Grackle sighting for us now until the spring.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Male Pine Grosbeak Feeding

This is the bird species that first got me started on bird- watching. On November 10, 1999, a small flock were feeding in our High Bush Cranberry trees and I was fascinated with their beauty. I thought they were magnificent birds; especially the adult males in their rich, red colouring. In recent days we have had several males feeding on our ornamental Flowering Crabapple Tree.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Rusty Blackbird

Its rusty mantle and light eyes led me to the identification of this blackbird as a Rusty Blackbird. Luckily for me this sighting was in the fall for it is then that the rusty tinge to the head, breast and back is more conspicuous. I also had two other birds to compare it with at the time, for a male Red-winged Blackbird had just flown into our feeder area and immediate -ly started feeding. It was then that I noticed the Rusty in the tree branches above and at first glance had kind of assumed it would be a female Red-winged Blackbird. Upon closer examination though, I ruled that out and began doing a bit of research as to its id.
We also have had one lone Common Grackle hanging around for days now and the Rusty flew to the area where the Grackle was and began feeding there. The picture above allows for a shape and size comparison of the Rusty to the Grackle. The Rusty Blackbird is to the left. This was a first sighting for me of this species that is now in decline!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Blue Jays

Blue Jays are one our most loyal daily visitors to our feeder area. As well as immediate notice of their presence by their striking, boldly patterned blue and white body they are also noisy and often announce their arrival, or that of an intruder, with harsh, shrill calls.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


A wave of satis- faction rolled over me as I realized the little bird that I thought might have been a Chickadee, flitting about feeding on dried wildflower stalks along the roadside, turned out to be a Redpoll! This was my first Redpoll sighting of this season, and my first since the fall/winter season of 2005/06 for Redpolls are little northern, winter birds that are not typically seen every year in our area . I saw only two Redpolls and one was much lighter and whiter than the other. This leads me to specualte on the possibility that the lighter one might have been a Hoary Redpoll rather than just a Common Redpoll? Seen below is a photo with the two Redpolls in it and the contrast in their colouring can be easily noted.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

male Northern Cardinal

What a very handsome bird and how wonderful it was to see it in our yard today! We do not have Cardinals in our feeder area frequently so it is always an absolutely, delightful surprise to see one. If it were not for the brilliant, eye catching colour of this male red, crested bird ,I perhaps would not have seen it for it stayed close to the undergowth and admid the now-leafless bushes. I only had the one opportunity to capture a photograph of it in a clear area with no brush or branches in front of it. This is only the second sighting of a male Northern Cardinal in our feeder area this fall, and on only one occasion, on Oct. 31st, did I see a female Cardinal visiting. To view the female Northern Cardinal posting please go to:

Ruffed Grouse in the Morning Sun

Can you see it? I almost didn't for the colours and patterning of this Ruffed Grouse, aka: Birch Partridge, blend in so well with its surrounding. It could have just been an old stump beside the Birch Tree and fallen log it was standing on.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hairy Woodpecker

This one, and other Hairy Woodpeckers, both male and female are regular daily visitors in our feeder area. Our peanut feeders are their most sought after feeding stations but this morning this male spent some time in our Sumac and I thought it made an interesting photographic setting.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Female Pine Grosbeaks Feeding

No; for those of you not familiar with Pine Grosbeaks they do not have a red fringed bill, but this female one does temporarily while it feasts upon the small crabapples of our Flowering Crabapple Tree. The red berries of our High Bush Cranberries are now all gone but a few crabapples remain so and I am hoping for more visitations from these seasonal grosbeaks again soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Canada Geese

I had seen a small flock of Canada Geese yesterday and upon checking for them this morning I found that they were still in the same location. This is a glorious fall day and my camera captured the serene beauty of this wilderness setting.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Merlin Taking a Bath

Our timing was just right last weekend when we chanced upon this Merlin at Carleton Park in Fredericton North. Usually a Merlin sighting is a fleeting glimpse but this one stayed around and took a bath in the Saint John River.

To see more photos of this same Merlin please go to:

Sunday, November 04, 2007


This small falcon was a pleasant, surprise sighting yesterday at Carleton Park in Fredericton North. We had stopped there hoping to see some ducks as we had sighted some further upriver and thought perhaps we would find some near the park too. No ducks were found but we did see a Merlin perched upon a sign near the boat landing. It appeared unhurried and after leaving its perch landed along the river's edge giving me opportunity to take a few more pictures.

Although the pictures were taken from quite a distance, and I had to do a bit of photo editing so as to highlight the details, the Merlin exhibited some rather interesting poses showing its attractive feather displays.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Feeder Sightings: Song Sparrow

November becomes a time when my focus shifts from field sightings to those seen daily at our feeders. Living in a rural area within a small community which has a river running through it and wooded areas around it; our feeders see quite a bit of daily activity.

Our November feeder sightings started out really well this year with 13 species at our feeders on the 1st and that was a good count. Yesterday we had 11 species visiting; two Song Sparrows that had not been present the previous day arrived to be added to the November count but the Downy Woodpecker, Robin and Grackles did not show. Today and tomorrow's weather will be influenced by the heavy rains and winds from post-tropical storm Noel which will be passing through our regions this weekend so we shall see how that impacts our bird numbers visiting.
I had kept daily records for the year 2004 and loooking back on those I see that on Nov. 1st of that year we had 9 species on that day, 10 species on the 2nd, and 12 species each day for the 3rd and 4th. We shall see how this month compares with past years as the changing weather conditions progress into the winter months ahead.