Saturday, November 20, 2010
Northern Shrike at Malden Park
Wow, what an exciting lifer! This beautiful bird is #214 on my life list.... spotted after 1.5 years of birding. I almost dropped my camera when I realized what I was looking at!
This morning was relatively quiet at Malden Park. I saw the usual suspects: American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal, Downy Woodpeckers and Dark eyed Juncos. I was on my way out of the park and figured I would check a small stand of evergreens for a Saw Whet Owl. Then I heard a warbling bird call I've never heard before so I checked out a 'lump' in a nearby tree with my binoculars. Sure enough, this masked northern- butcher-watchman was perched about 50 ft from me! These are the moments that birders cherish. I'm new to birding but this just seems like a very rare bird in Windsor. How exciting!
Anyway, I used a nearby evergreen as a blind and took a bunch of photos and left him alone to continue hunting for food. Hopefully this bird overwinters here! More info on the Northern Shrike can be found here: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Shrike/id (right click, open in new tab)
PS: If you stand at the top of Malden Park's hill in West Windsor and look due West, you will see "Zug Island" which is a steel refinery on the American side of the Detroit River. This along with chemical plants and Oil refineries are within 5KM of west Windsor. It dawned on me only in my 20's that these plants were positioned so that the downwind communities were Windsorites that (I'm guessing) had little input on the location of these plants. Brighton Beach is the white box in the left-bottom of this photo. The new DRIC Bridge crossing will be just to the left of Brighton Beach Power Generation offering nice views to international travellers.