Saturday, February 5, 2011

Running a Fool's Errands...

A friend of mine recently mentioned seeing a Short eared Owl at some crossroads in Essex County, and with the sunny weather today (Friday), I couldn't help but drive out to try and see it. My friend described  my attempt to go look for it as "Running a Fool's Errands"... I couldn't help but make reference to this poetic description of my attempt to find this rare bird. Anyway, I went for a little drive in the county after work and looked in the vicinity (from my car) and ended up not seeing the Owl.

As a consolation prize, I did notice a beautiful Eastern Bluebird perched proudly in golden sunlight as I left (indeed, this may have been the best birding moment of the day for me). Moments later, a raptor flying through a field turned out to be a beautiful Rough legged Hawk. A Sharp shinned Hawk went over my car a few minutes later. I also saw a string of Wild Turkeys along a ditch that were over 30 in number.

I finished up my trip at an old intersection in a farmer's field that I visited last year with the Ojibway Group in Amherstburg. Snow Buntings(20), Horned Larks (40) and Lapland Longspurs (8) were hanging out, at close range... But much to my sadness, my camera was not locking focus so many of my shots were simply ruined. I chose a few below but I apologize for the lack of sharpness.

Out of hundreds of photos, I went back and found this one 'gem'. The remainder are all blurry. Thanks Stuart for the insight on the snow-blinding effect on auto-focus.

The snow buntings are very rare in my personal experience. A flock went overhead during the Point Pelee CBC but this is probably the second time in my birding experience that they were hoping along on the ground in front of me.

I've been really sick lately with a bad, lingering cold. I must have had a cold for over 3 weeks now. I regret saying that I might back away from birding/blogging until I'm over this cold. A small hiatus if you will to recuperate and get better. I've been running on a deficit for the last few weeks.

Good Birding,


  1. You have been on a roll since last week. No time to take a rest!
    I've managed to dodge a cold so far this winter.

  2. At least you had the good sense to go birding on Friday and not Saturday-- sounds like lots of people had a rough time with the weather.

    I also had focusing problems this weekend-- I figured it had to do with the lack of contrast (whiteish birds on white background)... could be your trouble,too.

    Get well!

  3. The Snow Bunting is a special sighting, indeed. It is the allusive bird in the book "Diary of a Left-Handed Birdwatcher."

    Get well soon!

  4. Great series of winter birds, well done!!



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