While looking out at the waterfowl, I realized Kelly M was looking out over the water we talked about the various birds around Peche Island. Several Bald Eagles were seen, along with four Great Blue Herons, some Swans, and thousands of ducks, mainly Common Mergansers. Some Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead along with others were present. Just as I was about to leave, Kelly pointed out the resident Fox which was trotting way out on the ice! (See photo above. Click photo to see full size. How often does one see a Fox with Mergansers?)
One must ask, how did a Fox get on Peche Island? Was it placed there in some ecological experiment, or did it swim or walk amongst the ice flows? I wonder how long a small island with only a few square KM's of surface area, (mainly Carolinean Forest) will sustain this cunning mammal?
I'm still really excited about seeing the Mountain Bluebird last weekend. What a beautiful bird. Last weeks posting was rushed as I was trying to put something up on my blog before submitting my 'MOBL Yes' posting to Ontbirds. Photographing this Bluebird was pretty challenging. The bluebird below was about 30m away from the road, and I was in my car photographing them. Some challenges that morning included the fact that the birds were East of the road, so they were backlit. To accommodate, I increased exposure, and had to switch to manual focus because the camera cant really 'sense' a bird 30+ meters away on some corn stubble.
Okanogan Valley this summer, in what might have been the single best birding walk I've taken in my life. If you didn't read that posting, I recommend following the link. That might be one of my favorite blog entries on this blog, as well as the Lewis's Woodpecker story that precedes it.
Even though its backlit and a poor photo... Isn't it beautiful? Its Sky blue back with grey and white breast along with its calm demeanor make this a pleasure to behold. At one point, the two bluebirds were in a tree close to the road and I could hear them singing... How Awesome.
This range map from Allaboutbirds.org shows where Mountain Bluebirds are typically found. Other range maps in field guides show a little more of the eastward vagrancy these birds tend to do quite frequently (especially in Winter).
|Image Source: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mountain_bluebird/id/ac|
You may have been wondering why this posting is titled: "Hiatus".
According to Dictionary.com:
hi·a·tus - [hahy-ey-tuhs] noun, plural -tus·es, -tus.
1. a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
So, I'm going to honestly spend the next two months (February & March) focusing on my night-school commitments, and less time birding & blogging. I might try to get out if I have a good chance of seeing a lifer. Blake's posting yesterday which featured Common Redpolls and White winged Crossbills has me thinking of getting out to Rondeau (just as I announce my hiatus). Its tough for me to do this because I've been blogging at least weekly for two years in a row! I feel an obligation to post at least weekly!
Send me an email if you see any winter finches between Rondeau and Windsor! :-)