Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A Winter's Tale

One bright aspect of the brutal winter of 2013-2014 was the the plethora of Snowy Owls available in southern Ontario, and elsewhere on the eastern seaboard. A particularly large number were concentrated in southern Newfoundland.  Others reached farther south - Little Talbot Island, nr Jacksonville, Florida, and one even made it to Bermuda, 1,239 km (770 mi) south of Nova Scotia. On January 2014, I managed to get some good shots of a cooperative Snowy Owl conveniently located on the west headland of Cobourg Harbour.
Snowy Owl in Cobourg (Jan 18, 2014)
Before the New Year, I had seen 8 other Snowy Owls at various times: 4 at Presqu'ile Provincial Park and 4 at Cobourg Harbour, though I may have seen the same bird on different days.
Finding a window in the winter weather, we headed south to warmer climes, in search of - birds and golf, of course.
Among the ornithological delights of South-East Arizona are the various hummingbirds that may be encountered. Here are five of the nine species web that have seen recently.
Broad-billed, Costa's, Magnificent, Violet-crowned and Anna's Hummingbirds (March, 2014)
The other four hummingbird species we saw were the noisy Broad-tailed, the feisty but, pretty Rufous, the quiet Blue-throated and the elegant Black-chinned. Two other birders directed me to a hummingbird nest which contained one egg (at the time) and I moved off when the mother returned. I am fairly certain she was a female Broad-billed: a common in Madera Canyon and in the area surrounding it.
Broad-billed Hummingbird nest, in Madera Canyon (March, 2014)
Sadly, the next day when I came back to show the nest to a friend, it was empty, no egg, and no sign of the female.
Female Broad-billed Hummingbird, Madera Canyon (March, 2014)
More pictures of our time in Arizona can be found - here.

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