Thursday, October 15, 2009

Birding update

Marathon Harbour
There is usually something interesting to see in Marathon Harbour. While shorebird numbers have tailed off, arctic-nesting ducks have started to appear. Today, not far from the boat launch, a pair of male Long-tailed Ducks (still in their dark breeding plumage) preened in the brilliant sunlight. Not far from them swam one Surf and four Black Scoters. The Black is the least commonly seen of our three scoter species so I felt fortunate to have such a great view of them. Other new arrivals included a pair of Green-winged Teal. A few days ago, the only diving ducks in evidence were a half a dozen or so Common Goldeneye and a few Greater Scaup. The boat launch offers an excellent view of the harbour - the light is best earlier in the day. Bring binoculars and a spotting scope if you have one.
Distant Black Scoters
We put up out back yard bird feeders last week. Within hours, 20-30 Dark-eyed Juncos were squabbling over the millet and cracked corn around the base of the feeder. Within days, they were joined by ones and twos of Song, White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows. A trio of American Crows has been dropping by each morning. Other regulars include a Downy Woodpecker and a handful of Black-capped Chickadees. A definite irregular was a typically insectivorous Orange-crowned Warbler hopping around among the juncos below the feeder. A trio of Purple Finches joined the fray this morning.
White-throated Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco

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