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Sunday, 23 December 2012

Lucky to see 2 Barreds and Other Cool Sights

It's been pretty dismal, drizzly, chilly and grey, not the most fantastic walking weather, the last little while. Gotta make sure to take the Kleenexes on these recent walks lol! It also means that generally, one doesn't see much creature life, feathered or furred. The plants don't even look cool without some sort of light hitting them. However, it is awesome to get out still, even for a short time.

We have ventured to Lynde Shores a couple times lately. As well, we've done the long walk where we end up in Lynde Shores by way of Halls Rd., all along the beach/shoreline, then back again. Makes for a pretty long walk which even if one sees nothing much, at least one feels like they've actually gotten some exercise. Been waiting for my hiking boots to arrive, not real great ones, but to replace the pair I had from 7 years back that finally wore out last season.

I am combining images from about 4 different outings since Dec 1st to the 13th here. Most of the days were pretty dull light wise but there was one instance of a few hours of sunlight late one of the days we were at Lynde Shores. I am partially fearful lol! of going to Lynde Shores without lots of peanuts to distract the "killer" squirrel that lives there, one particular squirrel, that runs bee line down the path at you and unless you ward it off, will continue right up your body looking for food lol! It is pretty scary in reality. Last time we went there, I had John put out a big pile of food for it so we could get well past it while it was occupied.

There is lots of bird activity there, particularly the hoard of mallards that "accost" you, hoping for food, as soon as you arrive from the parking lot. They come out of the water, climbing the slight bank, often followed by the muskrat as they leave the water. Last time we were there, it was incredulous to see the muskrat actually come up behind one of the ducks and take a nip at it's backside lol! I got a pic but not a great one. Unbelievable and who knows why. There seemed to be no reason. It swims around and with them all the time.

I love the diving ducks and often we'll spot a lone Bufflehead in the bay at Lynde shores. We also saw a Northern Shrike. A couple other cool finds were exposed on the now leaveless trees, 2 wasps nests, and a well formed and adhered to a small tree - a tiny birds' nest. One thing we'd also never noticed before, is the remnants of what was probably an old farm, on the walk in behind Lynde Shores, to Cranberry Marsh's lookout. We see the silo all the time but now that the brush is more transparent, we noticed the stone walls and parts of an old foundation of what must have been a farm structure.

We spotted the little leucistic Black Capped Chickadee again, while feeding the chickadees. The nuthatch always shows up, dozens of black, grey and red squirrels, often chasing each other, the male and female Downey Woodpeckers usually appear for a bit, we even saw a juvenile Red Winged Blackbird last time we were at Lynde Shores. The Blue Jays were around as usual too.

Last weekend, on a quick visit to Halls Rd., we spotted "Christmas dinners" lol - wild turkeys, as close as we've ever seen them, in the farmer's field there. We also were excited to see that the resident Barred Owl in that area is alive, well, and obviously flourishing. It has broadened it's territory since we first saw over 2 months ago. As we left the area, we also spotted a second Barred, smaller, but we could tell, more skitterish. We never got out of our car, just watched it for a bit till others finally noticed it (several cars passed us back and forth and were oblivious to it) and got too eager, getting out of their cars and ultimately it flew off across the field. Barred owls, observing their hunting behaviour and mannerisms, always remind me of cats.

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