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Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Cool Spring Sightings: Mink and Baby Owl

If you can call it Spring, really. Still pretty cold temps on the weekends. Weekdays, of course, not so much.

Had some really neat experiences on ventures out the last little while. For some time, I had hoped to get to see and take a photo of the elusive Mink. Learning a year or so ago that we actually Have minks in Ontario was a surprise enough. They are creatures I always have associated with Siberia or some such northern exotic land. A year or so ago, one ran across the path in front of us pretty early in the morning during an early Spring walk in 2012. It was very dark, long, and Not a squirrel for sure, and Very fast. I barely had time to see it never mind get a photo of it. Second spotting was quickly again, at Frenchman's Bay in Pickering.

Lots of signs of Spring despite the pretty cold weekend temps and even snow pellets off and on 2 weekends back! Saw the first female Red-winged Black Bird, saw the Cedar Wax Wings, Warblers, an Oven Bird, a Winter Wren, the Ruby Crowned and Golden Crowned Kinglets, got a good look at the Muskrats in the marsh - one eating a tuberous plant, lots of bunnies, ducks acting all frisky in the water, geese and swans going at each other for territory, and of course Gnats galore in the air!

One real wonderful experience was to run across a baby Great Horned Owl which was rescued by a birder watcher/photographer and is managing to be safe in its tree and is being well looked after by one of the parent owls.

In the next couple of weekends, we hope to get to the Niagara Region to see the blossoming cherry and other fruit trees. I wished last year, on a trip we made down there, that I had stopped on the road to take some photos of the gorgeously back lit orchards full of pink blossoming trees - but I didn't and I regretted it and began immediately waiting on next Spring to be able to get there again. Trouble is, we don't know exactly when they will be in the same blooming condition again. Everything is behind this year as well. Hopefully, we'll hit the right weekend.

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