May 082013
 

I live on the south end of the City of Kawartha-Lakes, adjacent to the Ganaraska Forest. We have lots of birds in our gardens but Wednesday evening this yellow Hairy Woodpecker came to one of our feeders. He looks to me like the typical male Hairy Woodpecker except for the yellow colouring.

Observer: Doug Coggan

yellow Hairy Woodpecker (Doug Coggan)

yellow Hairy Woodpecker (Doug Coggan)

Note from Drew Monkman: From what I’ve been able to research on-line, the bird has a condition called xanthochroism. “Xanthochroism is a pigment disorder, as are albinism (lack of pigment) and melanism (excess pigment). In xanthochroistic birds, either there is excessive yellow pigment in the feathers or yellow replaces another color, typically red. Xanthochroism occurs not only in birds, but also in other organisms. It may be caused by dietary deficiencies or a genetic mutation.While fairly rare, the condition is nonetheless reported in a number of species of birds. One in which it is noted nearly annually is the Red-bellied Woodpecker. Because the red color of the head is replaced by a golden yellow, the Red-bellieds are often misidentified as Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. Orange Scarlet Tanagers and Northern Cardinals are also fairly common.” from Julie Craves, Birdwatchingdaily.com June 20, 2003

May 082013
 

 

Virginia Rail (Karl Egressy)

Virginia Rail (Karl Egressy)

Today, on the Hastings rail-trail , I spotted some movement to my left in the swampy area just off the trail. Having purposefully taken my new point and shoot Canon sx50  in case I saw a new butterfly , I quickly flipped it on and began to focus ( no easy task for this raw novice). I knew that I had a Virginia Rail the moment it came into view.
 I stood there for at least 20 minutes snapping pictures and appreciating this ” best in a lifetime view”. I was only about 8 feet away . For my local friends, it was about 100 yards east of David Fife Line , on the south side of the trail. Importantly, , I believe there is a nest there as half way through this experience, he poked into a muddy undergrowth and very shortly afterward, a female came out to peck bills and then continue on her own food seeking wanderings) . I have “marked” the spot by placing a dogwood branch ( you can tell by its bark !!  yuk, yuk , ) in the small 8 ft. willow.  My luck held out as I was next able to spot and capture on my camera ( primarily why I bought it )  a “Spring Azure” butterfly – a first for me.

Observer: Michael Gillespie

 

May 082013
 

I have two days worth of sightings to report. The first is from May 2. We were on University Road, at a marsh on both sides of the road, south of the Wildlife  Sanctuary. We saw Chris Risley (lol) who helped us to identify a small group of Ring-necked Ducks, a Pied-billed Grebe, a Beaver, a trio of Canada Geese having a heated argument, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, Tree Swallows, a flicker calling, and we also spotted a heronry, with at least 12 nests. I saw 6 Great Blue Herons, some in the nests, and one breaking twigs off of a tree, and unfortunately, 6 dead turtles on that one stretch of road :( very sad.

Eastern Kingbird (by David Frank, Cavan)

Eastern Kingbird (by David Frank, Cavan)

On May 8, I found a Gray Treefrog in my Tudor Crescent garden, underneath a clay pot. It was really neat, as it was the first time I’ve found one of them in my yard. That same day, I went walking to a drainage pond on Marsdale Dr by Monsignor O’Donogue School. It backs onto a large marsh that becomes Downer’s Corners. There I saw Killdeer (2) aYellow Warbler, and an Eastern Kingbird. As I was leaving, I heard Wood Frogs (the ones that sound like quacking) and American Toads trilling.

Observer: Catherine Paradisis

May 082013
 

On our walk this morning near Bailieboro, we frightened a large, blackish bird from a pile of shrubbery, so I investigated why it had been there.  Low and behold, she was sitting on eggs ! Through a little research, I determined them to be the eggs of a Wild Turkey. The eggs have fine brown markings on them.

Turkey eggs (David Frank, Cavan)

Turkey eggs (David Frank, Cavan)

Wild Turkey nest (Marie Adamcryck - Bailieboro)

Wild Turkey nest (Marie Adamcryck – Bailieboro)