On the way up to Stoney Lake on December 12, soaring together over County Road #44 near Hubble Road, were two eagles. I drove up until I was directly beneath them, and saw that they were one adult Bald, and one 1st winter Golden. I had a nice view of them, but by the time I got pulled over, and had camera in hand, the two had moved to the east enough that there were now treetops in the way of a clear photo. Hmm, next time, perhaps. I think I may require a chauffer!!
Along Northey’s Bay Road, the same Barred Owl as reported by Jeff Keller on the 1st, and by me on the 5th, was actively hunting the ditch opposite the entrance to Quarry Bay Beach, at about 1:30-2:00pm. Between 3:00 and 4:00pm I checked all previous locations where I’ve seen the species recently, but did not notice any more today.
On December 13, Jane and I went to cut some firewood at the other property, and along our way up Cty Rd 46, we saw a Barred Owl on the phone line about a meter from one of the poles. It was about 500 m north of the one I reported on #46 north of Round Lake Road a few days ago, so may or may not be the same bird. After our wood gathering, we headed north up #44 in search of any of the other three that I had seen on that road in the past week. We did see the northernmost bird today, (about 1.5 km east of County Road #6), and within about 100 m from where I saw it the other day.
This evening, (December 14th), I was back up to Stoney doing some work, and although I did not see any of the five Barred Owls that I’ve found in the past week, I did find another at a new location at about 4:15pm on my way home. This one, was right at the point where County Road #47 meets County Road #46, (exactly 3 kms north of the next closest owl location). Just after pulling onto #46, it flew up out of the ditch and right in front of me, across the road and into some conifers and out of sight. It was clutching what appeared to be a quite fat vole, in its feet.
Red-tailed Hawks, (both adults and immatures), seem to be around in greater-than-normal abundance these days as well. I would guess that they might make a good showing on the up-coming Christmas Bird Counts. (Lots of juncos about, too). N.B. As it turned out, both of these species were found in record numbers on the Peterborough Christmas Bird Count, held Dec. 14. D.M.