Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wings of Spring

Last Sunday was the perfect day for some birding, especially at Rondeau Provincial park!  The 'Wings of Spring Festival' was in full blast at Rondeau and the birds couldn't have planned it better.  You could just hear the Tundra Swans chatting with each other in the bay from the park.

Me and the Great Horned Owl
The day started off with a show put on by the Ontario Falconry Centre.  They brought an amazing variety of Birds of Prey with them including: Great Horned Owls, Screech Owls, American Kestrels, Bald Eagle, Harris Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Red Tailed Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, and a few others.  Kids watching it were just amazed. It was so cute seeing the little ones holding the tiny birds and seeing them fall in love with them (or that's what i'd like to think anyways).  Afterwards I was able to hold a little red Morphed Screech Owl (poor little girl was missing an eye..she was a rehabilitated bird) and then the Great Horned Owl.  Was it ever beautiful!!  I think the worker was  scared  I was going to try and bring him home...
Little Downy Woodpecker 

 I had the pleasure of being accompanied with my Dad to this awesome festival making it a really nice Father-Daughter day, which we get seldom of since I had been gone to school.  It was his first time being in Rondeau Park, which was a surprise for me to hear as I've spent so much time in this park it's a place that I consider to be one of my favourite places. It was a really nice chance to be able to share some of the memories and knowledge that I have of the area, the people, the plants, and of course, the birds.

Before heading out to the bay we decided to take a hike through one of the wooded paths.  I cracked the joke of "you know, not many woodland species have migrated back yet, I bet all we will see is a woodpecker".  And alas.  We saw a Downy Woodpecker!

Next up was the Bay.  I have never seen so many birds in one spot in all my life.  There were THOUSANDS!  The pictures below don't even begin to show how many there were.  The Tundras sounded like you were in an arena during a hockey game.  They were flying in and out of different groups and when looking through binoculars you could still see hundreds more flying in the distance.  It's indescribable but my favourite time of year may have just changed to early spring/late winter.  There were also quite a few species of ducks mainly Mallard, Canvasback, Redhead, and American Widgeon.    I think both my dad and I were just mesmorized by the vast numbers.  A few people came and left to look at the bay, but we just sat there for about 30 minutes taking all the sites in.  It was, one of the best days I've had birding yet, just standing there and taking in all the sounds and beauty.  I hope everyone gets to experience seeing something like this at least once in their lifetime.