This past Friday my good friend Arni picked me up at 6:00 a.m. and we headed out for a day of birding and photography around Eastern Ontario. I thought six was early but Arni left his place at four! The general goal for the day was to find two different Boreal species, the Boreal Owl and the Boreal Chickadee. Boreal refers to the Boreal Forest which encompasses the Northern sections of the Northern Hemisphere, however the Boreal Forest does extend southwards in parts of Ontario, including Algonquin Park. Severe weather in the North often displaces Boreal species southward in the winter months and this is what brings the odd Boreal Owl & Boreal Chickadee to South Eastern Ontario at this time of the year.
Unfortunately we didn’t find either of the birds we were looking for but nevertheless it was a fabulous day, lots of fun and we still have two birds to look for again on the next excursion. We did however find a couple of Saw Whet Owls and one Long Eared Owl plus a number of raptors including American Bald Eagles, Red Tailed Hawks and Rough Legged Hawks. We also saw a number of winter water fowl, the highlight being a flock of several hundred Long Tailed Ducks.
The little Saw Whet Owl looked like Sleeping Beauty, well hidden deep in a Jack Pine tree.
The feather detail around the eye and facial disc is truly amazing.
Although not a great image, this Red Tailed Hawk let us get fairly close, even though he was perched on the top of a hydro pole.