Yesterday morning I took a leisurely walk to some parks close to the river by way of some back alleys. Although the sun didn't come out as promised, I still had an enjoyable time and notched up a few nice things for my trouble :
Sharp-shinned Hawk -while photographing some Chickadees, suddenly they become agitated as an adult Sharpie swooped through the tree line within Gabriel Dumont
Park and across the river towards the san site.
Varied Thrush - I made an effort to re-visit the Queens House Retreat gardens in order to look for this bird I had previously found late last year..
I did not see it at first, but suddenly it flushed from some Mugo pine trees, giving a 'chuck' call as it flew off into some deep cover where unfortunately I could not relocate it.
These are private grounds, so anyone wishing to look for this bird will have to go to the front office and ask permission to look around.
Bald Eagle - 1 heading in the direction of the CN bridge near Diefenbaker Park.
Common Raven - 3
Blue Jay - 2
Downy Woodpecker - 2
House Finch - several loose flocks of around 5-15 birds in each
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 5
Black-capped Chickadee - 9
Black-billed Magpie - 2
Common Goldeneye - 5
House Sparrow - 50+ (almost every back alley has a small population)
Rock Dove - 25+
Common Redpoll - 5+
White-winged Crossbill - 11
I also watched 3 Coyotes on the frozen river, actively hunting and generally being very sociable with one another.
They often used the islands as cover and seemed interested in looking for Duck a l'Orange one minute or just being lazy the next, sprawled out on the snow yawning.
There were many Snowshoe Hare tracks in the parks, and I must have been mere feet away from a Skunk in its burrow, as I'm sure there was one in the woods I was exploring. The smell was pretty severe !
Here are some photos :
These Coyotes were a long long way off and I'm surprised I got any usable images at all.
The island close to the train bridge looks like a nice spot for them to rest :
Black-capped Chickadee - just before the Sharp-shinned Hawk arrived ! (no Chickadees were harmed during the Taking of this photo ) :