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Tag Archives: Coot baby

I have found that birds are easier to view when I am in my kayak than when I am walking around. The birds don’t perceive a person in a boat to be as big a threat as a person on the ground. The kayak provides a good point of view for some of the smaller songbirds which often elude me, leaving me to guess their species by a call or a song. I struggle with birding by ear, especially the warblers and Empidonax flycatchers. Except Willow Flycatchers. They have a distinctive call that sounds like ‘fitzbuuu’.

The Pileated Woodpecker was seen from our campsite. The Yellow-rumped Warbler darted back and forth catching bugs above the water. There were baby Song Sparrows along the lakeshore and adults singing and calling from the shrubs above. Red-winged Blackbirds NEVER perch still for me to get a photo. Never. An Empidonax flycatcher waited for insects in between its frequent ‘fitzbuuu’ calls. See the crack in that snag? In the next photo, look carefully for the departing Tree Swallow. They are fast. I waited and waited to get that one image. I have several of the bird’s tail feathers flying away. The Yellow Warbler was lovely in the green alder leaves. Coots were elusive in the marshy area of the lake, quickly gathering their bright orange chicks and moving them into cover. An Eastern Kingbird gracefully hurled a pellet while I was making its photo. I came across the Killdeer family while on a drive about.

Of course, there were loons. And another highlight, not photographed, was a Sora with babies!

Last week we identified 114 bird species. It seems like a lot but we missed an awful lot of so-called ‘common’ birds – all the owls, all the grouse, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers and the list goes on. And we saw no real rarities. It was pretty fun birding with lots of birds singing and we worked on learning and re-learning the bird songs and calls. It’s a challenge from year to year to keep them in my head. Some stick with me; for instance Rock Wren and Willow Flycatcher. Others – well let’s just say, it’s going to take many years for me to learn the few warblers we have in our region and remember them.

I managed to get a few photographs of birds. I didn’t really try too much bird photography. It is time consuming and we were really focusing on seeing and hearing a good variety of birds.


Hooded Merganser female at Lost Lake



 American Coot adult and chick






Spotted Sandpiper chick along Maryanne Creek Road



Spotted Sandpiper adult




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