today in the Hamilton region

Gene Denzel lezned at yorku.ca
Sun Feb 22 19:27:07 EST 2004


Of course today was one of those 'have to get out and just enjoy it' 
days of early Spring/late Winter, but there were also rewards in the 
viewing:
At Fruitland Road end, there were a number of the standard species 
(lots of White Wing Scoters and Common Goldeneye, plus tons of 
Long-Tails and a few Scaup). My wife caught sight of what appeared to 
be a Barrow's Goldendeye, but by the time I got the scope out I could 
only find Common. There were also Red-Breasted Merg's.
As we worked our way up the coast, we saw more of the same, plus some 
Surf Scoters, and then discovered a massive exercise of the gendarmerie 
around the Windermere Basin/Tollgate Ponds area, where the road was 
blocked off (was this an exercise associated with the immenent 
Conference, or some local event??). At any rate, we defaulted to the 
canal under the lift bridge, where in addition to the usual species 
(many many beautiful male Long-Tails discussing loudly their 
suitability to be chosen by the equally numerous females), we sighted 
an exquisite male WOOD-DUCK perched on the middle 'rail' of the 
side-wall opposite the drive-in under the bridge. It was there around 
noon, and for some time, but then vanished, perhaps due to dogs being 
walked along the causeway on that side of the canal.
We finished with a hike in the Hendrie Valley, which featured a 
MOCKINGBIRD which was posing for a photograph for several minutes, 
giving both left and right profiles to an attentive photographer near 
the site where many have seen the Brown Thrasher and Catbird. We did 
see a couple of WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, but not the reported Fox 
Sparrow (seen earlier in the day, of course).
It's good to be alive and able to get out and enjoy the beauties with 
which we are surrounded , is it not?

Professor Gene Denzel
Information Technology Program
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
York University   416-736-5250

Gene Denzel <lezned at yorku.ca>

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