Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Fun

Thanksgiving is a time for family. Hannah & I spent the first half of the weekend in Kingston (actually just north of Kingston on Sydenham Lake in the Township of South Frontenac). The weather was forecasted to be cold and overcast but it turned out to be beautiful fall weather, particularly in the mornings. Our birding was limited to the 2 km private laneway leading to the cottage where we were staying, but that proved to be ample territory.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
"Western" Palm Warbler

A cold front passed through on Friday night which was a likely factor behind the large number of migrants we saw on Saturday morning. We saw mostly Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and White-throated Sparrows, but there were a few surprises such as a late Northern Parula and a Philadelphia Vireo (which I thought I had missed for the year).

Philadelphia Vireo

I saw my first Dark-eyed Junco of the fall; an indication of the changing seasons. Also in the area were several Eastern Towhees and Purple Finches, both of which I presume to be resident family groups that had not yet departed.

Coprinus comatus

As well as birds, there were some interesting fall mushrooms including Giant Puffball and Shaggy Mane. Another highlight was an encounter with a juvenile porcupine that I caught on video.

Finally, on our way out of town we saw a large congregation of Wild Turkeys in a farm field, which seemed like risky behaviour on their part.

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