Thursday, November 8, 2018

KINGSTON NATURE WALK

A beautiful male Northern Cardinal.
While Rob and I were in the Kingston area a couple weeks ago, we still managed to get out for our Sunday nature walk. When we woke up that morning, going for a walk was "iffy", as the snow was coming down pretty good and neither one of us had packed clothes fit for that kind of weather. But after having breakfast at a local hot spot with the family, we set off for our walk. Little did I know at the time I was about to have one of those "memorable birding moments".

We went to Lemoine Point Conservation Area , a place recommended by a friend. It was perfect! Lovely trail system, flat walking conditions, and even a bathroom, rustic though it was. There wasn't a trace of the earlier snow we had had. It was fun to be checking out a new area, and we felt like we were on an adventure, as most times it was just us and the very friendly birds. We were able to hand feed Blue Jays, Nuthatches, Downy Woodpeckers and Chickadees. Much fun!

The squirrel says, "come this way".  
Been a while since we hand fed a White-breasted Nuthatch,  
or a Downy Woodpecker!
There were many of these cute little guys, all chubbed up for the winter.
We had a lovely walk, and it ended just in time, as the weather was turning rainy and windy towards the end. I know at this time of year Owls are on many birders minds, including Rob's. I've seen many different owls while out with Rob, but I had never discovered one on my own before. We were walking by a cluster of conifers and for some reason I just stopped, and said "let's do it" and I walked into the trees to have a look. And then I saw him, a Long-eared Owl! He had his back to me but turned around to check me out.  I quickly became an emotional mess. With tears in my eyes, I turned around and whispered excitedly to Rob, "I found an owl, I found an owl!"

My first ever found on my own owl, a Long-eared Owl. Oct, 28th, 2018
      Long-eared Owls are very skittish, and we did not want to flush him. We stayed in his presence mere minutes. We walked around him with a very large berth as Rob wanted to get a picture of "my owl", without branches in front of his face, and then we left him, right where we found him. I was just as thrilled we didn't flush him as I was at finding him. The moment was definitely the highlight of our walk, and one of the most memorable birding moments of my life.   

What an absolute joy it was for me to discover him. 

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