Posted in Atlantic Canada Birding

so glad Mahone Bay had not frozen up before my sales trip – a day of seabirds and a mystery hawk

so glad Mahone Bay had not frozen up before my sales trip – a day of seabirds and a mystery hawk Posted on January 21, 2016

You can bet your bottom dollar that I take my camera along on out of town sales calls in case something turns up.

Yesterday I braved the snowstorm to see clients in the Valley and met up with some birders for lunch (the Noodle Guy gets 2 thumbs up btw) and a quick sparrow hunt on a backroad.  You just have to imagine 3 ladies on the side of the road in the blustery cold trying to figure out which of the 30+ sparrows just might be a Vesper.  Well you know…birding as a lifestyle.  As much as the drive down was horrible the drive home was great and I was able to see a few more shops on the way home.  And smile about my lunchtime diversion.  Thank you for the great company Carolyn Johnston and Jocelyne Marchand and a snowy bird adventure to remember.

I really want this to be a Vesper Sparrow, but I don't think it is...any ideas?
I really want this to be a Vesper Sparrow, but I don’t think it is…any ideas?

Today I had sales calls all down the South Shore and made quick stops at several points throughout the day.  Sure I could stop at a restaurant for lunch, but for me brown bagging it so I can take little breaks in the fresh air with my camera soothes the soul.  No road rage in the country.

Typically by now much of the water around Mahone Bay is frozen solid so I didn’t hold much hope for finding good seabirds but luck was on my side and there was lots of open water and a great variety of seaducks all over.

It may be that my obsession with obtaining a decent photo of the Long-tailed Ducks has been satisfied.  These little ones from the Lunenburg waterfront will do the trick for now.  I’m sure someday I’ll look back and wonder what I was thinking at this stage of the game I am very satisfied.
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On the backroads there were 3 crows harassing a small hawk of sorts.  It’s beyond my ID skills to solve the mystery of what type of bird they were upset with.  My first thought was a Goshawk (partially wishful thinking I’m sure) as it was very white but size makes me think it must be a Peregrine unless the 3 black defenders were Ravens?   I say this because the little white hawk was smaller than the crows.  Here are my dreadful photos.  Consider that I was on the way to an appointment so could only spare a few minutes to take the photographs from my car window or I may have solved this puzzle on my own.

  • American Crow 17”
  • Raven 23-24”
  • Peregrine Falcon 16-20”
  • Northern Goshawk 21-26”

Click for full size of these distant photos…any ideas?

Don’t even talk to me about shape it’s way beyond what I can see in these photos I’m just going on the sheer whiteness and size of the little raptor.

When I finished up in the pet shops I caught some of the golden hour for Bufflehead photos, and also this lovely pair of Hooded Mergansers I found on the Silver Point Road.
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Still finishing up paperwork from the day at 10pm, but all in all I’d say it was a good day’s work with a nice mix of play thrown in.

Squeeze some nature in whenever you can.  It’s what it’s all about you know…