Varadero, Cuba – Flora and Fauna

Varadero, Cuba – Flora and Fauna

During our visit to Varadero, Cuba I didn’t see all of the species of birds, reptiles and plants that were there and photographed even fewer species. Many of the species have been included in other blog entries as part of the day’s story. Others didn’t fit elsewhere. This blog entry will serve as a collection point of images of the various species that I photographed. Where I have included the image in another blog, clicking on the image will take you to that blog entry.

Northern Mockingbird –  Mimus polyglottus

Ruddy Turnstone – Arenaria interpres

Hummingbird

Killdeer – Charadrius vociferus

Common Ground Dove – Columbina passerina

Mourning Dove – Zenaida macroura

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis

Smooth-billed Ani – Crotophagi ani

People are thinking about Spring

People are thinking about Spring

One interesting thing about having a blog that includes lots of photos is the insight that it can provide into what the general population might be thinking about or planning to do. In the Fall and early Winter, the number of views on winter vacation locations tend to increase and our blogs from past trips to the FloridaDominican RepublicMexico and Cuba begin to be viewed more often. During the summer months, by contrast, those blog entries are rarely viewed.

Rolling Waves - Punta Cana  

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A Short Visit to the Shirley’s Bay Feeders

A Short Visit to the Shirley’s Bay Feeders

Graeme and I had spent some time photographing the ice sculptures at Confederation Park. On the way home from there, I decided to take a short detour to Shirley’s Bay ,where I found a woman photographing a Pileated Woodpecker at one of the suet feeders. For my part, I was happy to watch the birds coming to the feeders. After taking a photo of a White-Breasted Nuthatch taking some crushed peanuts from one of the feeders, and a Porcupine sleeping high up in one of the nearby trees, I was once again on my way toward home.

Sarsaparilla Trail and the Chickadees (again :-))

Sarsaparilla Trail and the Chickadees (again :-))
It was a perfect Fall day with temperatures above freezing, a beautiful blue sky overhead and little or no wind so I took a few minutes away from the computer to go out on the Sarsaparilla Trail in Ottawa’s National Capital Commission Greenbelt. The parking lot was full. That is always a good indication that the birds will be well fed as families and individuals stop at various locations along the trail to offer up a handful of seeds for the accommodating Chickadees.
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Breeding Bird Survey – The Shoals Route # 175 – Survey Day

During a breeding bird survey with my birder friend Gerhard, I don’t usually photograph many birds. There are many reasons for that not the least of which is the fact that the trees now have plenty of leaves and the birds are difficult to see in the foliage.

For the survey, most of the counting is based on identifying the birds by their songs with only a glimpse from time to time of an actual bird for identification confirmation. Also, as the primary driver, the responsibility falls on me to swat the mosquitoes and black flies that get into the car at each stop and to record details such as location information. In the 5 minutes or so that we are stopped on the side of the road for each survey point, it is often a bit dangerous to just hop of the car on the driver’s side, with camera in hand, since logging trucks don’t like to slow down for mere humans with cameras.

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Shirley’s Bay, Ottawa, Ontario

I started off my travels today by first visiting the area called Shirley’s Bay on the Ottawa River. Considering all of the rain that we had in April, it is not surprising that the bay is much fuller than normal. For those used to skipping stones from the rocky shoreline, seeing the Ottawa River this high at this location still elicits a WOW! response.


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Cycling in Florida – Merritt Island Revisited

Another sunny day with reasonable temperatures. Began the day walking the beach in Cape Canaveral and then returned to walk the trails of Merritt Island while John did another loop on his bike. On the previous day’s visit to Merritt Island, Black Vultures and Armadillos had been the primary subjects but today I was more interested in the wading and shoreline birds.

The waters in the Merritt Island wetlands come with two distinct characters. Part are left to rise and fall with the tides and part are behind control structures that keep the water at managed levels. This results in a broad variety of habitat and plenty of wading birds. One of the sought after species is the very colourful Roseate Spoonbill. Although I saw four of these beautiful birds in flight, none came within camera range.

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Cape Canaveral, Florida

We stayed overnight at the Jetty Park Campgrounds. Nice locations for tents but their policy of charging $10 for each additional tent made the location rather pricey considering that we were traveling with one small tent each. One of the washroom/shower buildings was closed for repair which meant that the second building was more crowded than normal. The beach and jetty though were wonderful to visit and the birds were out in number as were the fishermen on the jetty.


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Cycling in Florida – Jupiter Island, Hobe Sound, Florida

Our camping spot beside the canal at St. Lucie Locks and Dam in Stuart, Florida had its advantages. Every hour a new batch of boats would pass by :-).


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Florida Birds – Video

Florida Birds – Video

Here is a video of some clips of birds which we saw while cycling around Florida. I was borrowing Graeme’s FLIP camera for these shots and hadn’t used it before this trip so these clips should be viewed as Ron experimenting. Hope you enjoy them anyway.

Includes (in order of appearance): Purple Gallinule, Anhinga, Soaring Black Vultures, White Ibis, Peacock and Peahen, Limpkin, Wood Stork, Tri-colored Heron.

 

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