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Nov 25, 2010

Unexpected sightings at Holland Marsh

Wikipedia Photos

I drove up to the Holland Marsh in King Township today looking for some last summer birds, such as Osprey, Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron and the smaller herons, or to see some early winter birds, like Great Horned Owl, Snowy Owl and Redpolls. I did see two Repolls but none of the others. What I was impressed to see was a juvenile Double-crested Cormorant sitting on a fallen tree branch in the north canal, just east of Hwy. 400. It had struck the classic pose (both wings widespread and held high) for drying it wet wings. However, the air was only 1 degree above freezing and there was a cold and nasty, south-east wind. It occured to me that it might freeze its wings. Then again, maybe its intention was to have 'freeze-dried' wings. I tried to get a photo but it wanted nothing to do with me and headed east, underwater, along the canal. I headed to the south canal, where a massive multi-$million relocation of the canal is underway. Once again I did not see what I was hoping to see, except for three mallards. Then a Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustri) caught my eye. It's not an uncommon bird, but I don't see or hear them often. The photos above are from Wikipedia. The juvenile Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritis) was taken by D. Gordon E. Robertson, at Shirley's Bay, Ottawa, in October of this year. The Marsh Wren photo, on the right, is from Below is a photo of what the canal relocation work looks like. It looks more like a logging road, along a river in northern Ontario to me, instead of an irrigation canal in southern Ontario's salad bowl. Please comment if you wish. BtheB

Canal photo by BarrytheBirder ~ Click on photo to enlarge

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