November 17th – Pishing Around

Boreal Sunset. -DOL

Marg and I decided to make a mad dash for our little cabin on Grand Manan Island (in the Bay of Fundy) for a little R & R and to start the task of doing up reports on the 2019 banding seasons. It’s a great place to kick back and relax, a very different pace. It’s also a great place to bird (between reports of course…..) and is renowned on the East Coast for its rarities (last Summer I turned up a Lark Sparrow and a Lark Bunting at the same time, feeding within centimeters of each other (and I was wondering if they had made the journey from western Canada together).

There’s some interesting birding right around the cabin and I make it a point of going out at least once a day for a birding stroll, quite often pishing as I go. The Black-capped Chickadees respond to this really quickly but so do: Boreal Chickadees, Golden-crowned Kinglets and, much to my surprise(!) Pine Warblers and even a Cape May Warbler! And in the local waters (but NOT responding to pishing) Red-throated and Common Loons, Surf Scoters, and Red-necked Grebes. While overhead Bald Eagles keep an eye on things. It’s a great place to visit. But…..I’ll be heading back shortly in order to catch a plane to Kenya and Malawi where I’ll spend about a month pishing around.

We left Ontario right after the BIG snowstorm which dropped 30 cm locally with plunging temperatures. Our drive was snow free (they didn’t get nearly as much snow as southern Ontario) but cold (-20 C.) Grand Manan had a dusting and temperatures hovering just above freezing. (Rain has since dispersed the snow.) The first thing I do on getting here is fill the feeders out the back. The local birds have learned that a car in the drive means food in the feeders and they were on it first thing the next morning.

In the meantime, the birds “back home” have been having to deal with some pretty tough conditions so feeders are of even more importance to them. One of my sons is a bird feeding aficionado and, with not-so subtle persuasion I have even convinced the other one to put one up!!

One of our young birders/banders/Baggers, Aliya, has taken up photography and is doing a great job highlighting the “theme of the day”:

Fueling up to withstand the snow – a female Northern Cardinal. -AG

A flash of colour! Male Northern Cardinal. -AG

Female Downy Woodpecker taking advantage of a well-stocked feeder. -AG

Juncos like to hang around the base of feeders to clean up the scraps. -AG

Blue Jays have such an imposing look… -AG


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