27 October 2014

"And Thick on Severn Snow the Leaves"

It's early fall.  There are still green leaves, but not very many, and people keep guessing wrong about how much jacket they need.

South towards Lake Ontario's condo tower fringe
There are ducks in this picture.  Only two, and mallards, so you're not missing much if you can't find them.  Neither the bufflehead nor the widgeon nor the shovellers turned out well, picture-wise, and all three are partially white things moving on a moving mirror so I suppose the camera can be forgiven.  Certainly the shovellers are a fall thing; they don't stop for long.  The bufflehead are a winter thing, when the lake doesn't freeze, and the widgeon were just a surprise.
Hawk Hill in High Park, looking north
We were totally skunked at the hawk watch Wednesday, despite some north-west winds and what should have been good conditions, which is why I took a walk and saw ducks.
Freshly moulted pair of wood ducks
Wood ducks just aren't chromatically plausible.  Lots, though, and a bunch in immature alternate plumage, though it's probably basic if the researchers ever stop tearing their hair and sort out which way around duck moults go, the implausible creatures.  The extra-shiny, we can fly, aren't we pretty? plumage, in any case.  So -- to undigress -- it looks like the High Park wood ducks had a good breeding year this year.

06 October 2014

A peregrine in a tree

The peregrine was on the Toronto Islands, and a surprise; one does not often see them perched in trees.  The angle of the light was nearly straight up-sun but you can at least identify the bird.

Adult Peregrine Falcon perched in a tree
And since peregrines were sometimes known as "duck hawks", have some ducks from the Toronto waterfront off Sir Casimir Gzowski park.
Pair of Gadwall preening