[NatureNS] Interesting Birds Seen Today.

Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2012 17:51:30 -0300
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Hello All,

I happened down to Red Bridge Pond here in Dartmouth today, to check on the Snapping Turtle nest. Nothing too unusual to report there. It appears undisturbed, but with all the rain, some at the top of the bank above where the nest is located, looked eroded.
I did happen to notice some very small duck-like waterfowl out swimming around. I did not have my binoculars but they did not behave like Mergansers where they all will just duck under the water & then pop up someplace else. They were brown & from what I could see, had some white on their heads. Will try again tomorrow. This time with the binoculars & my camera.
I was shown a picture (from a little 'point & shoot' camera) that my next door neighbour took this past week of a bird that was resting on her railing. I couldn't tell from the photo really how big it was but she said it was maybe a little smaller than a pigeon. The colour & pattern of the feathers on its back reminded me of a song sparrow and there appeared to be areas of down, intermingled, so it was, likely, a fledgling. What had me totally stumped was its breast, it was  absolutely pure white. It's head and beak puzzled me too. The way it positioned it's head, while perched and that the beak appeared short with a downward curve. My neighbour said it was a hook. She said she thought it might be an escaped pet bird. It had a very protruding white front. All I could think of was a Yellow or Black-billed Cuckoo but the back feathers are all wrong. Anyway, she is going to copy a picture for me. I will share it when I get it.
Also, we appear to have quite a family of either Sharp-shinned Hawks or Merlins in our backyard. Saw 3 juveniles flying around the green belt today & lots of alarm calls from the Blue-jays.
During this summer, there were a lot of Merlin calls.
Hope they don't eat all my nice little birds. But they are welcome to any & every Starling that they can get!

Enjoyed the 1st full day of Fall!


Gayle MacLean

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