Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Europe (Part 4)

This is a continuation of the series of posts about our trip to Europe, posted automatically. By this time I will be in Long Point attending the Young Ornithologist Workshop.

This post is a continuation from the last post about our first day in Hortobagy National Park. We took a small boat tour out onto Tisza lake and through little rivers and channels into a heron and cormorant nesting ground.

Around every corner there were herons and egrets. Some of the types we saw was Grey Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Great Egret, Little Egret, and Purple Heron. Tonnes of all of them!
Grey Heron

Grey Herons

Reed Warbler


Mute Swan

Mute Swan
 There were also many, many Whiskered Terns which darted around through the air and dove to the water, making themselves extremely difficult to photograph.
Whiskered Tern

Common Cuckoo 
Eurasian Coot

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

When we returned from the three hour boat tour we saw a variety of birds including White Wagtail, Green Woodpecker, Linnet, and Goldfinch.
White Wagtail 

Overall it was a very successful and extremely fun day. To see the many different types of herons and egrets in their natural habitat was very special.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Off to Long Point!

In the Spring I was chosen to participate in the Doug Tarry Young Ornithologist Workshop at the Long Point Bird Observatory in Ontario. It is a week long workshop training six young aspiring Ornithologists with hands on work and bird banding in a research-oriented setting.

I am flying out early tomorrow morning to Toronto where I will get a ride to Long Point, which is two hours away. Long Point is a point that juts out 35km into lake Erie and is famed for its  bird life and research. Only six people are chosen to attend the workshop, so I am very excited to learn all I can and even see some new birds!

"Since the creation of the Doug Tarry Young Ornithologists' Workshop in the mid-1970s, it has been the jumping-off point for many of Canada's best and brightest scientists, field biologists, and naturalists. Thanks to the keen foresight and generosity of humanitarian and naturalist Doug Tarry, the workshop is offered free to selected applicants. The program has trained over 150 young people since 1991."

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Europe (Part 3)

After the visiting the nature reserve in Ostia (see previous post) we headed to the airport, and after a two hour flight we landed in Budapest, where we stayed with relatives for a day or two.

Eurasian Jay

Hooded Crow

We walked around the city center of Budapest for a while, there weren't too many birds to be seen, but lots of incredible buildings!
Magnificent parliament of Budapest

Wood Pigeon

After our visit in Budapest we drove out to the smaller town of Eger on the beautiful Hungarian countryside. It has a population of 50,000 and is situated at the foot of the Bukk Mountains. Almost as soon as we got out of the car on the overcast day we were greeted by a lovely Song Thrush.

Song Thrush

I enjoyed walking around the small town. You could walk from the edge to the center of town in only a matter of minutes. We frequently walked to a nearby park to look for birds. Some of the birds we saw there included Chaffinch, Nuthatch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Song Thrush, Hawfinch and Eurasian Tree Sparrows.
A special treat was two Scops Owls which we heard while walking in the park at night. When we first heard them we had no idea what they were. We thought it sounded sort of like a funky car alarm, but we knew car alarms don't move quickly about in the trees. We suspected an owl, and our thoughts were confirmed when we looked up the different owl sounds when we returned.

A frog in a small pond at the park

Eger at night

Eger is known for its vineyards and wine cellars, and this is where my great grandfather owned some vineyards 

One of our plans for birding in Hungary was to visit Hortobagy National Park, a prime birding wetland. It was very fruitful, bringing many new birds and a really fun day!

Black Redstart

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-headed Gull
 One of the highlights in the park was seeing numerous pairs of beautiful Great-crested Grebes.
Great-crested Grebes


Beared Reedling

Great-crested Grebes

Great Reed Warbler

White Wagtail

Barn Swallow

Grey Heron

Thanks for reading, stay tuned for the next post, which will be more amazing birding in Hortobagy National Park.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Europe (Part 2)

This is the second part of a series of posts I will be making about our family trip to Europe.
This post will be about the rest of our time in Rome.

In the morning we took the subway into Rome to visit the Roman Forum. I was hoping to see more birds there because it was a bit more of a park setting.

William admiring the view

A song alerted us to the presence of a bird with a pretty high pitched song. After a moment of searching through the bird book we figured out that it was a Serin.

A pair of Rose-ringed Parakeets were hanging out in one of the tall umbrella pines.
Rose-ringed Parakeet

Rose-ringed Parakeets

Yellow-legged Gull

I think that Europeans are lucky with their Hooded Crows, which look much prettier than normal American Crows.
Hooded Crow

The Colosseum

A young Yellow-legged Gull

In the afternoon we took the bus north of Rome to the town of Tivoli. There was a beautiful park there which I really enjoyed, although we didn't end up seeing too many birds there.
Our first Chaffinch

Enjoying the view

Walking down the thin European streets

The next day we went to the ruins of Ostia Antica. We saw some nice birds like Kestrels, Serins, Rose-ringed Parakeets, Hoopoes, and a Little Egret.


The ruins
 We went to the Vatican, but there were hardly any birds to be seen there.

Sunset on the Mediterranean sea 
 On our last morning in Italy we walked a few kilometers to a nature reserve where we saw a handful of lifers, although we only had time to stay for a few minutes.

Hooded Crow

Honey Buzzard

Little Grebe

Common Sandpiper

Stay tuned for the next part!
I was also in Wapusk National Park for a week at the beginning of July, so I will make some posts about that as well!