Snow Geese and smoke.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan, Canada in the late 1990s.

In the autumn one of my regular locations for Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes on autumn migration was Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area in Saskatchewan. One afternoon there was large clouds of smoke to the north west. A couple of times flocks of Snow Geese would take off and fly in front of the smoke.

I never found out what caused all the smoke.

Smoke and Snow Geese.

 

Week 40. White-crowned Sparrows.

Autumn migration is well underway on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario.

We had an influx of Sparrow species on the Friday of week 40 so I set up in the yard on Saturday morning despite there being thick cloud with light rain at times.

Here is an adult White-crowned Sparrow with an immature in the background. In the spring the adult migrated to the far north to breed in brushy areas of the taiga and tundra. It’s now heading south for the winter and could travel as far south as central Mexico. The immature bird in the background will have hatched from an egg a few months ago and is heading south for the first time.

White-crowned Sparrows on autumn migration.

Sanderling on autumn migration.

Throwback Thursday travels back to the Lake Huron shoreline in Southampton, Ontario in the mid 2000s.

I had gone down to the shoreline for the sunrise and discovered a small flock of juvenile Sanderling that had stopped off to feed on their way south for the winter.

I spent some time with them, this is one of them feeding on the shoreline.

Feeding juvenile Sanderling.

The onset of autumn.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is The Onset of Autumn.

For me, the onset of autumn doesn’t just mean the leaves changing colour. It also means a change of bird species in the area. As I type this it’s been a week since I last saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, they’re heading south for the winter. Today I had a Pine Siskin in the yard, normally a winter species for the area.

So rather go with a somewhat predictable photo of leaves I decided to go with a bird species that passes through the area in the spring and autumn. This White-crowned Sparrow is a passage migrant in this part of Ontario. Having bred in the far north it’s now heading south to spend the winter the southern U.S. or Mexico. It has stopped off in the area to feed up for a day or two.

White-crowned Sparrow.