The wonder of migration.

The new Tuesday Photo Challenge is Wonder.

Each spring I wait for the return of the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Having spent the winter in the tropics they head north for the summer. The only Hummingbird species that breeds to the east of the Mississippi River some Ruby-throated Hummingbirds travel north of the Great Lakes to breed. A tremendous journey for such a small bird.

This male was photographed on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario last summer and obviously doesn’t like its photo being taken as it’s sticking its tongue out at the photographer.

Flying male Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

 

A Yellow Sign of Spring.

A follow-up of sorts to last week’s Throwback Thursday about a Red-winged Blackbird in the spring.

This week’s Throwback Thursday features a male Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) recently arrived in Saskatchewan one spring in the 1990s.

This male is in the process of setting up a territory with the intention of attracting a mate. When the females arrive in the spring they will breed and spend the summer before heading back south for the winter.

Yellow Sign of Spring.

Wings over water.

The new Weekly Prompt Photo Challenge is Wings.

I thought about swarms of insects but decided that while you can see the insects you can’t see their wings while they’re flying in the swarm.

Then I thought about some of the photos from when I was a member of a small group of birders surveying and recording a winter roost of Gull species on an inland reservoir in south Cheshire, England.

A photo of Black-headed Gulls in winter roosting on Hurleston Reservoir at night. If something disturbs the birds on an edge of the roost they will fly to another side of the roost which is what they’re doing in the photo.

Black-headed Gull winter roost.

Snow Geese gathering.

The new Wits End Weekly Photo Challenge is Gatherings.

I thought of a few potential photos of wildlife gatherings  for the challenge.

I decided to go with a shot of a flock of Snow Geese taking flight at Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area, Saskatchewan, Canada. One of the prairie locations used as a stop over on their way south for the winter.

A gathering of Snow Geese.

Shiny Grackle.

The new Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge is Shiny.

My initial ideas involved ice as winter seems to be dragging on in this part of Ontario.

I then started thinking about some of the bird species with iridescent plumage and thought of the male Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) that should be arriving in Ontario soon. They’re quite a colourful species in the right light although not very popular with some people who feed the birds when they descend in large flocks.

A portrait of a male Common Grackle on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario in the spring.

A shiny male Common Grackle.