Autumn is almost here and the trees are turning orange. Beautiful to look at, but perhaps from the safety of several layers of warm clothing – which makes operating a camera a little difficult.
One of the best sightings I had during Spring was that of a red deer sneaking around in the trees at Warden Woods. It was far away and I had no chance of getting my camera out before it darted away.
During Summer, I was walking along Taylor Massey Creek and I had a lucky encounter with a Blue Jay. To begin with, he was screeching with apparent excitement, but staying up in a tree near a bridge. After getting impatient, he would fly down to the railing of a bridge and start pecking around before flying back up into the tree again. I wasn’t sure what he was doing to begin with.
Then it became obvious. Above where the railing attaches to a post on the bridge, there was a hole. The hole was an ants nest, and it was the Blue Jay’s lucky day. He was feasting on ants fresh from the nest. You can see a large ant or perhaps a grub in the bird’s beak in the picture to the right.
The Blue Jay would grab an ant or two and then excitedly fly back up into the tree. He would use the branch to help hold the ant as he swallowed it and then he would wipe each side of his beak against the branch a couple of times, to clean it. He repeated this whole process for several minutes, screeching and flapping around. Eventually he got his fill and he watched from the tree as I continued on.