Monday, January 28, 2013

You can run but you can't hide!

 Joe Lewis, the great boxer, was attributed with having said this first about an upcoming match with a much faster Billy Conn just before a 1946 bout. It seemed to apply to our two missing ducks. Since January 3rd, I have been looking for the Northern Shoveller. It went missing, then the Gadwall went missing. Well, they couldn't evade the keen birder, Ken Knowles, who tracked them down for the rest of us. These two ducks seem to be fast friends and are spending their time together upriver from Quidi Vidi Village.
It is impossible to visit QV Village without stopping for a moment to soak up the beautiful scene from Newfoundland's yesteryear. The buildings are new or updated, but the beautiful natural surroundings transported me to times gone by when this was a thriving fishing village that supplied the city of St. John's with its fresh catch. Had it not been so cold, it would have been wonderful to drink in the scenery with a QV Iceberg beer!

Having nearly perished standing in the cold to get these few pictures, I decided it was going to take a rare bird to beat all rare birds to get me out of my car again. I drove to Cape Spear to see what might be there. Nothing! Nothing on the drive out and nothing in the water at the Cape! I decided to check out Flatrock, Bauline and Pouch Cove. Stopping in at Torbay Beach, I found a flock of what I think are Greater Scaup. There were two Great Cormorants, two Black-headed Gulls (unusual in this area,) a couple of Black Guillemots, Black Ducks and Iceland Gulls, nothing really out of the ordinary. I saw a Song Sparrow on Lower Road leading to the beach.

 I went on to Flatrock where I didn't see the Brant, but did find the carcass of the Dovekie that had been floating close to the wooden dock. I drove on. As I was leaving Flatrock, I met Emma Jane, a beautiful Great Dane. She is definitely the belle of Flatrock.
I continued my drive to Pouch Cove, Bauline and Portugal Cove - St. Phillips. There was not one single woodland bird to be seen. I was hoping for WW Crossbills or Pine Grosbeaks, but absolutely nothing materialized. Where have all of the usual birds gone this winter? I guess birding from the car has the advantage of warmth, but not necessarily productivity.

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