Last day of 2008, time to celebrate! (Hey, it rhymes!)

Pardon the terrible title, but it was the best I could come up with for today. Although I did saw some things that deserve celebration.

The sky was nice today - a bit gray and gloomy towards the south end of the trail, while blue and clear at the north. I almost always walk towards the north, mainly because there are more things to see than south.

Near the golf course, I saw the Northern Shrike again. But the picture proof was even worse this time because it was too far away and there were too many branches in the way to properly focus it.

Last night, there was freezing rain, causing a thin sheet of ice on top of the snow today. Walking on top of the snow makes you feel like you are stepping on glass. Makes you want to be careful when you don't have to.

I got some good shots of American Robins today mainly because they were so close to me. It felt good to get good clear photos, regardless of the subject species.

Hello, stranger with camera! Have a happy new year, okay?

Near the same area, I also saw a female House Finch (on the left) and a Northern Flicker (on the right).

And I was greeted by the same muskrat again today! Such a good feeling now whenever I come across this fellow mammal. The pictures are better this time too because it was out of the water (you can even see its partially webbed hind feet) and not next to a white subject (i.e. snow) to screw up the white balance of the picture.

Saw this lonely Great Blue Heron sitting on top of the dead logs, and it made me think about Huckleberry Days' recent post on how the harsh winter affect this beautiful proud bird, such a sad (but realistic) scene to witness.

Today, I decided to go on a little adventure, and instead of following the normal trail, I decided to walk along the marsh side of the forest.

Along the way, I flipped over a log to see what I could find. Nothing much, but I did found this interesting hole about 4-cm in diameter. Perhaps it's an entrance for some rodent's home?

While it was interesting to walk on unexplored areas, the thick bushes and fallen logs made walking difficult and I wasn't even sure where to get back onto the original pathway. Anyways, it probably took me twice the amount of time to walk the normal trail and I ended up coming out of the forest heading across the bridge towards Terra Nova Rural Area. That's it!?

On the northern edge of the golf course (near the Rural Area), I saw this hawk perched on a tree. I think it might be a Red-tailed Hawk because I (think I) saw white flanks but I could be wrong. It was a funny scene because a squirrel was climbing towards it before it realized that a predator was above and then headed down again.

The sun was slowly setting, so I decided to head back home.

Along the way, I heard eagle calls. That was when I saw eagles in the distance. In the top picture you can see two juvenile Bald Eagles (lacking a white head) perched on adjacent trees. But then something interesting happened and two more juvenile bald eagles came and landed on the left tree (in the bottom picture - three terrible-pictured dark bodies).

Looking around and that was when I saw this adult Bald Eagle behind me. I snapped some pictures of this adult before focusing back for the juveniles again.

Some of the juveniles left the first tree and came to stop on this one where I usually saw eagles on. In total, I think I saw six juveniles and one adult Bald Eagle. Definitely a scene that deserves some celebration.

One juvenile.

Two juveniles.

Three juveniles. And...

Happy New Year (Eagle taking off, not firework)!

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