“There’s a Horse in My Backyard!”

There was a very weird noise coming from the backyard last night–about an hour after sunset. I thought the aliens had landed or the neighbours were fooling around.

I called my husband to listen with me in the kitchen. I asked him, “What is that sound?”

He said, “It’s a horse!”

We went out the back door to take a look; which was probably a mistake, because the noise then ceased.

He went to bed and I googled, “nocturnal animal or bird that sounds like a horse.”

I then discovered that my equine friend was in fact an eastern screech owl.

It’s a wonderful new bird I can add to my birding list. But maybe some more experienced birders can tell me; can I add it to my list if I only heard it?

The Common Terns of Long Point Provincial Park

We were in Lake Erie; off the beautiful beach in Long Point Provincial Park; in the precious and unique biosphere of the Long Point sandspit; recognized by UNESCO; enjoying the water and the waves.

I looked up over the lake to see a group of birds, crying and dipping and diving over the water.

At first I thought they were seagulls, with their grey and white bodies, but they had black heads and they didn’t sound or behave like seagulls.

I later found out that they were common terns; but they weren’t a common sighting for me and I was happy to see them.