Thursday, 30 January 2014

Costa Rica, Part 2: Playa Nicuesa Rainforest Lodge

Dear Diary,

 I am in Costa Rica and the birds are just amazing.  As I write, we have just finished day two at the lodge, which requires a 30 minute boat ride to get to after a 2 hour drive from Savegre and an hour flight to Golfito.  I did not get sea sick, as I was all hopped up on Dramamine and that motor boat ride was petty smooth, as boat rides go.  Of course, I didn’t escape being sick, as many of us caught a dose of land sickness the first night we arrived.  It must have been the fish.  Should have ordered the chicken.
However, that did not dampen our birding hopes.  It just delayed things here and there on the second day as both Sue and I had to dig “cat holes” to bury our “output,” so to speak.  But let’s get back to the beginning.  We arrived in Golfito around noon, at what I would be generously calling an airport.  It was more of a landing strip with red taxi cabs parked at one end.  We were greeted by Molly, who does both yoga and massage, and whisked to the small outboard motor boat and a 30 minute ride to the lodge.  We saw our first bird before we even left the dock, a Royal Tern.  My first Lifer was a Mangrove Swallow.  Sue had already seen one in Belize. 
And that was only the beginning.  After getting settled and going for a brief walk on our own on one of the hiking rails, where we saw my second Life bird, a White-shouldered Tanager.  I would be getting a lot more Lifers than Sue here, as her birding travels had taken her to places in Central American I have never birded in.  The “friendly” competition was on.  Sue had no desire to have me pass her on our personal Life Lists on this trip.
When we got back to the lodge we were greeted by Gustavo, who would be our birding guide for the next few days.  He’s only been birding in this area for six months, but he really knew his birds and always showed us in his field guide the bird we were seeing or hearing.  We got right to work and by the time we had to break for dinner we had added another large handful of birds, including a Red-capped Manakin, Short-billed Pigeon, and a hard bird to find back home, a Kentucky Warbler.

By the time we got back to our room we had to get right to bed, as we had an early date with Gustovo to bird in the morning.  And bird we did...

It’s now the evening of our next to last day, here and we have walked most every hot and sweaty trail, taken a boat ride to see pelagic birds and racked up 97 species between us.  Obviously, as you can guess, I have not had time to spend writing.  By the time we have finished dinner we are in bed so we can get up early and bird again.  Our guides, Gustavo and his mentor Melo, have taken us out at the crack of dawn and well into dusk to get some amazing birds.  Sue and I found a Chestnut-mandibled Toucan and a Baird’s Trogon on our own after climbing a very long and windy staircase built into the side the rain forest to a viewing platform.  

We have found a King Vulture, Bare-crowned Antbird and Gray-headed Kite on our own.  Together with our guides and on our own we have heard and seen the very unusual Three-wattled Bellbird, which sounds nothing like a bell, I’ll have you know.  One of the prize birds of the trip was seeing another bird with a wattle. the Wattled Jacana, while out on the river with our guides.  Even they hadn’t seen this bird in this part of Costa Rica.  In fact, we had seen so many new birds for the area, on our own and with our guides, that Gustavo has been spending some of his free time updating the lodge checklist.

Personally, I loved seeing the Southern Lapwings, completing the set with the Northern Lapwing I saw near the end of my Big Year.  I got to see a Bananaquit, a rare bird for North America I missed on my Big Year.  Sue and I have had fun trying to remember all the crazy, long bird names, including all the confusing Antshrikes, Antthrushes, and Antwrens.

Some of the more interesting birds to see were the Boat-billed Heron, which really lives up to his name, and the Great Curassow, a big, black chicken looking thing that roams the forest floor.  But one of the best birds of the trip, so far, has been the Bare-throated Tiger Heron.  We saw that very well on the river boat trip and like the Boat-billed Heron, is aptly named.

Aside from how good the birding is, that is where my love for the rain forest ends.  I have had to keep my body constantly sprayed with Off, lathered up with all manor of anti-itch creams and can’t get to sleep for the itching unless all doped up on Benadryl.  There is no air conditioning besides a fan and a faint breeze and the humidity is about 97 percent.  We have to sleep in a bed protected by mosquito netting, yet the bathroom is open to the outside, so monkeys can look in on you as you shower, but also allows the very bugs you are trying to keep from biting you, in.  And they have bitten me in some very unmentionable places.  And for all that, no monkeys have appeared at our bathroom window!  We have seen monkeys out in the woods, though.  Spider and White Faced Monkeys, and we have heard the howling and “barking” of the Howler Monkeys day and night.

Only two more nights here before heading north to the Hotel Bougainvillea. Tonight, though, we are going to look for owls.  We were up before light today to see a Common Pauraque, so no reason we shouldn’t be out after dark looking for owls.  

After dinner, Sue, Gustavo, Melo and I set out in the dark, with flashlights and a recording of the Crested Owl.  Melo was confident there was one in the woods and  as we headed up the Monkey Trail, he stopped and played the call, and shone his flashlight in the trees.  Nothing.  So we made our way to the Butterfly Trail, where I had, earlier today, heard and seen the Bellbirds.  Melo played the call.  Off in the distance we heard a return call and, flashlights in hand, walked along the Butterfly Trail to a certain point where the owl was closest.  

This is where it got interesting.  We turned out our lights and waited and listened.  It was pitch dark, except for Melo’s iPhone screen.  He played the owl call once, twice, a hundred times, perhaps.  Time stood still.  I had already taken my Benadryl and was feeling kind of sleepy in the dark.  I closed my eyes and swayed in the dark.  The recording played.  The owl called.  Perhaps 10 minutes went by, maybe it was an hour.   I was thinking we might have been there owl night.  Sorry...

It seemed, for the longest time, that the owl was right above us.  Then, without warning the flashlight came on and we looked up in the tree above our heads.  Staring down at us, with, I am sure, a bemused look, was the Tufted Owl.  He looked at us and we looked at him.  It was way cool.  

On our last full day we birded with Gustavo in the morning and after breakfast, on our own, we went into the rain forest to look for yet another hummingbird.  There was only one spot along one of the paths where this bird could be found and when we hit the spot we could hear them, but not see the birds.  We continued on, looking for a Blue-crowned Motmot, but didn’t find it.  On  our return trip, at the same spot, we once again heard the hummingbird, and after about 5 minutes of scanning high in the trees, Sue found the bright red beak of the Blue-throated Goldentail.  Way up in the tree, it was sitting on a vine, all by its lonesome.  But we had our bird and over 100 species since we arrived at t Playa Nicuesa Rain forest Lodge.

Some of the things I have noted over the last 10 days:

I have walked, and walked and climbed up more steep hills in the last 10 days than I have in the last two years.  The last was to the viewing platform, hoping for the Firey-billed Aracari, on of only two target birds we missed leading up to our last morning.  Sue nearly had a stroke on the way up.

I have sweat more in the last 10 days than I have in the last 10 months.  The humidity here is a constant 97% during the day, and only a little less at night.  It was for places like this that Dry-fit and quick dry clothing was invented, not sweaty athletes.

If you come to Costa Rica to photograph all the birds you see, you will be disappointed.  Getting a good photo of even 50 percent of the birds would be considered a success.  The move too fast and are deep in trees or high in the canopy.  Focus has to be done manually much of the time and a flash is a must.

Now we are preparing for our last morning before heading out on the small motor boat to the tiny airport and our flight to San Jose and the luxurious comfort of the Hotel Bougainvillea.  It was also our last chance to get a look at the Yellow-headed Caracara.  And this morning it did not disappoint.  We had an early breakfast and were on the boat dock looking back toward the lodge, waiting for the morning fly-by.  I had taken a photo of something and was looking at it in my camera when Sue slapped my shoulder and pointed out the bird flying in.  Like a gunslinger at an old west showdown, I pulled up my camera and was able to shoot 5 good photos of the last bird we wanted to see here at Playa Nicuesa.  

The birding didn’t stop there.  After a 30 minute boat ride to the mainland, which included Brown Pelicans and Osprey, we waited for our flight to San Jose at one of the smallest airports I’ve ever seen.  Just a shack for checking in, a few benches to sit on and a runway.  And birds.  We added Neotropic Cormorant at the boat dock, and two lifers while waiting for the plane, a Plain Wren and a Blue Black Grassquit.

After having seen more than 65 species in Savegre, we added over 100 while at Playa Nicuesa and 4 in Golfito.  As we head to the Hotel Bougainvillea, we have a combined total of about 174 species so far in a week of birding in Costa Rica.  We will spend the evening birding around the gardens of the hotel and tomorrow birding at the La Selva Biological Station.

Baird's Trogon:

 Chestnut-mandibled Toucan:

 Orange Collared Manakin:

 Southern Lapwings:

 Boat-billed Heron:

 Bare-throated Tiger Heron:

 Crested Owl:

 Yellow-headed Caracara:

Friday, 24 January 2014

Costa Rica, Part 1: Savegre Hotel

Getting here was none of the fun, but birding here has been a hoot.  We were over six hours on the plane, followed by a nearly three hour drive up the mountain Savegre Lodge. The flight was fine, and I took a Dramamine prior to our car ride, and it helped for nearly the entire trip. But watch out for those final 6 miles.  They are a doozy!  Once you get up to an elevation of about 2600 metres, you then take a long series of narrow roads and many dozens of switchbacks, back down to about 2200 metres, and though I wasn't on a boat, I was sea sick by the time we arrived.

But it was worth the trip, as we were greeted by several species of Hummingbird at the feeders near the office, including White-throated Mountain Gem and Green Violet-ear. They have only one sparrow up here, the lovely and melodious Rufous-collard Sparrow. We had 3 lifers before dinner the first night. Sue was already one bird ahead of me, having seen a Sooty Robin on the way up to the hotel as I was sleeping off the Dranamine.

We were up and out the door the very next morning at 6:30am, and before our guide for the day, Raoul showed up, we had seen a Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher and a Silver-throated Tanager.  When Raoul arrived he took us up another nasty, twisty, back road to the forest, where he hoped, along with seeing a lot of other birds, we would get to see the main event bird of the trip to San Gerrard de Costa, the Resplendent Quetzal.  After a very long hike up the mountain where we heard a few birds and saw even fewer,(I had spotted the first bird, a Sooty-capped Bush Tanager), Raoul said he had heard a Quetzal.  I didn't, but he had us looking in the trees and while he was down in a valley, Sue spotted it above out heads.  We got some great looks, and photos for about 10 minutes before we continued on with our day.  We had seen over 40 species by the time he dropped us off for lunch, most Lifers, and agreed to meet him that night for some "Owling."

Over the next two nights we were able to see a Bare-shanked Screech Owl and Costarican Pygmy Owl, and hear a Dusky Nightjar.  During the days we added even more lifers, including today, our last full day here.  

I'd love to write more, but with intermittent internet service here, and a 5:00am flight to Golfito in southern Costa Rica, I must leave you until we return to San Jose on January 30.

To be continued...

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Great Birds in Ontario

It was great to get out and start birding again.  I've been cooped up at work for the past nine days, and the only new bird I had added during that time was a Wild Turkey the morning I went up to Brooklyn, Ontario before work, at the crack of dawn, after hearding of a Great Gray Owl less than an hour's drive from home.  After standing around Cedarbrook Trail in the wind and cold for a couple of hours with a handful of other disapointed birders, the only bird bigger than the many American Crows I saw, were the Turkeys, who were crossing the road for reasons only they knew.

So, I had to wait until after the Boat Show was done for my first chance to look for the owl.  It was a frustrating week, as I kept hearing reports of people going up to the small town north of Whitby, and getting great looks at the rare visitor to this part of southern Ontario.  I was, justifiably, worried that it would be gone by the time I got a chance to go myself.  Last year I missed Great Grays in both Ottawa and Algonquin Park.  My only other sighting was in Alaska during my Big Year in 2012, and my photo was less than stellar.

So, it was with surprise and pleasure that when we arrived at the spot on Cedarbrook Trail that a large group of birders was already there and the Great Gray Owl had just flown from up the road and landed 10 feet behind where I had parked the car, and binoculars were not even nessessary to see this beautiful bird.  We all got great looks while the shutters of a dozen cameras clicked in unison.  The Owl, for his part, seemed to be enjoying the attention and gave various posses for his addoring fans.

The other great bird was an even rarer species for southern Ontario, a Spotted Towhee in Halton Hills, north west of Toronto.  I have seen them in British Columbia and Arizona, but never expected to see on in Ontario, though this has been a winter for rarities in these here parts.  This bird was visiting feeders on the front deck of a lovely couple, one of which gives piano lessons, on Main Street in the small town of Glen Williams.  I only had to stand at the side of the road watching their deck for about 10 minutes before the bird arrived and allowed a few "iffy" photos, before heading out on his daily adventures.  I had a birthday brunch to get to, so I didn't stay long enough to see it return.  By the way, Happy birthday, Mom!

Before I even got there I had already added a Rough-legged Hawk to my year list and at the feeders, got to watch new birds for the year: Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch and Downy Woodpecker.  The Great Gray Owl and Spotted Towhee were birds 266 and 267 for my Ontario Life List.

And now a new adventure begins.  Tomorrow we head off to Costa Rica for a very new and different birding adventure.  I have been to places like this many times, including Jamaica, Mexico and Belize, but never as a birder.  So this is my chance to play catch up on the Life List.  I head south having seen 61 species this year and hope to return with a number somewhere north of 300.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Northern Birds on mild January Day

It was my last full day off before starting a 9 day run of work, where birding will be confined to a few early morning romps in the woods.  The goal for the day was to start down at the Toronto lake shore and head west toward Stoney Creek, and be up on Hamilton Mountain at dusk for Short-eared Owls.  Pretty much everything went to plan, except the sighting of said owls.

Most often, when I go out to bird, my expectations are the least of my worries.  Not getting lost or stuck in the snow is usually what I hope for and if I can spot a good bird or two, including some of the target birds for the day, I consider that a success.  Friday, the temperatures were hovering close to the freezing mark, which by the standards of the past week, would be considered a heat wave, or as we northerners like to call it, a January thaw.

My day started in Col. Sam Smith Park, as it usually is.  Great birding spot any time of year, and the gateway to the QEW and the Niagara region.  After 2 years of visiting the park and never seeing a coyote, I saw the wild dog for the second time in a week, as I entered the paths to the lake.  So far, he's not shown much of an interest in eating me.  Down at the lake were Red-breasted Mergansers, White-winged Scoters and enough Scaups and Golden-eyes to fill the Ripley's Aquarium.

And the Northern Shrike, whom I am getting to know better these days.  I've searched for that bird for the better part of two years and now have seen it on 3 occasions in the past few weeks.  I chased it from tree to tree trying to get a good photo.  And good is as good as it gets.  Overcast skies and distance foiled my attempts at great photography.  My next stop was a quick search for a Northern Saw-whet Owl at Bronte Creek Provincial Park.  I've seen one there in the past, but after 15 minutes of tromping through thigh deep snow, I gave up the search.

From there it was off to Burlington and the skyway bridge.  Well, under the skyway to be more specific.  Down at the Burlington Ship Canal there were hundreds, if not thousands of ducks of every species.  I quickly found a group of Canvasbacks and dozens of White-winged Scoters.  I tried and failed to find any Black or Surf Scoters, but did find the single Ring-necked duck out of the hundreds of Scaups and Goldeneyes.  And since I was already under the skyway, I scanned for the resident Peregrine Falcon, which I found on a wire between the two sides of the bridge.  There is a breeding pair there, but I have never seen both on the same trip.

From there it was off to the Windermere basin, in search of a Northern Pintail, and that's where things started to go wonky for me.  Firstly, the entrance is so hidden that I drove past it the first time, and had to circle around, make several "legal" u-turns, before finding the parking area.  I walked from the parking lot to the viewing area, and did not find the Northern Pintail but had nice looks at a few Ruddy Ducks.  It was starting to get late, and I needed to head up for the owls, so I walked back to the car, enjoying a flyover of a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk as I walked.

I was thinking I hadn't seen anything smaller than a Shrike or Robin today, when I realised that I had been walking for a lot longer going back to the car than I had getting to the viewing area.  I kept walking, thinking that I hadn't gone far enough when I began to realise I had gone way too far and had no idea where exactly I was.  I hadn't seen my car, and now I didn't know which way to go.  When in doubt, keep moving forward, I guess.  I didn't want to turn around and head back the way I had came, only to discover that the car had been just around the corner.  It wasn't and I was actually getting further and further from my destination.

However, as is sometimes the case, you don't always get where you intended to be, but rather where you needed to be.  And where I was, as I turned another bend in the path, was a little end of the river with not just Northern Shovelers, but the Northern Pintail I had come to see, just not where I had been looking for it.  I got a photo just as it took off and vanished around a corner.  I rounded the corner in the path and way off in the distance, found my car.  I had circled around and was now heading back the way I had come.

Relieved, I headed up to Stoney Creek where a Northern Harrier was gliding over a berm, as I arrived to go "owling."  I spent the rest of the evening with another birder, Rich, waiting for the Short-eared Owls, just as Linus waited for the Great Pumpkin.  As darkness descended, we realised there would be no owls on this night and parted ways until the next rare bird alert.  Last time we had met was along the Niagara River in search of a Common Eider that turned out to be a King Eider.

It was, despite not getting the Saw-whet Owl, a pretty good day for "northern" birds: Northern Shrike, Shoveler, Pintail and Harrier.  Next up, another owl hunt.  This time a Great Gray.  I hope it turns out more successful than my search for the Saw-whet and Short-eared variety.

The Col. Sam Smith Park resident Coyote:

 The Col. Sam Smith Park Resident Northern Shrike:

One of the many White-winged Scoters I saw while hoping to find Black and Surf Scoters:


 Let's play, spot the Ring-necked Duck.  It really is in there:

 The Resident Peregrine Falcon below the Burlington Skyway:

A Northern Shoveler:

 The Northern Pintail shortly after I found it, shortly after I got lost on the way back to my car:

  Oh, there's my car, way off in the distance:

Friday, 10 January 2014

Birding in the Cold

Birding in extreme cold weather is only for the diehard birder.  Very few of us have been out and about,(or for you Americans reading this, oot and aboot).  I've run into a few people, some I know, but not into a lot of birds.  I did take Sue out on Sunday to see the Long-eared Owl,(we did not get stuck in the snow), Snowy and Eastern Screech Owl.  We also saw the female King Eider, which was a lot closer to shore this time around.  I even saw a Golden-crowned Kinglet, yesterday at Humber Bay East.  I've never seen one prior to March,(that being said, I've only been birding for a little over two years.  And I got to see how small a Green-winged Teal is, compared to, say a Mallard.

Green-winged Teal, frozen on the ice.  A tiny, little duck:

 As are the Buffleheads, when compared to Mallards:

 American Black Duck:

 American Wigeon:

Golden-crowned Kingletm, with a touch of the red on his crown showing:

 Female King Eider:

 Red-bellied Woodpecker.  You can see just a touch of his red belly:

 Harlequin Duck mug shots...  front view:

 ...Side view with a Common Goldeneye:

 The ice age cometh again:

Sunday, 5 January 2014

One Owl of a Day!

Well, more than one owl.  But it turned out to be a pretty darn good day of birding, after a slow and very cold start, and yet another struggle to free my car from a ditch.  Before I get into that, back on January 1,  I got to go out with my new 10x42 binoculars, and found it was like being given back my sight after two years of my 10x26 "starter" binoculars.  Back when I bought those, I did not know if birding would be a life-time obsession... I mean, commitment.  Along with the new binoculars, I purchased a new 20-60x80 spotting scope, a vast improvement over my old one, and have ordered a real iPhone digiscoping adaptor from  In the meantime, I "built" yet another temporary one that seems to work okay for now.

On day two of the new year it was so bloody cold that the only sign of life I saw was a Coyote in Col. Sam Smith Park.  Long before I saw anything but ducks, my thumbs were so cold I could have bit them off and not felt a thing.  I went home for hot chocolate and tried again yesterday.  This time I was looking for a Purple Sandpiper at Humber Bay East.  It was pretty cold, but I survived long enough to not see the target bird.

Which brings us to today's adventures.  My plan was to start at Humber Bay East and bird my way west toward Niagara.  In fact, the title for this blog was originally:

Go West, Young middle-aged Birder Guy

Things did not start off well.  Firstly, when I got to Humber Bay East a cold, arctic wind was blowing down by the lake.  I tried to spend time looking for the Purple Sandpiper, but between the wind and the cold and the tears in my eyes, I had to give up after 10 minutes and head to shelter.  But I didn't learn my lesson.  After getting a look at the ducks in the bay close to the parking lot, I headed over to three different parks in search of the Harlequin Duck.  The wind at pretty much every stop was worse than at Humber Bay.  I soon began to notice that the only people out on this day were dog walkers, birders and crazy people.  I guess that includes all of us.

I was ready to cut my losses and head home for a cup of hot chocolate and a hot bath, but I wanted to see owls today, and maybe get another look at the male King Eider at St. Catharines Marina.  There was no sign of the Snowy Owl at Col. Sam, so I headed west to 50 Point Conservation Area in Hamilton, in search of Long-eared Owls, thanks to e-bird and whatever else might be there.  And that was no understatement.

At the entrance, where I paid my $9.00 park fee, I was given precise directions to the owls, which I promptly forgot, even with a map.  I went right past the spot, to the end of the marina, but was rewarded with the sight of hundreds of Canada Geese, some White-winged Scoters in the lake and pair of oddballs.  A goose that looked like a hybrid of a Canada Goose and a Muscovy Duck, and a Duck that looked like it was bred by the Colonel to be some sort of new item on the KFC menu.

I got back in the car, turned around and headed back to where I hoped I would find the owls.  It was a short trip.  I actually was right around the corner from the correct trees, and could have walked, and eventually did, but I didn't know that at the time.  I drove up the road, saw the incorrect pines, and pulled over to get a look for owls.  Oooooops!  I got the car stuck in a rut of snow off the side of the road.  I couldn't go forward and I couldn't go back.  I didn't see any owls.

Now, I have stuck myself in ruts like this before and it is just a matter of rocking the car back and forth and not panicking and getting the job done.  I was getting nowhere.  Another park patron passed by and saw my predicament.  He asked if I had a shovel, and I replied that I didn't, so he headed back to the main gate to fetch some help.  After he was gone I wondered what I had in my emergency kit that could help.  A shovel.  Naturally.

I got that out and a park security guy by the name if Dick showed up and helped with the shovelling and we just weren't getting anywhere.  He suggested he go back and get some salt and kitty litter to help with the job and I figured that while he was gone, there was no point in fretting about the matter, so I took a walk and searched for the Long-eared Owls.  Didn't take long.  They were less than a minute walk from where I was stuck.  Along with a few other birders that had just arrived, we got great looks at both Long-eareds.  One in particular had a long body too.  Didn't think they were that svelte.

Eventually, back at the car, a number of park workers and kind strangers showed up, seemingly out of nowhere, and with brute force and a lot of pushing, they got me unstuck from the rut.  I got the heck out of there.  Forgot to even look for the Snowy Owl.  But I was now on my way to St. Catherines to see if that male King Eider was still about.  As it turned out, it was not.  Both the harbor and the canal were completely frozen over.  There was not a duck of any kind on site.  One small unfrozen corner of the canal, I found had some ducks and a few Double-crested Cormorants, but that was it.  It was now past 3pm and I still wanted to find a snowy owl.

Another birder had posted a location of 3 Snowys earlier in the day about 10 minutes from where I was.  The first location was devoid of owls, but had a nice looking Merlin on a wire.  The second spot, along an unploughed, snow covered road, did prove successful.  There was a car at the side of the road and a woman with a camera, so I figured she must be seeing the bird.  Yes.  But it was way across the field and she was hoping it would fly closer for a photo.  I got my scope out and we both had a great look at the bird.

I was going to go next to Woodland Cemetery for the Eastern Screech-owl, but according to Siri, I only had about 15 minutes of light left and I wasn't going to go owling in the dark in a cemetery.  So I decided to go to the end of Milen Road, about 10 minutes away, and see if I could see the female King Eider before dark.  I got there just in time, as the dusk was settling over the lake and very quickly found the "queen" Eider.  All alone, diving and swimming, I at least got one Eider for my troubles.

So, what started as a very cold and desolate day, turned into quite the adventure and proved to be quite fun.  Brought back a few Big Year memories:  The chasing, the finding, the getting stuck in the snow and mud.

Long-tailed Ducks

 It was this cold:

 One of the few signs of life in Col. Sam Smith Park:

American Wigeon and Redheads

 Great Black-backed Gull

 White-winged Scoter

 Odd Goose

 Very Odd Duck with what looks like chicken feet

 My Stuck Car

Perhaps this boat could help

 The two Long-eared Owls

After seeing the owls these guys materialized from nowhere and got me out

Dick is on the left with my shovel


 The "queen" King Eider