Monday, 13 October 2014

Local Monday Meanderings

Waterloo County
13 October 2014

     It was quite warm for the time of year when I left the house this morning, albeit heavily overcast, to do a little birding at several local patches.
     The fruit of Staghorn Sumac Rhus typhina is already well developed and different species of birds are already starting to feed on it. I was able to capture a picture of this American Robin Turdus migratorius atop a tree where it had been feeding with other robins and Red-winged Blackbirds Agelaius phoeniceus.
During the winter months ahead this fruit will provide a rich source of food for many birds, also to White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus.

     A Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis was feeding on berries and judging from the picture seems already to have consumed quite a few!

     Just based on my personal observations, Great Blue Herons Ardea herodias appear to have had a very successful breeding season and young birds seem to be everywhere. This juvenile was having great luck stalking its prey and seemed to snag a fish with every strike.

     Along the Mill Race Trail we located this nest of a Paper Wasp Polistes sp.
It was quite large as these nests go, and by this time of the year would be empty. Queens of this species hibernate and survive the winter. In the spring they begin construction of a new nest which is completed by others. It is made of dead wood and plant stems, chewed by the wasp and mixed with saliva. Inside is a network of chambers which provide living quarters for the larvae which are nurtured and fed by the colony. This wasp is generally not aggressive to humans if left undisturbed and provides beneficial control of undesirable garden pests.


  1. Hello David,
    Beautiful pictures whose Northern Cardinal is my favorite.
    Best regards, Irma

  2. Wonderful series! The heron shots are my favorite.. Have a great day!

  3. Nice birds. Love the N. cardinal.. Cheers..

  4. Very nice this blackbird with his red wings. In the Netherlands we only have black (male) and brown (female) blackbirds. Also the beautiful cardinal we do not have here. The blue heron or even a lot. Very special to see that! Nest of that paper wasp

  5. I haven't seen a robin for a couple of weeks! Fabulous heron shots David!

  6. Ale bym chciał żeby ten czerwony ptak był u mnie:) Pozdrawiam i zapraszam do mnie

  7. Just beautiful birds and your pictures are amazing !

  8. Oh dear, my comment half written disappeared...
    I wonder if if was published?
    Anyhow, just in cas is was not, I was saying that the heron photos are stunning, I have never managed to catch such a scene!
    The cardinal is a gorgeous bird, I wish I could see them one day.
    I don't recall seeing any in North Carolina when we lived there.
    For the polistes wasp I agree, they are not aggressive if left alone but nor is the european hornet.
    A great post I really enjoyed!
    Hugs to the both of you :)

  9. Autumn! Now these are birds I can relate to:) My favorite time of year!

  10. The robin looks to have staked a claim there David. Still one eye on you though. I always think of your Great Blue as similar to our grey heron but your pictures show it to be really quite blue.

    Looks like we are in for a week or more of storms fom over your side. Batten down the hatches time.