Wednesday, 8 April 2015

An Assortment of Delights

     Daytime temperatures are now consistently above freezing, and even overnight slightly above freezing, or barely below, and birds are arriving here one species after another on a daily basis.
    I have agreed to become a bird monitor for rare, a local land trust in Cambridge, ON and this Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe was photographed while reconnoitering one of the two routes I will be covering.

     This hardy little bird is always the first of the flycatchers to arrive in spring and a species I always look forward to seeing.
     A few Song Sparrows Melospiza melodia overwinter here but the main surge of migratory birds is now well underway and males seem to be singing from every elevated perch. This individual was observed at Laurel Creek Conservation Area in Waterloo, ON.

     Eastern Bluebirds Sialia sialis are favourites with birders and non-birders alike and we have already been observing several pairs for over a week. This male was staking out a nest box with a female along Bricker School Line near Wallenstein, ON.

     Birds are not the only signs of spring, of course, and during our walk at rare Bill Wilson was able to point out this rare Rock Polypody Polypodium virginianium fern.

     Maidenhair Spleenwort Asplenium trichomanes was also present but not in a location amenable to photography.
     Both of these species of fern are provincially significant.
     Having now emerged from winter hibernation American Red Squirrels Tamiasciurus hudsonicus are seen scampering everywhere searching for food. They are not averse to raiding a bird feeder as can be seen from this individual in Laurel Creek C.A.

     Returning to birds, Brown Creepers Certhia americana have returned en masse and this bird was observed on Martin Creek Road in Waterloo County.

     The landscape would not be complete without great numbers of American Robin Turdus migratorius; they really do seem to be everywhere.

     The same could be said of Common Grackle Quiscalus quiscala, although they are not as abundant as American Robin.

     Common Redpolls Carduelis flammea that have wintered farther south start showing up in this area as they make feeding stops on their way north. On several occasions recently small numbers have shown up in our yard.

     The battle for my newest nest box seem to have been won by House Sparrows Passer domesticus and here is a male carrying nest material and then emerging from the nest box having stuffed it in there.

     I'll keep you posted on the progress of the family!


  1. Hi David,
    marvelous photos of the different birds and the squirrel. So beautiful !
    Best regards, Synnöve

  2. Unas fotografías muy bonitas mi amigo David, el American Robin Turdus migratorius es una maravilla de pájaro. saludos cordiales desde España.

  3. Great variety of birds. I love the Phoebe and the Bluebirds.. Happy Birding!

  4. Our birds are similar, though no Creepers or House Sparrows yet. Song Sparrow is singing, lots of Robins and Grackles, and I heard the first bluebird yesterday.

  5. I'm thinking that you came over here and took a picture of my garden Treecreeper on the apple tree David. The similarity is amazing, even down to the lichen. Those Eastern Phoebes are rather special and I do remember wondering how such a seemingly fragile flycatcher survives your April nights.

    I'm still waiting for a Common Redpoll in amongst our lessers - but not today.

  6. Hello David,
    Beautiful pictures of different birds and the squirrel.
    Really nice photographed.

  7. Oh yes, number 1 is my favourite, superb.

  8. Beautiful photos and birds. .. Great work .. Congrats

  9. Nice to look at birds that showed. On the squirrel too, of course. Regards.

  10. Hello David, good to see that Spring is realy started there with you. Nice job being an bird monitor, like this you get to see lots of incoming birds. Love the birds you already saw. That Bluebird is such a beauty and that Common Grackle is amazing.
    Have a nice day and lots of nice birds to observe.

  11. Nice shots David!!
    Your first shot is very great.
    And funny to see the last with that little head out of the house.

    Best regards,

  12. It seems strange to see that you've still got some spots of snow around (2nd American Robin image), David, when we've got it warm and sunny here. That's a very attractive selection of wildlife that you're showing us. I can think of far worse places to be a bird monitor!

    Best wishes to you both - - - Richard

  13. What a magnificent post, David, you must have a ball observing and photographing all these new arrivals!!
    Some are sooo colourful!
    We're flying tomorrow, I hope to bring back some nice shots but with the grand children.... ce n'est pas gagné!!!
    Huge hugs to you both from your friends in France :)

  14. We got a lot of redpolls this spring too................

  15. Beautiful pictures and info, David. There are so many bird species that are new to me.
    Thanks to you and Wikipedia a new world opens. I wish you a nice weekend. Gr Jan W

  16. My sympathies for you and yet another wife who misunderstands our pastime David. If I ask my dear wife if I am a "geek" or an "anorak" she says "both". What are we to then do except grab the bins and drown our sorrows in the great outdoors?

    Maybe you could be Southern Martin? At least then you might enjoy warm weather all the year.

  17. Ohhh ..... what a great nice post David. So many beautiful birds and especially their different colors, I find great to see. Nice information and your pictures are really of high quality. My Compliments:-)

  18. Beautiful species have you there and what a beautiful photos David.
    Greetings Tinie