Tuesday, 12 May 2015

A Few Images from the Past Couple of Weeks

     From about mid-April onwards I watched a pair of Canada Geese Branta canadensis nesting at a local pond. I think that the pair got so used to me they hardly raised a stir when I passed by quite close to their nest. It has been well established that American Crows Corvus brachyrynchos recognize human faces and react differently to friend and foe so perhaps geese have the same level of cognition.

     Farmers are all busy preparing their fields for crops and these Mennonite farmers were using teams of horses in compliance with their rejection of modern life.

     American Beavers Castor canadensis are primarily nocturnal animals and it is rare to see one in sufficient light to take a photograph. We were very happy, therefore, to see this individual sitting on its lodge in broad daylight. We waited a long time to see whether it would get in a position where we could include its broad, flat tail, but it never obliged.

     During the past week or so Rose-breasted Grosbeaks Pheucticus ludovicianus have returned in good numbers and Miriam and I were delighted to encounter this male.

     On the same day we spotted this Great Northern Loon Gavia immer on the Grand River in Cambridge, an unlikely location, and as we were to discover only the second sighting there ever of this species.

     The picture was taken through dense shoreline vegetation and the bird was constantly diving so many of our pictures were a mere swirl of water.
     And here are the results of the Canada Goose's incubation.

     At this time of year it is almost impossible to take a walk and not hear the familiar refrain of a Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus.

     We are always interested in every facet of nature and were delighted to see this snail, although we have been unable to identify it as to species, having little expertise in this area.

     And no less interesting was this American Toad Anaxyrus americanus americanus doing its best to remain hidden from view.


  1. Wonderful group of pictures! I love seeing those workhorses out in the fields at this time of year.

  2. Good morning David,
    Beautiful series of photos.
    I like the Canada Goose, photo 8 and 9 are so cute.
    Best regards, Irma

  3. Pretty collection of images, the closeup of the groundhog is cute.

  4. A very enjoyable post, David, with a lovely variety of images. I'm looking forward to hearing more about the Mennonite people - do I remember correctly that Miriam has Mennonite roots?

    Best wishes to you both - - - Richard

  5. Hello David, spring is in full swing where you live. What a diversity of birds and cute those little goslings. The beaver so great you could observe him for so long. The Great Northern Loon is spectacular.

  6. A very interesting blog today,David, with beautiful varied topics.
    Beaver, snail and toad, but also the Mennonites are very special photos on a birder blog. The way these farmers work, for you to see every day, is shown in our country during the vacation days when harvesting, to show how one formerly worked on the field.
    Gr Jan W

    1. Something went wrong, David. I see your name above my comment.
      Gr Jan W

    2. Hi Jan: I have no idea how that happened but it's clear now, I think.

  7. Very nice shots David!!
    So cute the young goose.

    Greetings, Marco

  8. Que bonito el Colimbo con el plumaje estival. Precioso reportaje David. Saludos cordiales desde España.

  9. Is it possible for a Beaver to have an expression similar to one that a human might display? If so your furry friend would seem to find yours and Miriam's interest puzzling!

    Thank you for your concern in my readapting to UK temperatures, and after 14 days of sunshine and 25+ degrees it will be a challenge. I will best to bring you news from Pilling however cold and windy it may be.

  10. Hello David!
    How nice to see that some farmers are standing strong against the modern techniques of farming with the cortège of polluting products and ways of "hurting" the soil and see these magnificent horses back to working as they used to in the old days. I wish we could have more of these caring people here in Europe!...
    We have tried to see beavers in Ardèche but as you say they are rather nocturnal and our efforts were in vain :(
    The Rail I published recently was "shot" in Spain but I have better pics coming up, shot at le Teich in the beginning of the week!!
    The canadian geese with their chicks are gorgeous, what a sight!!
    And although the Red-winged blackbird is common, it's great to admire it on your photo :)
    Great post!
    Hugs from the both us to you and Miriam :)

  11. Wonderful photos! The beaver and the frog are cute and I always love seeing goslings.

  12. Nice to see a selection of the past week. The farmers in the country are nice to see but I was surprised by the beaver! The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks is great and the loon also. Geese with little ones, a beautiful path :-)