Monday, 11 June 2018

Tuesday Rambles with David - The Linear Trail, Cambridge, ON

05 June 2018

     For the first time in a long time our entire group of eight was together and it was good to see Mary back with us.
     This is not the most productive time of the year for birding, but for the careful observer there is still a lot of high quality activity, and careful observation reveals many secrets. Eight pairs of eyes and ears makes possible what for a single observer might well go undetected.
     A breeding pair of Baltimore Orioles (Icterus galbula) is always an exciting find and, if I am not mistaken, it was Franc's sharp eyes that first noticed the male flying to a well concealed nest.




     The pendant nest of this species is a wonder to behold. I recently saw a nest in a spruce tree, the first time I have ever seen it in a coniferous tree, but this one was in a deciduous tree as is usually the case.
     The female was incubating inside the nest and the male was feeding her.



     He was an attentive partner and delivered food consistently while we watched.




     If we get back down to the Linear Trail in the next couple of weeks I am sure we will see both parents feeding their hungry chicks.
     Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), formerly rare in Waterloo Region, is becoming more and more common as it is able to tolerate our recent milder winters. This individual is perhaps about to deliver food to its young.



     The Grand and Speed Rivers meet at the trail and considerable activity is featured along this riparian zone. Sand Martins, aka Bank Swallows (Riparia riparia) were actively hawking for insects above the river.



     And this American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) scanned the water for anything that looked good enough to eat.


     I have several times seen Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) perched at the water's edge ready to pounce on minnows or tadpoles and I presume that this individual was feeding in that fashion.


     Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) were also taking advantage of the insect swarms above the river to do a little flycatching of their own.



     A Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) singing from an elevated perch is a standard feature of spring in southern Ontario.


     Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus) is a splendid addition to our avifauna when neotropical migrants return and this year they are either more numerous than usual or we have just been lucky locating them.



     Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) is our most common picid, easily located, always entertaining, delightful in every way - kind of like seeing your favourite cousin - or Carol Gorenc; you have seen her many times before but familiarity never dims the pleasure.


     A Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a flash of colour, sometimes a crescendo of sound, a model of cheekiness and always a bird to make you thankful that it lives among us.




     Grey Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) inhabits dense thickets and jumbled hedgerows, chortling its musical song, with the characteristic catlike mew at the end. Now that it is nesting it is somewhat more secretive, but with a little persistence can still be located.



     This young Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) was perhaps waiting for its surrogate parent to come along and feed it.


     Doves have been used since time immemorial as a symbol of peace and this Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) seemed to fit the mould. 


     I am sure it was happy to see us all reunited. 
     To my fellow ramblers, Miriam, Franc, Carol, Jim, Francine, Judy and Mary - thanks for your company. It is always a pleasure.

55 comments:

  1. Some of those birds are ever so pretty...nice photos.

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  2. Oh my. Oh my, oh my, oh my. Thank you so much for taking us along.

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  3. I loved all the photos David, but that oriole is so amazing! I wish we had them here. I guess they are common for you, not sure.

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    1. Good morning Nora: Baltimore Oriole is quite common. Does Bullock’s Oriole make it to Vancouver Island?

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  4. As always, very pretty birds and images. Very colorful the first one.

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  5. You had an appointment with beautiful pictures.

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  6. Love the Baltimore Orioles, it looks quite similar to the South African Black-headed Oriole. A lovely series of photos, well done Franc. Hope you have a good day, Diane

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  7. Hari OM
    Always feel like have walked with you - thanks for your descriptions - and to Franc for the superb images. YAM xx

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  8. Hi David.

    I enjoyed the beautiful pictures.
    What a beautiful separate species you have been able to capture.
    So beautiful in color.
    And what a nice nest that made.

    Groettie from Patricia.

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  9. What great set of pictures. The BO is just such a remarkable colour.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  10. Our Tuesday morning rambles with the gang remains one of the highlights of our week David! Great group of people... so much fun walking, talking and birding. Best way to start the day!

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  11. Hello, I enjoyed this outing. The Orioles are beautiful, awesome sighting of the nest. The Bank Swallows are Sand Martins? I did not know that. Love the Waxwings. The Blue Jay in flight is awesome. Great photos and post. Have a happy day!

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    1. Hi Eileen: In the entire rest of the world it is Sand Martin. I have never figured out why in North America we have so many instances where we have a different name for a bird. Thank goodness for the consistency of scientific names,

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  12. That Baltimore Oriole is a stunningly beautiful bird. That's quite a lot of birds to see (let alone photograph) at this time of year. I went out yesterday and certainly heard the birds but didn't spot too many. Our Wrens were very active though, also feeding their young.

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  13. Super walk...I do like the Sand Martin choice for the Bank Swallow. It's nice to be home to the sounds I'm used to hearing I don't have to rack my brain trying to 'name that bird' call, as these Eastern Birds pictured so well here are in my yard, except for the Baltimore, I would more likely have the Orchard nesting here.

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  14. Oh my! What treats you bring us today! I love the oriole and waxwing. But those photos of the oriole and the nest are exquisite. Soon I'll be at the lake and see my gulls again, but surprisingly few birds. I need to look more carefully!

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  15. Återigen en serie fantastiska fågelporträtt och det som var mest fascinerande av allt var det hängande boet hos Icterus galbula. Jo, jag har läst om det att en del fåglar bygger dessa bon som mer eller mindre hänger i luften men jag har aldrig sett ett sådant bo. Jag tror inte ens vi människor skulle klara av det, trots vår tillgång av allehanda material. Det måste ju hålla för både vindar och nederbörd - helt otroligt!

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    1. It really is amazing, Gunilla. I saw another one today as a matter of fact.

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  16. Splendor photos David, what beautiful colored birds do you have there.
    Greetings Tinie

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  17. Hi David,
    Superb visit out for you and your group.
    The Oriole is a real beauty with some wonderful images by Franc in general. The Swallow images are superb, please pass on my congratulations to him.
    All the best to you both, John

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  18. Beautiful, my favourite is the Waxwing, terrific.

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  19. Never ever seen a Waxwing in summer............

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    1. Cedar Waxwing is a resident species, it breeds here.

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  20. Very beautiful pictures. The Baltimore oriole has such a bright colour, it is radiant!

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  21. The orioles are beautiful and the nest spectacular - it never ceases to amaze me how intricate and speedily created they are.

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  22. The Baltimore Oriole is such a beautiful bird and the nest is amazing. What a wonderful trip you must have had.

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  23. I do enjoy your walks, it's interesting to see new birds through your eyes!

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  24. Hi David - yes me also! love your walks and seeing Franc's photos ... I think there must be 7 pairs of eyes and ears full on - with one amazing photographer always at the ready! Incredible range of birds - thanks so much - cheers Hilary

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  25. Stunningly beautiful photographs.
    Lovely to see all of these birds in their glorious colours.

    All the best Jan

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  26. Another delightful, and interesting post, David, superbly illustrated with Franc's images. I've always thought of waxwings as fruit-eaters, as the Bohemian Waxwings we see here in winter go crazy for berries and other fruit - quite surprised that Cedars go for flies, etc. Whilst I consider that your Baltimore Oriol is the most spectacular of the birds in this post. There will always be a place in my heart for a woodpecker - particularly a Downy Woodpecker!

    My love to you both - - - Richard

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    1. Hi Richard: The waxwings are primarily frugiverous but they flycatch quite frequently also.

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  27. Wow!!! Espectacular sesión ornitológica!!! Justo hoy he visto un documental en TV sobre la oropéndola de Baltimore (Icterus galbula), un pájaro espectacular. Me han gustado mucho todas las fotos y la información. Enhorabuena para Franc y para tí. Un fuerte abrazo desde España.

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  28. All birds are magnificent as always. I am especially fond of the Baltimore Orioles. I haven't seen one in years. The Waxwings always remind me of a painting. They are beautiful birds.

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  29. I am always surprised to see your birds and bird's life to survive.
    It is interesting to see the pendant nest.
    Have wonderful day!

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  30. Hola David.

    Gracias por compartir con todos nosotros las fotos de vuestras aves, casi todas inéditas en Europa, por color destaca la oropéndola (Icterus galbula), así llamamos a otra especie -y que pertenece a otro género- a la que tenemos en España: Oriolus oriolus.

    Un abrazo desde Galicia, España,

    Rafa.

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  31. Hi David,
    this was a very successful birding-walk. I especially like the fatastic-colored Balitimore orioles and the beautiful pictures of the Blue Jay. Oh, and the flycatcher, and the waxwing and....

    Best regards, Corrie

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  32. El reportaje es espectacular, son todas estupendas. Felicitaciones al fotógrafo y ti por la información.
    Un Saludo

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  33. Hi David. A good selection of birds there and Franc has done a brilliant job of illuminating those birds in the trees. The Baltimore Oriole is a stunner of course. And how different of a bird of the Northern hemisphere to build a type nest that I associate with weavers and Africa.

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  34. Wow! this yellow or orange breast that's beautiful!
    Good week's continuation.

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  35. wonderful photos. Happy-making to look at ... Blogger has a glitch and I haven't been able to access 3 comments on my blog. I suspect one of them is yours.

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    1. Blogger seems to be having far too many glitches these days.

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  36. Hello David!
    I think you have had nice time outing with your 8 friends. Frank's photos are amazing, especially of flying Jay, its feathers look beautiful. One day I've listened jay shouting as a cat 'meow',
    Waxwings are common birds here as well, they eat berries and apples in late fall.
    Happy weekend!

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  37. Hi David,
    Once again you have written a pleasantly readable report, illustrated with a lot of great pictures. The pictures of the oriole and the waxwings are my favourites. You can't complain about the variety of species.
    Greetings, Kees

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  38. Olá David,
    como eu adoro as suas observações!

    Passar por aqui torna-me também feliz por saber que existem tantas maravilhas na biodiversidade.

    Um grande abraço!

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  39. Thanks for these amazing photos. All of them are beautiful, but I especially loved the photos of the Baltimore Orioles, they are so beatiful.
    Kind regards
    Maria from
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco


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  40. These are some stunning images of your birds!! I don't think we have anything so colorful here in New Zealand.

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    1. You have some great birds in NZ, Betty.

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  41. Thanks for taking us/me around to the birding with you. Baltimore Orioles are the most impressive to me in the pendant nest, their feeding and their colors among all the lovely birds with nice posing.

    Yoko

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  42. Hello David,
    really beautiful pictures of this bird. The nest I find very interesting to see and also very clever done of these birds :-) Beautiful colors of this bird. Super to see the swallows and you could photograph them in flight. Very nice! I look at your plague bird with a "green" look. I have not seen this one for a long time. The sparrow is really sharp and drawn.
    The woodpecker and also the other birds are enjoying again :-)

    Kind regards, Helma xx

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  43. Outstanding post David,fantastic variety of wonderful birds,also love the flight shots great captures,not easy to catch in flight.
    Well done.

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  44. No doubt in a group you can see many more birds, maybe not be good if one wants to take pictures, although there is no better thing than going out with friends to watch birds. Very good variety of species, I am glad that the Neotropical ones are arriving for your latitudes. Several similar species, but only Riparia riparia we have here.
    regards

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    1. Like many things in life, Hernán, compromises are involved, but sometimes by having many eyes and ears we find the bird for the photographer to take his pictures. This is a great group and we always enjoy each other’s company. Better come on up here and join us for a few walks!

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    2. I would like very much to go with you in some way, besides knowing Canada, but it is impossible for me, as the economy goes here, it is even difficult for me to travel through my country or my province.

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  45. Espectaculares fotos David, que suerte poder disfrutar de tan bellas aves. Gracias. Besos.

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