Saturday, 16 June 2018

Visit to RiverSong

15 June 2018

     John Pries, a member of Waterloo Region Nature, and his wife, Susan, are the owners of RiverSong Bakery Café and Banquet Hall at 632 Hawkesville Road in St. Jacobs. This is a lovely property along the Conestogo River and one which John and Susan are more than willing to share with their fellow naturalists.


     The exterior is both rustic and charming, with many attractive areas for wildlife and we enjoyed strolling through at will, searching for all that we could find.





     We had barely entered the property before we were greeted by the noisy chattering of a House Wren (Troglodytes aedon), which had claimed a nest box as home for the year and was feeding young inside.



     There was lots of bird song as we wandered around and numerous species were observed, many not in a great position for photographs, however, as the trees have leafed out to their fullest and small birds such as Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) were barely visible in the foliage.




     A splendid couple of Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) were a little more cooperative.




      Francine managed a picture of an Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) as it characteristically pumped its tail in greeting.


     A Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) patrolled up and down the river, perching from time to time, while its partner was on the nest.




     One of the great attractions in late May and early June is the spectacle of the turtles leaving the creeks and ponds to lay their eggs on land. In peak years John has had almost forty nests, but this year for whatever reason breeding activity is down considerably and only two Midland Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) have so far produced eggs. John protects some of the nests against opportunistic skunks and raccoons, but he very carefully dug down to permit those who had not previously seen turtle eggs to view the eggs incubating in the ground.

     
     Sadly, not a single Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) has laid its eggs at RiverSong this year.
     Susan produces a wide range of baked goods in the café and we can all attest that they are absolutely delicious.





     We all got a coffee and a tasty tea biscuit or sweet treat to take outside to eat and returned before leaving to pick up bread and pies to go.
     It was a lovely morning all round and we very much appreciated the kindness of our hosts in permitting us to share in their wonderful little Shangri-La called RiverSong.

27 comments:

  1. What a fabulous place, it looks a lovely bakery and restaurant, and the added walk along the river to see wildlike is a huge bonus. Thnaks Francine and Mirium for sharing the photos with us all. Have a good weekend Diane

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  2. Lovely place for food and nature goodies too!

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  3. Nice place to make with a stop, beautiful birds.

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  4. Hello, looks like a wonderful place, the baked goods look yummy. Love the bullfrog and the Osprey. Those wrens are loud! Great photos. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend.

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  5. What a wonderful spot to run a business; I can imagine they make a lot of people very happy. I am glad to have experienced this little slice of heaven through your camera!!!

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  6. The place is beautiful and the hosts are very organized.

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  7. It's a beautiful place near the river. The Bullfrog was very cute. The baked goods looks very tasty. It must be nice to watch all these bird of prey. Happy Sunday, David.

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  8. Vilket vackert namn - RiverSong! Namnet sätter igång min fantasi om hur en plats som heter RiverSong ser ut och när jag ser bilderna kan jag konstatera att verkligheten motsvarar fantasin. Där det finns vatten finns även ett rikt naturliv, grodan blev min favorit denna gång!

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  9. Hari om
    What a delightful visit! YAM xx

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  10. Very peaceful outing. I don't know why but I found the Bullfrog comical and he made me giggle. Maybe it's due to a recent rereading of Wind in the Willows.

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    1. I haven’t read “Wind in the Willows” for over fifty years! It is primarily considered a children’s work, I suppose, but good literature is good literature. Perhaps it’s time for me to read it again.

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  11. Looks like a great place to visit,lots of interesting wild life to discover.

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  12. Hi David.

    Beautiful there at the Riversong.
    A lot to see.

    Groettie from Patricia.

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  13. Hi David - what a delightful place to visit as often as you can - looks to be just wonderful for all nature lovers and those who might become one ... thanks for the photos and tour ... cheers Hilary

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  14. Hi Both,
    What a wonderful place to visit, it appears to have everything going for it.
    Love the Bullfrog and the Ospreys, well done Miriam.
    I also notice plenty of food.
    All the best, John

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  15. Hello David, this looks like a great place to visit! The environment is lovely and there are nice birds, frogs, turtlles and lovely food. I can understand you enjoyed your visit. The Osprey on the nest is great!

    Kind regards,
    Marianne

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  16. What a beautiful place to visit.
    Was amused at the 'cash only' - happens a lot with bakeries here in Australia and most annoying when travelling for cash is not always carried, thus the bakeries often miss out with us.

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    1. Hi Margaret: At this location I know she only takes cash so I am prepared, but they must lose business to people who don’t carry cash. I dropped into a place recently where the cash only rule applied and they told where the nearest ATMs were! Needless to say they did not get my business.

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  17. Hola David. precioso y tranquilo lugar. La rana me encanta. Bonitas fotos. Gracias. Besos.

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  18. I wish we had discovered this place when we visited St. Jacobs a year or so ago. It looks much lovelier and more charming than the downtown spot we ate! And quite the setting too. Thanks for the tip for future visits.

    And thanks, also, for stopping by my blog! Your comments are always appreciated!

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  19. Yes, it's a difficult time to observe small birds when the vegetation is so intense. Luckily you found a cafe (again) with sweet treats and coffee. I hope you took your wallet David?

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  20. What a lovely place to dine! Have a great week!

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  21. It looks like a delightful set-up that John and Susan have there, David. I love the way that they have incorporated a variation on the clef symbol into the the 'River Song' sign.

    Would love to get that close to an Osprey!

    With love to you both - - - Richard

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  22. Buen reportaje con un final delicioso...

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  23. Excellent, it's the best combination in my opinion: birdwatching and good food, two essential things to enjoy in an observation outing

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  24. loved to see the frog and the osprey. :)

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