During this extended period of behaviour modification brought about by the Coronavirus, we have tended to revisit familiar locations several times, knowing that they have not been placed out of bounds.
Benjamin Park Trail, Waterloo, ON
20 April 2020
Conveniently located behind our house this trail is always enjoyable, and has at times produced rarities. We have walked it a quite often in recent weeks and while we have not discovered anything out of the ordinary, the ordinary is very pleasing.
A Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) always brings great pleasure.
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) was common and posed frequently.
The highlight of this walk was the presence of several Ruby-crowned Kinglets (Regulus calendula). This tiny bird flits around constantly, and not only is it difficult to photograph, it seldom displays the ruby crown for which it is named. Whether the birds were angry with us, or with each other, or were initiating courtship I am not sure, but their crowns were flashing constantly.
Congratulations to Miriam for these great shots.
A couple of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) enlivened the walk too.
And throughout the woodland carpets of Glory-of-the-Snow (Chionodoxa fortesii) were a joy to behold.
Three Bridges Road, St. Jacobs, ON
22 April 2020
This rural road, about 5 kilometres in length, has long been a favourite, and is guaranteed to please.
Northern Flickers (Colaptes auratus) return to Ontario quite early and this individual was hard at work probing for food.
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscalus) is an under-appreciated species, but a close look reveals a bird of exquisite beauty.
The diminutive Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) is our most common woodpecker, and like all woodpeckers is much loved.
Male Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) are handsome birds indeed, and are now in full voice throughout the wetlands of much of North America.
28 April 2020
The small town of Hawkesville, situated alongside the Conestogo River has many excellent birding locations and we visit this area frequently.
American Robin (Turdus migratorius) is one of our most common species and it is hard to go even five minutes without seeing one or more.
Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) may be found nesting everywhere; in fact a couple of days ago I saw my first pair with goslings. This will be a common sight very soon I have no doubt.
I have not seen many shorebirds yet this spring, although I have also been unable to visit some of the choice locations, so this Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) in a rocky section of the river was especially delightful to encounter.
A Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) maintained a vigil in a nearby tree.
Our Backyard, Waterloo, ON
24 April 2020
Some readers may remember that I posted about leucism recently and this leucistic American Robin spent a few minutes in our backyard.
A leucistic bird is always very interesting to discover.
Our Backyard, Waterloo, On
29 April 2020
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) is by a long shot the most common bird in our backyard, and is a virtual fixture at the feeders. This species remains with us year round and is a drab olive colour in the winter, but in breeding plumage is a dazzling combination of black, white and yellow.
But the highlight yesterday was the visit of four White-throated Sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis), a great favourite of many, and a beautiful bird by any standards.
It was a great pleasure to see them. I hope they will come back again today.
I wonder what other surprises we might discover? Time to go and take a look!