Followers

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Local Walks and the Backyard

     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.



Hawkesville, ON
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!

77 comments:

  1. You saw an enormous variety of beautiful birds, I loved seeing the photos. My faves today were the kinglets, goldfinch and grackles. Thanks for sharing! Have a great afternoon, hugs, Valerie

    ReplyDelete
  2. The vast majority of all these beautiful birds are unknown here. Fantastic photos!

    ReplyDelete
  3. These bird images taken by Miriam and yourself were simply stunning, David. Of course, I know you both must have a very long telephoto lens and I was curious as to the size. Years ago, I enjoyed taking similar photos especially of shore birds (egrets, herons) as we lived on the VA eastern shore but alas no longer have any of my former equipment as it had become quite tiresome to carry. But I so appreciate and admire the captures of other photographers and the detail and colors in this post were awesome. The crackle has never been a favorite bird of mine, but the closeups were great to see. The male cardinal was a favorite subject at the backyard feeders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beatrice: We actually do not have long lenses. We both have what are known as bridge cameras. Miriam has a Nikon Coolpix B700 and I have Canon Powershot 50X. They are lightweight, effective and work for us. I am not quite sure what you have against grackles. They are wonderful birds in my opinion. But then again, I think that all birds are.

      Delete
    2. Thanks David for the camera and lens info. I also had a bridge camera several years ago, similar to your Canon. It was wonderful to have such zoom power without carrying around loads of equipment. My problem at times was holding it steady at such an extended zoom. Last year I bought a digital camera with a single fixed lens and no zoom, Fujifilm x100f, and am still learning how to effectively use it. Really I don’t anything against grackles, except they would most often scare other birds from our backyard feeders and hog the seeds.

      Delete
  4. A fantastic series of beautiful birds. I really love the colour of the goldfinch, it's so vibrant. Thanks for sharing these, David and have a wonderful evening.
    Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Waaaa vous en avez vu des oiseaux!Ils sont beaux!
    Les petits roitelets sont très mignons.
    Bonne soirée

    ReplyDelete
  6. Miriam have taken so many lovely shots of the birds. The backyard is a nice place to be. Lovely flowers too, David. They have resently changed their name to Scilla forbesii.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't ask me how I knew that, Marit, but I did, and I should have used the current nomenclature.

      Delete
  7. A world very rich in birds!

    ReplyDelete
  8. A feast for the eyes. The grackles really do look surprisingly good.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your ordinary looks prety damn EXTRAordinary from here.
    Huge thanks to you and Miriam for brightening my predawn hours.
    Loved the ruby-crowns in particular. A birding photographer/blogger I follow has often said how difficult it is to capture that flash of fire.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great photos of so many wonderful birds. I would love to see a cardinal but have never had the good fortune to see one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If ever you find yourself down this way I will show you one or two.

      Delete
  11. Hola David. Primero darle la enhorabuena a Miriam, sus fotos son espectaculares, las aves son realmente maravillosas. La pequeña ave de la coronita rubí aquí la conozco como Reyezuelo y todavía no conseguí ver a ninguno quieto. Un enorme abrazo para los dos.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muchas gracias amiga Lola: I will pass on your kind words to Miriam.

      Delete
  12. Hari OM
    Every one a gem!!! YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Such beautiful photos, glorious spring happenings!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Good night friends Miriam & David! how are you? april says goodbye, with a super post here. Definitely what beauty of animals, what songs, what beautiful melodies they offer for the spirit. Nature is a box of surprises... these little ones make me happy.
    Amazing pics, they make me want to live, to go back out to the park and watch the glorious birds 😊🐦🎶 Saludos!

    ReplyDelete
  15. A lot of birds I do not know, and some I do. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, to take a stroll in your woods and area. The beauty is so well captured by the photographer.

    ReplyDelete
  17. All some of my favorite birds also...and some great photos of them too! Take good care of the White Throateds while they visit, I will expect them back come fall. :o) Enjoy your weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  18. You have such wonderful bird life there - thank you for sharing them. We had a hawk circling above the park behind us yesterday. I had not seen one for some time.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love those small Ruby-crowned Kinglets and would love to see some - I always find tiny birds particularly appealing.
    Here I love to see our Jenny Wren scuttling around the ground like a busy little housewife, and the flocks of pretty long-tailed tits with their delicate pale pink breasts flitting through our garden - here one minute, gone the next.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are in the same family as the similar Firecrest you have in the UK, Rosemary.

      Delete
  20. Qué gran suerte y privilegio el vuestro de tener tan bellas aves cerca de vuestra casa y poder apreciar y disfrutar dando un paseo amigo David. Mis felicitaciones a Miriam por tan maravillosas fotografías, ha sido todo un placer ese paseo gracias por compartir.
    Un fuerte abrazo querido amigo y compadre David.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hey David, schitterend wat 'n prachtige serie weer. heel mooi al die vogels.
    Groet kees.
    Alvast 'n goed weekend en blijf vooral gezond.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a variety of birds you do encounter so close to home David. I do not know which one is more beautyful so I will not make a choice. One ecception the American godfinch, coming back on comperans with the European godfinch it is as I said a beauty on its own.
    Have a nice weekend and stay well.
    Regards,
    Roos

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi David.

    Beautiful colored birds show you.
    Beautiful varieties.
    Beautiful pictures.

    Greetings from Patricia.

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a joy to have such a diverse range of birds in your locality - and you both photograph them to perfection :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I see you have had some walks, David. Lovely photos of Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Miriam well done!
    I also liked the American goldfinches, they are totally different of ours, that have red-white-black head and yellow spots on wings.
    Take care!

    ReplyDelete
  26. seems you have a good wildlife population in your area :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Beautiful wildlife in your area David. Great photos!
    Have a lovely weekend

    ReplyDelete
  28. This may be one of my favorite phrases of all time!

    "...while we have not discovered anything out of the ordinary, the ordinary is very pleasing."

    You are brilliant to put so concisely into words something I've "felt" often but never knew how to express. The birds are gorgeous and so diverse. And what a treat to be able to capture the ruby crown kinglets. Well done, Miriam and well don, David.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the lovely compliment, Jeanie. You are no slouch as a wordsmith yourself, so the accolade is gratefully accepted and much appreciated.

      Delete
  29. Wonderful birds in your yard and surrounds. Photos are good and agree that Miriam did well.
    Love that Cardinal.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You fill me with envy David, not only having a back yard but going on birding walks. The pair of you manage to capture such gorgeous birds. I didn't appreciate the goldfinch "changed" it's plumage for breeding season. Such a lovely clear yellow. Coincidence you should have written about leucism recently.

    ReplyDelete
  31. ...David, you are sharing a fabulous collection today, many of the birds are new to me. Thanks for taking me along, take care and stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
  32. How lucky you are, David, to have so many wonderful places, and delightful birds, close to home, especially in these times. Until now, I hadn't appreciated what a colourful bird the American Goldfinch is. Miriam's photography is excellent, and yours isn't too far behind either ;-}

    Best wishes to you both - take good care.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Spring shall arrive virus or no virus! Fortunately, you have found a few places from which you may get to enjoy her arrival. We share a similar fortune, but our hearts go out to those who may not be able to leave their homes during this active time in Nature.

    Outstanding selection of images! Kudos to Miriam for getting that kinglet to show off his namesake! A rare occurrence, in my experience. Yes, I am jealous.

    Our local parks are re-opening on Monday and I suspect state and regional parks will follow soon thereafter. There may be restrictions, so I'm not planning any lengthy visits yet. Gini and I will continue to wander the back roads and breathe fresh air as much as possible.

    Have a great weekend, David!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Ruby_crowned Ringlet oh woe I just love that little bird and I did not even know it existed!! Fabulous post and you have both done remarkably well with photos for a lock-down. Have a good and safe weekend, Diane

    ReplyDelete
  35. Buen reportaje con esta selectas imágenes Saludos

    ReplyDelete
  36. Natures creatures and natural wonders are so uplifting in these stressful times. What wonderful walks you have enjoyed.

    ReplyDelete
  37. For me the Mourning Cloak (we call them Camberwell Beauty) is the star, it's been too many years since I saw one of these rare vagrants to the UK. Those Kinglet shots are superb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Brian: I learned from an earlier post on Mourning Cloak that is was a rarity in Britain. Until then I was unaware of that fact. Here it is generally the first butterfly of the spring and is quite common. The really pleasing thing, is that unlike other butterflies, it frequently alights with its wings outspread.

      Delete
  38. A beautiful series of great birds!
    Thanks for sharing David!
    Have a nice weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hello, David

    Beautiful photos are all the birds, it is a pleasure to sit and watch our back yard birds. The Mourning Cloak is a beauty and I love the pretty flowers. It is great to have some choices where to walk and see the birds. Great post. Thank you for linking up and sharing the post. Take care! Enjoy your day, wishing you a great weekend! PS, thank for leaving me a comment on my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Glorious travels and photos. Really well done.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi David – I really want to see a Cardinal, sometime I guess … as too the beautiful Mourning Cloak and the little Ruby Crowned Kinglets … birds have just the amazing colourations … particularly as shown in the others … just incredible colours … while the White-Throated Sparrow is just so attractive – gorgeous … enough for now as I go out and accost our seagulls! Stay safe - Hilary and yes: definitely thank you Miriam!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary, the Mourning Cloak is known as the Camberwell Beauty in England. We do apparently get them there according to David.

      Delete
    2. Hi Jo - thanks for that ... I didn't know - so good to know ... take care to you both - Hilary

      Delete
  42. Hello, they are awesome birds, I like your blog, can you look mine?, is about wild animals but in special birds, I hope you like it, now i´m going to follow you because I really love your blog, greeting from Spain

    ReplyDelete

  43. Beautiful series of photos, many and varied colorful and beautiful species; I get to know some of them better, others like greater yellowlegs look very nice with bridal plumage, something that in these latitudes is very difficult to see, I have never seen it like this personally.
    A big hug my friend

    ReplyDelete
  44. Love that goldfinch in its summer clothes which I almost never get to see in the feather. The mourning cloak interested me. I had a visit from one this week. I found it feeding from an oriole feeder I had put out. The orioles mostly ignored it in favor of the fruit on my loquat tree which they pretty much devoured before moving on.

    ReplyDelete
  45. There are only a few trails open at this time (supposed to change on Monday! YAY!) So we are going to the same places but always see something different. Love the Spring flowers and the Kinglet is one I've never seen before! What a pretty bird! Have a good weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Absolutely beautiful, everyone are fabulous. Thanks to Miriam to shots so well.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Maravillosas aves y maravillosas fotografías " Gracias Miriam " me quedo encantada de ver tantas aves que por aquí no se suelen ver, son preciosas. Abrazos para los dos.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi David,
    It surprises me again that there are so many beautiful coloured birds visiting or living in your neighbourhood. It simply is a treat for the eyes to take a walk and see so many interesting species. Luckily you don't have to feel too bad because of the limitations caused by the coronavirus.
    Greetings, Kees

    ReplyDelete
  49. I'm so glad you appreciate the grackle. They're less splashy than some, but their antics are fun to watch, and they are quite a handsome bird. I especially enjoyed the photo of the woodpecker. I've seen one on a tree in my yard twice now, but I'm still not certain which one it is. I suspect red-headed, but I need a better look. I certainly didn't know a sparrow could wear a bit of yellow -- what a pretty one that white-throated is!

    ReplyDelete
  50. An exquisite series of your nearby birds seen. Wow!

    Thanks for joining us at I'd Rather B Birdin

    ReplyDelete
  51. Dear David,
    luckily you don't have to go far to see numbers of beautiful birds.
    Mostly I'm stunned to see so much color in your birds. This post you started with the wonderful red cardinal; and then you show this ruby-crowned kinglet, splashing, its orange spot on its head.
    In your own backyard these American Goldfinch, stunning this color. I also love the white-throated sparrow with that lovely "golden" spot on its head.

    best regards and stay safe, Corrie

    ReplyDelete
  52. What a beautiful birds... Well-done David..
    Be safe..

    ReplyDelete
  53. That ruby-crowned kinglet sure did pose well. This is a wonderful selection of birds. Each is pleasing to the eye. Have a wonderful week ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi David, what a beautiful birds in your country. Beautiful colors and different. I love the buteo too. It's nice to see birds of different countries on the blogs. Have a wonderful week. Greetings Caroline

    ReplyDelete
  55. I am awestruck by the beauty and variety of birds within easy reach. Surely you must have many more than we do here. And how do you get them to sit still for their portrait?

    ReplyDelete
  56. How fortunate you are to have all those “ordinary” birds almost in your own backyard. Good job catching that RC kinglet with his crown up!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi David,
    Great series of beautiful birds!!! And wonderful butterfly,
    That ruby-crowned kinglet.....stunning! Miriam did very well! Chapeau!
    Have a fine week and take care
    Maria

    ReplyDelete
  58. Just lovely to see the many colourful birds, and the detail in the photographs is so good.

    Happy May Wishes.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  59. A wonderful selection of birds, all totally new to me. Thank you for sharing them.

    ReplyDelete
  60. A great set of birds - I may have to take a camera on my next walk just to see what I can find. Not as many birds as you do, of that I can be sure.

    I have looked at a number of local sources for Canadian wine - but have drawn a blank - I will cast the net further and let you know how I go!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  61. A nice selection of birds especially the Sparrows. The beautiful iridescence on the Grackle reminds me of our Magpies!

    ReplyDelete
  62. Wow, David what many species you have been able to photograph.
    Beautiful blog with all those beautiful birds.
    They are also beautifully colorful.
    Greetings Tinie

    ReplyDelete
  63. Es maravilloso poder apreciar que lo que a vosotros os parece cotidiano por estar al lado a mi me parece increíble ¡qué belleza de aves!
    Un abrazo enorme.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Great photos and beautiful birds. Thank you very much, it's a real feast for the eyes. Congratulations to Miriam.
     
    Hugs and greetings from rainy and cold Poland:)
    Lucja

    ReplyDelete