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Monday, 12 April 2021

A Couple of Weeks' Highlights

     If there is one constant in the lives of most of us right now, it is that COVID influences most of what we do. 
     We have not been able to walk and explore to the extent that we normally would, so I am featuring below some highlights encountered here and there.

27 March 2021

     A drive through the countryside revealed signs of spring at every turn, including male Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), hormonally supercharged, waiting for females to return to southern Ontario.


     Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) is not an uncommon bird here, but it is almost exclusively found on large bodies of water such as Lake Ontario, and is unexpected inland.


     It gave us a great deal of satisfaction, therefore, to happen upon two pairs swimming together on the Conestogo River in Hawkesville.


     The male's crest resembles what I suspect many people's tresses will look like as hairdressers are not permitted to open for at least another month!
     Two females looked a little better turned out, albeit clad in a more subdued fashion.


     Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) unlike its red-breasted cousin, is to be expected on local waterways at this time of the year. The first bird we spotted was a female.


     It's a safe bet that the sighting would not involve a lone bird; others were doubtless underwater chasing fish. In mere moments a couple of males surfaced to join the female.


     And more appeared, swimming away like a flotilla of miniature craft.


     A Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata), watching from the sidelines, seemed far less interested in this little squadron of ducks than we were.


     American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), formerly common, has become quite rare in recent years, and Miriam and I have been happy to see a pair regularly not far from our home.
     The male and female have been seen together throughout the year, but of late have started to show signs of pair-bonding prior to mating and initiating nesting.
     They are very wary birds and getting a picture is difficult, a good picture almost impossible. I am happy to present the male in any event!


     If I may be permitted a moment of personal reflection, the first time I ever took Miriam for a drive through the country in search of birds of prey, the first three birds we saw were male kestrels, each with a vole. It speaks to the abundance of both the birds and the biomass of prey that year. I doubt whether we will ever repeat such good fortune, but it remains a very fond memory for us, and was in good measure responsible for igniting Miriam's passion for birds.

03 April 2021

     A pair of Hairy Woodpeckers (Dryobates villosus) visited our backyard and we were able to capture an image of the male on one of the feeders.



04 April 2021

     Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) return early to southern Ontario.


     At times it seems as though an ardent male is singing from high in the branches of every convenient tree, its joyful trill permeating the warm zephyrs of spring.


     I have no idea what triggered it, but for the last several weeks I have been studying birds' feet and the different configurations of the toes, and other functional adaptations to lifestyle. Miriam takes a closeup of a bird's foot whenever she gets a chance. Here is the classic anisodactyl orientation of a songbird's foot - digits 2, 3 and 4 pointing forward and digit 1 (the hallux) pointing backwards.


     When a songbird sleeps a special muscle "locks" into place and prevents the bird from falling off its perch. 
     Now that you are as hooked as I am on feet perhaps I will soon regale you with leg scutellation patterns. I know that you are waiting with bated breath!

06 April 2021

     Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) have returned to southern Ontario, and are already occupying territories and in some case are nesting. At least one nest box that I monitor now contains eggs.


     The above pair was photographed at a Mennonite meeting house on Three Bridges Road, St. Jacobs, where they have occupied nest boxes for years.
     The bluebirds caused us no surprise, but a single gravestone certainly did.


     Mennonites are plain folk, as you know and their graves markers are modest and uniform. Never is one bigger, more grand, more ostentations, more reflective of wealth, in a "better" part of the cemetery, than another.
     Neither Miriam nor I have ever seen ornamentation of this type at a tombstone in a Mennonite graveyard. Personally, I hope it is the last time.

07 April 2021

     A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) very kindly decided to make our backyard a port of call this spring.


     I suspect that they do so most years, but they generally don't stay more than a few minutes, so unless you are glancing out at the right moment, they pass through unnoticed.


     We spotted them on the trail behind our house later in the day, and have seen them most days since.

08 April 2021

     Fortunately, as mentioned above, we have a trail (Benjamin Park Trail) behind our house, and it has been especially appreciated during the months when the scourge of COVID has dictated the ebb and flow of our lives.
     This male Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) was initially seen busily excavating a nest hole, but I was walking alone that day and didn't have a camera with me.


     It has made substantial progress on the excavation and upon first contact was half way into the hole with wood chips flying. Now, however, it seems to have abandoned this location and has not been seen again completing the work.
     Spring migrant birds are the biggest attraction for us on our walks, but the sheer splendour of spring ephemerals bursting through the soil, are cause for great celebration too.
     I don't know whether I could pick a favourite, but Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), with its leaves curled around the flower when emerging, would be high on my list.


     And it is an early bloomer too. I look for it eagerly each spring.
     American Robins (Turdus migratorius) seem to be everywhere and their cheery song resonates through forest, woodland and backyard alike.


     Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) are no doubt already seeking suitable hosts for their eggs, although their principal victims have yet to arrive. 


     Mourning Cloaks (Nymphalis antiopa) flit through the air with consummate grace, even posing for a picture once in a while.


     The event which has brought us the most joy along the trail has been the discovery of an Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio) roosting in a small Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus).


     To see an owl at any time is a source of high excitement, but this sighting on the Benjamin Park Trail has special significance. For a couple of years I knew where to find a pair of owls, made up of a red morph and a grey morph bird, and I am quite sure I had pinpointed the tree where they bred.
     In one of the purges against infected trees that  happens so frequently that one wonders what will be left untouched, their tree was felled, and I had not been able to relocate them.


     We have high hopes that this is a male resting during the daylight hours, with a partner taking care of young close by. Perhaps we will be able to verify that.
     The feet of the screech owl are zygodactyl, enabling them to snooze in peace without fear of falling from their perch.


     The doleful call of Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) echoes constantly. Ironically, some people think it is an owl.


     This species will breed over a good part of the year and males seem to be in a permanent frenzy, trying to coax often uncooperative females into the trysts that will ensure the survival of the species. Ah, those males; they have just one thing on their mind!

09 April 2021

     Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) is another flower that emerges early and populates forests and woodland glades.


     How beautiful it is, with its blotchy leaves and glowing inflorescence.


     Willows (Genus Salix) are among the first trees to add colour to the bare landscape of early spring.



     There has been a bit of a craze recently with people depositing painted rocks bearing inspirational messages. The practice seems to be expanding to signs such as this one, attached to a sapling.


     I think I am quite capable of getting my fuzzy, warm feeling without help. And I would prefer the beauty of the tree without a sign stapled to it. Sooner or later the placard is going to deteriorate and fall to the ground to join the other litter left by careless walkers, who think nothing of tossing everything from their masks to their paper cups and plastic lids on the ground, their drink cans and their bags of dog poop, and whatever else would impose such a burden on them to take home and dispose of properly.
    A pox on those who post these signs, however well-intentioned they may be.
     Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is one of the first plants to flower in spring and their little yellow buttons are a cheerful punctuation mark among the brown leaves of last fall.


     Equally yellow are handsome American Goldfinches (Spinus tristis), transformed from their olive drab of  winter. This male has almost completed the transition.


     We could not resist a quick look at "our" screech owl, making sure than no one else was anywhere close to inquire about our upward glances.


     Daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) may be found all over, and it is always a bit of a puzzle to me how they find their way to new locations.


     Recently I saw them referred to as Hoop-petticoat, which seemed like a perfectly charming name, but it appears that this nomenclature refers to a domesticated variety.
     Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica) seems to increase in density each year, and while beautiful, is somewhat invasive in areas where conditions are right for it to thrive.


      It was interesting to see several instances where the emerging plant pushes through dead leaves as it thrusts upward towards the light.


     Finally, let me leave you with a lovely animal, and a plea.


     This cat was seen wandering at will. It is obviously someone's cherished pet. It is sleek, handsome and patently well-cared for.


     But please, and I say again, please, do not permit it to roam. It is a fearsome predator of native wildlife and can decimate populations of small rodents, ground nesting birds, young fledglings fresh out of the nest, and even salamanders and other amphibians. Furthermore, you are exposing it to risk to its own safety. Coyotes and foxes abound and a cat would be perfect prey for them. Pets are killed by urban canids every year, and feline fur and bone fragments have been found in the pellets of Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus). I am sure that most pet owners would be mortified to know that the death of their pet had been caused by their own neglect.
     A cat should be a house cat, safe from traffic, protected from predators, and there are myriad structures available now for cats to leave the home without endangering themselves or other creatures.
And they will not antagonize your neighbours by defecating in, and digging up their flowerbeds. And a good neighbour is worth a whole lot!     

     

70 comments:

  1. A bit of an ailurophile, I agree about cats being indoors.

    Last year I lay on a lawn of people whom i don't know by a busy street to take pics of scillia.

    Very little action at the pond this year. Last year I spotted a pair of mergansers and also had a brief sighting of an American Wigeon (if memory serves).

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  2. Hallo David,

    Een uitgebreid blog met een aantal heel aansprekende soorten die hier niet voorkomen zoals verschillende soorten spechten, de Song Sparrows en niet te vergeten dat uiltje. Heel mooi en bijzonder allemaal. En ik ben het roerend met je eens wat betreft die huiskatten die altijd en overal maar loslopen en intussen onvoorstelbaar veel slachtoffers maken in de vogelwereld.

    Groeten,
    Ad

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  3. All birds are beautiful. I remember from my childhood the tawny owls lived in the church tower. The cat stole my heart is beautiful :)

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  4. I'm always so happy when you show the Blue Jay. What a beautiful blue color it has, David.
    I love the flowers you are showi g today. The Tussilago farfara blooms here too. The cat was very pretty!

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  5. Hari OM
    A delightful collection of images illustrating your couple of weeks! Our cherry tree has finally got some buds on it... YAM xx

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  6. Thank you for sharing the highlights (and a few low lights) of your meanders.
    Truly beautiful. And calming...

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  7. Thank you for this wonderful collection of photographs and such variety.
    However, it was the Blue Jay that really took my eye, the colour is just wonderful.

    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan

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  8. Great group of photos, and I totally agree about the cats! They should be on a leash or inside! But scutellation patterns? Don't know about that!

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  9. Great sights: ducks in the water,birds on tree branches and on phone lines, stunning flowers - all engaged in some sort of activity (swimming, singing, looking for food,growing)! Miriam's camera was at the right place and the right time.

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  10. Buenas noches, querido David! i see beautiful birds, but one especially caught my attention, it is the owl that blends in with the trunk of the tree, it is a masterpiece of nature! so beautiful!
    and the flowers are very beautiful too, a charm but... ayayay!
    that elegant and handsome cat, i love him 💖 take good care of it over there. It's a good thing!
    Really love mennonites i find them super interesting.
    They live in their austere world, are very hard-working and to live in peace.
    Feliz noche y semana, abrazos hasta Ontario 💓✨❤️✨💓

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  11. A beautiful two weeks! Except for the signs (those are ok on city street corners, but please not in natural places). And the cats ... good luck getting that message across ...I have actually heard people say ‘my cat gets fed well at home, so I know he won’t bother the birds when I let him wander.” Yeah right. ... But back to the beauty... lovely birds, thanks so much for sharing. And the spring flowers really are lovely. Daffodils do seem to carry on a busy life during their dark winter underground as they always multiply! ... thank you for sharing your research on the birds feet.., years ago, when one of my kids asked, I read up to see why birds didn’t fall off wires (I think I read about it in the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica ... I’m so old I remember reference books) but that is as far as my research went..... I miss hearing the dove calls here in
    Oregon. In Florida, they are our Spring alarm clock! B

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  12. Kestrels are beautiful birds; but herons a trifle higher.

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  13. Such beautiful shots, especially the owl.

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  14. Lovely photos. I agree with you about the signs. They aren't necessary and just create mess. Cats are another sore point. I've always had pet cats but I don't let them wander. They can't help their nature so it's up to their guardians to make sure they don't do harm and they can have a very fulfilled life if we make the effort to give it to them.

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  15. Most enjoyable. I liked your personal memory.

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  16. Your photos are wonderful, David - the Blue Jay is such a beautiful bird. Love your flowers too.

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  17. wow, you got o lot of highlights. You are spoiled my friend!
    Loved to see the Mergansers especially the Red-breasted Merganser. Such a beauty!
    And the owl is cool looking :)

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  18. Beaucoup de jolies fleurs et oiseaux, toujours aussi beau le geai bleu, les canards aussi.
    Le hibou est un beau spectacle!
    Je suis d'accord pour les chats, le mien ne va que sur ma terrasse que j'ai sécurisé, de toute façon il y'a la route juste à côté et je vois souvent des chats écrasés...
    Bonne journée

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  19. Hi David.

    You show so many beautiful flowers, birds and Ducks.
    The Owl is really great.

    Greetings from Patricia.

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  20. Beautiful birds, wonderful highlights from your outing. The Screech Owl images are favorites. I love all the pretty wildflowers. I agree about letting the cats run free, they should be inside. Have a great day!

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  21. Hi David – always amazing to see these splashes of colour … colouring of birds is so fascinating. Yes I haven’t much hair … but I need to get the tresses sorted out – the Mergansers look pretty special – so pleased you were able to see them and their relatives – the common ones!
    Blue Jays are so so pretty … while the Kestrel is impressive … and then to see three with a hunted treat in your early days with Miriam … no wonder it’s a fond memory for you.
    Hairiness in birds is so much more pleasurable than in humans! - can’t get away from my Hispid suggestion …
    .. wonderful turn of phrase for your song sparrows note: ‘its joyful trill permeating the warm zephyrs of spring’ …
    Yes – I’d love to know more about feet and legs … it’ll be so interesting … thumbs up from here …

    Interesting about the grave – any idea who it is for and why? It always amazes me how the American robins flocked … beautiful Mourning Cloak … gosh – look at that amazing Screech Owl … gorgeous … that anisodactyl foot holding on so they can zizz happily … incredible shot …
    Amazing eye – the Mourning Dove has … beautiful lungwort too … lovely willow – coltsfoot – stunning yellow … beautiful goldfinches … while your screech owl – gorgeous … daffs and scilla – lovely too …
    Your plea – re damage to countryside through stapled signs, and general mess left by people as they travel around … and cats – yes sad they are so destructive – so can understand your distress. Poisoning is another aspect – we are a species which should get of its pedestal and think of others, as well as the planet …

    Thanks for all your thoughts and comments – appreciate the post … cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks for this great commentary, Hilary.

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    2. Oh, and as for the grave, I doubt that we will ever know the reason, or the person for whom it was intended. Mennonites (quite rightly) don't take kindly to curious non-believers poking around their graveyards, which are mostly at the meeting house. Entry is barred unless services or other functions are taking place and you would have to trespass to enter.

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  22. Dear David & Miriam, your here and there birding account has really lifted my spirits!!
    Seeing the birds in their striking spring plumage. That screech owl!! And the beauty of the spring flowers pushing their way through the remnants of fall and winter...it's a sign of better days to come. Just as we're all pushing through the pandemic, baring our arms for the vaccine in hope of better days!

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    1. It is always a pleasure to hear from you, Carol. This has been a difficult time for all of us, and it seems never to end. Just when there seems to be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel it goes dim again. It will end one day! Let me place my order now for a cappuccino followed by a shot of Schnapps!

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  23. Fabulous photos again, Miriam is a star! I like the mergansers best today, and the owl is gorgeous, too. Sorry, short comment today, I'm trying to catch up and am very tired, so will be heading to bed very early! BIG hugs, Valerie

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  24. A wonderful variety of birds, ducks and flowers. The owl is stunning sitting there in the tree watching everything.

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  25. I always enjoy the birds you share, especially the owls. I have yet to see one!

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    1. Come to Ontario, post COVID, and we should be able to show you one or more species.

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  26. Pues amigo David, para no hacer grandes recorridos el reportaje es precioso y todo cerca de casa, es un privilegio para unos pocos. Me encanta el búho chillón.
    El gato aunque bonito algún nido lastimará.
    Un fuerte abrazo amigo profesor y compadre David.

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  27. Excellent the route through which you walk us with each post, that mixture of elegant aquatic ducks, with beautiful and colorful birds as well as those powerful owls on their perches in the trees and finally those spring notes starring those beautiful flowers. Congratulations on your insightful comments on those unsightly posters and the danger posed by a cat outside of its controlled environment. Greetings david

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  28. What an extremely satisfying way to enjoy my morning coffee, David!

    A virtual Spring Extravaganza!

    Gini wants me to print the photo of the Merganser with the wild hair and put it beside her make-up mirror as a reminder that her hair doesn't look so bad after all! :)

    Thank you for a splendid collection of images and engaging narration!

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    1. And even if it did look bad, Wally, you wouldn't be silly enough to say so!

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  29. Hi David, I enjoyed your story and photo's which are a realyy nice mixture about everything that's going on around you. I love the Screech-owl, he's so cutewith his big hairy feet ;-). Really a nice find. A few years ago it was not going well with our common kestrels but it looks like the last 2 years it's going better and I see them a lot of times nowadays. I hope your kestrel population will increase also.
    It's lovely to see al the flowers blooming, it makes a lot of people happy, so is spring and the sunshine. O, I always like to see (red breatsed) mergansers. Both species have their own beauty, unless the messy hair.
    All the best and a big hug,
    Marianne

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  30. A very enjoyable selection of sightings - only the Mergansers appear on this side of the ocean. The Screech Owl is a strange looking bird, rather like an owl designed by Picasso in his cubist period! Our woods have been festooned with signs lately but for good reason. Notices have been placed around a circuit, each one a page of a children's story. It's to encourage the little ones to enjoy their walks during lockdown. And it seems to work judging by the little ones I saw trying to persuade their parents to go round again! So far each story has been removed to make way for the next. If the last one gets left too long I'll remove it myself.

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    1. Signs of this nature would receive my seal of approval, John, especially if a dedicated person such as yourself was willing to ensure that all were ultimately removed.

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  31. Totally agree with you--my cats have been inside cats.
    Looks like that sign was tied to the tree, at least, and not stapled. The painted rocks aren't as invasive in the land as the signs. The worst is the trash!
    Lovely pics, as usual. I get mourning doves on my patio in the summer. Love the mournful cooing. :)

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  32. David you always put so much into your posts, this one no exception. The Blue Jay is such a beautiful looking bird as is the Song Sparrow.... however I share your excitement with the day roosting Owl. Excellent.
    The spring colour makes for a lovely walk as does the spring bird activity.

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  33. Hi David,
    Spectacular selection of photos, it would be difficult if I had to choose one as my favorite. I loved watching the immense variety of birds around you, I especially liked to admire Blue Jay, American Robins and Eastern Screech Owl, which is an incredible bird. Of course, I also really liked your "looks" for the flowers of the forest, I didn't know Lungwort, it is a very beautiful flower.

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  34. Personally, I like taking my cats for forest walkies.

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  35. Hi David. So happy to see you are keeping well and busy. Love your observations and your new foot obsession made me giggle and reminded me of how impressed we were with the gull's feet on our Burlington/Dundas ramble with you. I have also spotted a sapsucker, and brown creepers, and cowbirds recently - all new species for me! I have also noticed lots of mergansers (thank to you!!). And I am hearing song sparrows everywhere! Loving all the frogs, spring ephemerals and buds this Spring. Take good care and hope to see you soon!! - Tracey.

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    1. Great to hear from you, Tracey, and to know that you are doing well, and are out enjoying nature. Give my best to Jenny. I will look forward to seeing you both as soon as COVID gives us a little of our freedom back!

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  36. I agree with you about keeping cats in the house. My area has a large population of feral cats that is finally decreasing because of the trap-and-neuter policy and because fewer people are putting out food for the cats. Yes, the mergansers have their COVID hair blowing in the breeze. The young man who lives next door has let his hair grow for more than a year and won't get it cut until he's fully vaccinated. I also let mine grow for about a year but had it cut in December when I couldn't bear it any longer. I'll get it cut again after I get my second shot of the vaccine.

    Love,
    Janie

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  37. Empiezo bien el día paseando contigo por esta maravilla de naturaleza plena de vida de todas clases amigo. Da gusto verla.
    Gracias por compartir la gran variedad de aves que gracias a tí vamos conociendo. Ahora nos vamos a dar nuestro paseo por la naturaleza de aquí ;)
    Buen miércoles David. Cuidaros.
    Un abrazo.

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  38. I think I may have fallen in love with the Owl, what a beauty it is!! What great photos.

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    1. I don't even think your husband will mind you falling love with this handsome chap!

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  39. Amigo David, siempre preciosos los pájaros que nos traes. El gato se ve muy lindo, pero yo no los quiero por el jardín aparte que destrozan mis flores, vigilan a los pájaros para ver donde tienen sus nidos y se comen sus pajaritos, también a los padres. Abrazos fuertes. Pd, cuando termine el Covid ve pensando en venir a Extremadura, España, te encantará.

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    1. I have no doubt that a visit to Extremadura would be wonderful, Teresa. I will keep it in mind.

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  40. Thank you for your plea on house cats. I quite agree. If one feels like exercising their cat outside, they can be leash trained. (Stimpy used to go on walks with me. They weren't terribly aerobic but he enjoyed them.)

    I love your spring walks. What wonderful sightings. The owl made me smile -- his face is rather screwed up, like he smelled something terribly offensive! And those mergansers! My favorites. Lots of blooms and birds -- works for me!

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  41. Hi David, beautiful blog with beautiful birds. I never saw the Common Merganser. I like the owl. You have beautiful birds in your country, I like the colours. Our birds have less colours. Greetings Caroline

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  42. hello David
    the annoying garbage issue, here with us a garbage collection campaign is started once a year. In itself a great project and it makes sense to collect everything, this year 10 bags of rubbish were collected and 5 car tires were found. But what I wanted to say, those who threw the stuff away have now collected it again and disposed of for free ... that's the trick ... what can you say about it .....
    the owl is really a beauty you have to have a good eye to find it
    Greetings Frank

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  43. Your "encounters here and there", David, seem to be just as productive as your more adventurous excursions, helped, no doubt, by having the Benjamin Park Trail behind your property.

    I hope that your Eastern Screech Owl stays put and has found a mate. My fingers will be crossed for both you and the owl(s).

    The second Red-breasted Merganser image gave me a big smile - thank you. The eye-ring colour of the Mourning Dove is amazing.

    I did wonder if that Memonite grave might be of a child - it might explain the somewhat bizarre decoration.

    Best wishes to you both - - - Richard

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    1. It was in the adult section, Richard. The children's grave markers are smaller and in a separate section.

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  44. Wow .. this is a parade of beautiful pictures !. Everything impressed me, especially the blue bird Jay and of course the owl, my favorite bird.

    Congratulations on your photography work.
    Greetings from Indonesia.

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  45. I love seeing your images of birds we don't have here. Love those little bluebirds. One of my children's favourite book was about bluebirds and I'll never forget the phone call he made when he was about 25, off travelling overseas, I hadn't heard from him in months. And he rang me to tell me he'd seen a bluebird.

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    1. Now there's a man after my own heart, calling about the important stuff!

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  46. David - the blackbirds are always one of the first to return here, and we have plenty of males and females laying claim to the reed beds by the lake. I have not seen any Western Bluebirds near our property, but I went birding with a friend on Sunday, and saw several. That screech owl is quite the find!!! Thanks for your note about cats -- I could not agree more! One of our neighbors used to let her cat out regularly, and one night it never returned. No doubt victim to one of the many predators around here!

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  47. Your screech owl reminds me of a weird pine cone!
    Lots of red wing blackbirds nesting near the pond close to my house, and I got a nice photo of the heron, fishing for his dinner.

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  48. Thank you for this wonderful rundown showcasing all the wonderful birds in our areas. I don't get to photograph nearly as many here on my property but I did note the yellow bellied sapsucker, which you identified for me, is still around. I also have no flowers, wild or otherwise, showing just yet. Can't wait...such happy sights for us all. I have not seen a cat perhaps because of our regularly spied foxes...yes they are lovely pets and should be indoors by in large.

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  49. I can see the arrival of spring in these images, with new shoots and the multi-colored flowering of various species. What I see is that due to the climate the flowering is late compared to where I live, it would be the equivalent of October and here all the trees would already be with leaves.
    It is clear that the week was profitable and you have enjoyed it; During those days I was walking through the mountain range enjoying cool days, taking advantage of observing the last thing that some plants and several birds show that are descending in height, soon the climate will become harsher in those places.
    Greetings

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  50. Hello David,
    I think you don't have to go to other country's to find beauty that nature brings. Fantastic photo's. Thanks for sharing!!
    Have a wonderful weekend ahead.
    Marijke

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  51. I never would have thought of a dove's call as resembling that of an owl, but the doves are calling everywhere just now, and last night I took some time to listen. It does make a bit of sense. Someone who's not been introduced to doves might well make such an assumption; what a fun thing to ponder.

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  52. Hi David,
    I am surprised by the variety of birds you can show us here so often. It absolutely will be a pleasure to wander there about. As to your comment upon house cats I completely agree with you. I can imagine farmers need cats to control the number of mice but in towns the animals should stay inside. It is absurd to have a pet that is outside during the major part of the day.
    Enjoy your weekend.
    PS In a previous reaction of mine I forgot to mention the sign Mennonites are using to warn people for Covid-19. Very creative and perfectly fitting for the situation.
    Greetings, Kees

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  53. Hello. Susan (Contemplative Cat) said you had some great bird pics, so I came over to check them out. She was correct, you have a natural talent in photography. And yes, Covid dictates so much of what we are doing right now. I will be glad when it has passed.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. I tried to return the favour but your blog is private it seems.

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  54. Bardzo bogaty i ciekawy reportaż wiosenny! Cudowne spotkania z ptakami w ogrodzie, nad woda i w terenie. Bardzo lubię oglądać i czytać Wasze reportaże.
    Piękne wiosenne kwiaty! U nas wiosna spóźniona, bo jest bardzo zimno.

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  55. More great bird and flower photos. I forgot to mention in your previous post, about how lucky you were, to have that bird perch on your pen. I'm amazed at a few places you've been, where the birds have no fear of humans.

    And we have the same litter problems here, including dog owners not even bothering to clean up after their dog. I love dogs, but owners should be responsible. Most are, but there are a few bad apples, who ruin it for everyone.

    You made several good points about why cats should only be indoor pets. I wonder if people living in more densely populated areas (still suburban though) assume no predators are around, that could kill their cat. I live in an area that has houses relatively close together, shopping areas, heavy traffic, etc. Yet there are herds of deer roaming around, and coyotes. I usually never see coyotes, but I've had evidence of them being here at night. And several times per year, towns in this area issue a warning to owners of small pets, including dogs, not to let their pet outside out of their sight, due to a coyote attack in that area, where a group of coyotes went after a small dog, etc. Even raccoons can maul and / or kill a pet cat. :-(

    I also meant to mention about the trees in your area getting cut down, due to fungus and bugs: It is sad to see trees get cut down. But one glimmer of hope: Once the colonists were established and living here in Connecticut (CT), they were cutting down a lot of trees, to use for masts, etc. in the British Naval fleet ships. Vasts parts of CT became more like meadows, etc. Yet today, some of those same areas are fully tree covered again. So Nature has a way of making a come back. They've also said there are now more deer in CT then there were when the Colonists first arrived. (But that is because humans killed off their natural predator, wolves, so the deer had a population explosion.) It always keeps coming back to the same thing, though, doesn't it? Nature had checks and balances for everything, then humans started interfering with that. :-(

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  56. I am glad that despite the pandemic you can go or go for a walk and admire the beautiful birds there in a unique place.
    Greetings.

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