There seems to be no end to the degree of backtracking, mind-changing, and the sewing of confusion by our abjectly inadequate provincial government, but one over-arching fact is clear, we are restrained from freedom of movement in one way or another. So I will continue to post about events that are occurring locally.
The area is quieter than usual due to COVID lockdown measures, but that will change in about four weeks, probably close to the time when the eggs will hatch, so I am not sure whether the nest is viable in the long term.
Potential nest robbers such as Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) and American Crow (Corvus brachyrynchos) are frequently seen here, leaving eggs left unprotected even briefly, exposed to risk. Foxes, coyotes, raccoons and skunks also scavenge in the area.
If the eggs do hatch, as we hope they will, there is no body of water anywhere close, and given that newly hatched goslings are led to the relative safety of a pond or lake soon after hatching, one wonders what will happen in this case.
A few other people were visiting the park, but mostly we were not in close proximity to anyone else.
The object of our quest was Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), absent so far this year from familiar spots closer to home, and it was not long before we spotted our first bird carrying nesting material.
It is generally the smaller male that delivers the building materials to the female who arranges them according to her preference.
American Beavers (Castor canadensis) have emerged from their winter sojourn beneath the ice, and set to work immediately.
We spotted a Raccoon (Procyon lotor) emerging from a hole in a tree, where it had perhaps been enjoying an afternoon nap.
It kept a watchful eye on us, but seemed unconcerned, knowing no doubt that it had the upper hand, secure on the tree, and able to escape its human observers if it needed to.
We were quite entranced and enjoyed about ten minutes of observation before the Raccoon came back down to the hole, inserted itself in, rear end first, and glanced back at us before disappearing from view.
At the entrance/exit to the park there is a working farm and recently the fence has been replaced around the orchard.
Miriam managed a shot showing the zygodactyl feet of this species, equipped with a reversible outer toe permitting the fish to be held with two toes forward and two toes back, and spicules on the soles to lock into slippery, thrashing prey.
When the male was sated the fish was delivered to the female on the nest, the male descending into the wind.
We had just witnessed one male leave the female at the nest following copulation, and one wonders about a second male delivering food, and what clandestine rewards awaited him. Fish with benefits perhaps is the maxim at this nest! We did not tarry to find out!
The song has been described as a "slow or disjointed jumble of musical notes". I am not persuaded that it is a "disjointed jumble" but it is without question musical, and very appealing to my ears, evoking intense pleasure on hearing it,