The restrictions on movement imposed by the Provincial Government in response to COVID are in effect until 20 May, so at least for a while we will not be wandering far afield.
28 April 2021
Benjamin Park Trail, Waterloo, ON
How fortunate we are to have this trail so close to our house. From our front door to the start of the trail is less than five minutes walk.
Virginia Spring Beauty (Claytonia verginica) comes in both white and pink forms - absolutely stunning either way.
I think you could set out in a dour mood and be instantly transformed as soon as you came across these very aptly named spring beauties.
Black-and White Warbler (Mniotilta varia) is generally one of the earliest neotropical warblers to arrive back in southern Ontario and this year was no exception.
It is a very appealing little bird and in many respects emulates our resident nuthatches as it clambers up and down trunks and branches, sometimes upside down, searching for spider eggs, insect larvae and other tasty treats.
Daffodils (family Amaryllidaceae) are common in woodlands, along highway verges and in meadows, and I am never quite sure how they got there and which species I am dealing with. They are incredibly attractive, and I am going with Wild Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus).
Once again, I must own up to a little confusion. I am pretty sure that the blossom shown below is some kind of cherry (Genus Prunus) - but that is where my "educated" guess ends.
I have no doubt that there are people reading this blog with far greater botanical knowledge than I, and help is eagerly sought and appreciated.
Field Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides) is familiar to all, and about this one I have no doubt.
01 May 2021
Benjamin Park Trail, Waterloo, ON
White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) is beginning to bloom throughout the region and woodlands are carpeted with Ontario's Provincial Flower.
Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) are eagerly seeking nest cavities in which to raise a family, and every potentially suitable hole needs to be thoroughly checked.
Mourning Cloaks (Nymphalis antiopa) may still be commonly found flitting through any suitable stretch of woodland.
02 May 2021
Conservation Meadows Storm Water Management Area, Waterloo, ON
Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) are breeding all over the region. Some protective males seem to prefer an elevated vantage point to exercise dominance over their breeding territory.
The individual above flew down, making a great commotion, when a dog strayed too close to its partner on the nest.
Small wetland on Beaver Creek Road, Waterloo, ON
I was all set to take a picture of a displaying Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), but by the time I pressed the button, it had left.
The picture of the tree with its emerging leaves, however (Acer, sp), is quite delightful by itself.
Lakeside Park, Kitchener, ON
Turtles of all types are emerging from their long hibernation beneath the mud, Midland Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) among them.
The geese at Lakeside Park are so habituated to the constant presence of humans they display no hostility even if you are quite close to their young.
The goslings are the very epitome of cuteness.
Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris), a personal favourite, are punctuating wetlands throughout the region.
Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) were abundant and noisy. It's hard to get an accurate count since it is always possible to tally the same bird twice as it moves around in the trees, but twenty might be a conservative estimate.
There are many old trees with cavities suitable for nesting and this one looks as though a staircase has been constructed up to the front entrance.
Miriam and I have not had especially good luck finding warblers this spring, so we were happy to come upon this male American Yellow Warbler (Setophaga aestiva) gleaning insects from the emerging leaves.
A male Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) seems to be elongating his body as much as possible, to give the appearance of being bigger and more desirable to a passing female, one might surmise.
Perhaps some enterprising young adventurers had ambitions for castaway survival when they started to build a shelter, but no doubt thought better of it and went home for dinner.
This female duck had found a quiet place to rest, to escape the over-zealous attention of several males, perhaps.
It has all the features of a Mallard (Anas platyrynchos) x American Black Duck (Anas rubipres) hybrid.
I am already accumulating pictures from several local walks for the next post, so stay tuned for more soon!