Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Kissing Bridge Trailway

 29 August, 2023
Kissing Bridge Trailway, Elmira, ON

     We had not walked the Kissing Bridge Trailway since before COVID and a fine morning in August seemed like a good opportunity to do it again.

     It's a very pleasant walk, as you may see.

     The woodlots were alive with bird sounds right from the get-go, with many species now preparing for migration. Hearing the birds and seeing them well enough for pictures were not one and the same thing, however!
     As always, Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) could be counted on for cheery company - and other species often tend to flock together with chickadees.

     A fine stand of Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) was nestled in the forest, overhung by Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara), a lovely representation of late August among the hardwood trees of southern Ontario.

     As toads are wont to do, this American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) tried as best it could to remain inconspicuous - a good plan when you are on the lunch menu of many other creatures.

     The delicate bloom of Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) has been replaced by its characteristic red berries.

     Alternate-leaved Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) is bearing fruit too.

     Funnel Weavers (family Agelenidae) are fascinating spiders, and their webs are not always easy to find.

     It appears that American Robin (Turdus migratorius) has had a prolific breeding year; at times it seemed that there were young birds in their spotted plumage everywhere we looked.

     Several species of tyrant flycatchers were present, including this Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris). It took a lot of patience on Miriam's part but after about twenty minutes she was finally able to get a decent picture.

     The fruit of Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), while holding great appeal for American Robins had no role in the diet of flycatchers.

     The interesting (and beautiful) insect shown below is a braconid wasp (genus Atanycolus). I knew nothing about this insect, but a little research reveals that some species in the genus may act as a larval parasitoid attacking the invasive - and very destructive - Emerald Ash Border (Agrilus planipennis).

     Hooray for the wasp!
     A Crambid Snout Moth (family Crambidae) stubbornly refused to reveal enough of itself to permit specific identification.

     A second flycatcher, Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minor) was even more obliging than the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher shown above.

     Saygorytes phaleratus is a species of sand wasp, a solitary, stinging parasitoid.

     Common Aerial Yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria) ranged alongside it.

     A Red-spotted Purple (Limentis arthemis astyanax) seemed a little the worse for wear, but carried on without apparent difficulty.

     Wild Cucumber always seems to be an especially attractive plant to my eye.

     The very attractive fly seen below is found in the Cryptic Carnaria-group Flesh Flies.

     Almost at the end of our walk we came across Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris) - a lovely end indeed.

     There was much more on this outing, with warblers, vireos and flycatchers already in migration, but the foliage was still dense and lush and we have no photographs to illustrate our walk. it was very satisfying to us, however. Of that you may be sure!

David M. Gascoigne,
David M. Gascoigne,

I'm a life long birder. My interests are birds, nature, reading, books, outdoors, travel, food and wine.


  1. ...lovely, but I was hope to see the kissing bridge!

  2. Did it say why it is called the Kissing Bridge?
    With all that lush foliage it is a wonder you could get any pictures at all--but how beautiful! :)

  3. What a beautiful name for a trail!I have seen plenty of Jack-in-the-Pulpit lately...ain't they poisonous?

  4. Thank you so much for taking us along. How I wish that we had the sound track as well as the images.... Yes, I know I am greedy.

  5. precious chickadee and love that bridge. my favortie today is the roses with rain drops

  6. Hari Om
    There is such delicacy to be found! YAM xx

  7. Querido David mi enhorabuena para Míriam por tan hermosas fotos. Un paseo maravilloso, sin duda es un placer poder disfrutar de tantas especies. Me encanta. Un abrazo enorme para ti y Míriam.

  8. Me encanta pasear con vosotros, encontráis muchas maravillas de la naturaleza. Abrazos.

  9. What a beautiful trail to walk and enjoy nature.


Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that the land on which we are situated are the lands traditionally used by the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Neutral People. We also acknowledge the enduring presence and deep traditional knowledge, laws, and philosophies of the Indigenous Peoples with whom we share this land today. We are all treaty people with a responsibility to honour all our relations.