Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Lakeside Park, Kitchener, ON

24 April, 2024 

     It's always a pleasure to visit Lakeside Park where even on a "slow day" there are discoveries to be made.

     Our good friend, Mary Ann Vanden Elzen, is deeply involved with this park, so our enjoyment is enhanced merely by knowing that. I think we should mount a campaign to rename it The Vanden Elzen Reserve!
     It was quite enchanting to be greeted by extensive patches of Woodland Forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica), a sprightly flower of spring that pleases always.

     It doesn't rival the woodlands of Europe with their carpets of bluebells, but it is glorious nonetheless.
     A Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) was calling loudly and vociferously, and finally we found it high atop a snag.

     In the wet and boggy areas all around the region Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris) are prolific, bold and beautiful.

      No bird, in my estimation, is more emblematic of a marsh than a Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) and the males were at their finest, uttering their siren songs to oft-times reluctant females, and challenging other males who might dare to invade their territory.

     It is a very familiar bird, but oh so handsome.

     And on the Handsome Index a drake Mallard (Anas platyrynchos) scores well, doesn't it?

     The first warm rays of sun bring Midland Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) out of the water to bask on any convenient surface.

     Humans would do well to park their cars in such an orderly fashion.

     Trout Lilies (Erythronium americanum) claimed their patch of the woodland floor.

     This group of Dryad's Saddle (Cerioporas squamosus) had an uncharacteristic appearance.

     A Common Eastern Bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) seemed to be foraging in a very determined fashion in the detritus of the forest floor.

     Perhaps some form of micronutrients were found there, I am not sure, but something was capable of capturing the bee's undivided attention.
     White Twisted-stalk (Streptopus amplexifolius) will be blooming shortly.

     As sure as the proverbial death and taxes, in May, is the presence of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) with young. It seems to me that the word "cute" may have had its origin here.

     In a city park the adults seem to abandon their aggressive nature when around their young, and people are accepted without hesitation, and the young can be approached quite closely without fear of attack from an irate parent.

     It's quite possible that the presence of humans, often walking their dogs, may serve to deter other natural predators of vulnerable goslings.
     A pair of Mallards was entirely nonchalant about the goings-on.

     I don't have records to back it up, but I can't remember a year when Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) has been so common.

     Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum) arrives early and is ubiquitous - and delightful too!

     Fruit trees are loaded with blossom and are incredibly beautiful. I am unable to tell you precisely which trees are featured here but they are in the group known as Plums, Cherries and Allies (genus Prunus). That will have to suffice, I'm afraid.

     I'll bet that you're gobsmacked, though!
     We had our first sighting ever of an Orange-spotted Drone Fly (Eristalis anthophorina) on the rotting cap of a fungus.

     What kind of walk in the park would it be without an American Robin (Turdus migratorius) or two - or more - lots more!

        Another Northern Flicker was present.

     A Lucerne Moth (Nomophila nearctica) was a very pleasing discovery.

     A female Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) perched quietly in Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea).

     Not a great picture, but an Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) trilled its song.

     Just imagine those taxa we weren't able to photograph - and this was a slow day. Visualize what it's like when the woods are hopping and the lake has grebes, terns and gulls.
      If you're in the area be sure to let me know. I'll take you on a hike to Lakeside Park. That's a promise - and I bet I could coax Mary Ann into joining us too!
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. How I wish I could be in the area...

  2. Hi David.

    Beautiful nature.

    Beautiful flowers and birds.
    That Red-winged Blackbird is beautiful.

    Greetings from Patricia.

  3. I think Woodland Forget-me-nots are just as pretty as bluebells! Warblers can really sing! Not sure if I have ever seen (well, mostly just heard) palm warblers, but definitely heard lots of Mönchsgrasmücke sing beautifully at this time of the year..Eastern Kingbird looks really beautiful...

  4. Los animales disponen de un gran parque, donde se ven que viven felices en plena libertad. Resultan encantadores en las bellas imágenes que has captado.

  5. Okay, if I'm in the area I'll definitely let you know I'm there! I love seeing your birds and other plants and creatures. Love the painted turtles, I've never seen them before. But we all know the Canada Geese! I saw theit beautiful offspring on Sunday, so gorgeous! And I saw baby ducks who tied to pull the laces out of my sneakers, too funny! Have a great day, hugs! xxxxxxx

  6. ...thanks for taking me on the nature hike. Red admirals are common here this spring, I hope that's a sign of things to come.

  7. Such a great excursion, David. Fantastic photos, as usual. I favour the turtles today since I have never lived where they live, every photo of turtles is a wonder. They certainly give the impression of a line-up.

    1. Right now, I could show you painted turtles and snapping turtles, Marie, and with luck a box turtle or two.

  8. These are such beautiful photos of your walk through Lakeside Park.
    I love the Red-winged Blackbird and the Canada Geese with their young.
    The second photo of the Palm Warbler is also really beautiful.
    Blossoms are always beautiful to see, everything has already bloomed here at the moment, it is very warm here now, today 26 degrees Celsius.
    I enjoyed your photos David.
    Greetings Irma

  9. I always read your blog posts with great pleasure David, but today you have outdone yourself! Forget-me-not is a lovely plant. The ones you call Blue Bells are a plant that behaves like a weed, so one might not want to have it in either the garden or the forest. The ducklings are so incredibly beautiful!
    Hugs and kisses, Marit

  10. Wonderful photos of what nature provides us. I'm hoping to find a spot here in town to walk, once the old house is listed and we're settled well into the new one. I'm not nearly as observant though, so suspect I'll miss a lot!

  11. I have trout lily on the north side of the house in the grass. It never blooms and only sends up one leaf. I've considered transplanting it but haven't attempted it yet. Loved the turtles in a line.

  12. One of my favorite sounds of spring is the shout of the redwing blackbird. When I first saw trout lilies in a damp patch of woodland opposite some houses, I thought it was planted by neighbors! So happy to learn it was a wildflower.

  13. I am always gobsmacked at all of your photos. nary a bad one in this post. they are all so beautiful, I love yellow flowers . I have seen stunning fields of flowers on a blog from Texas, and like your would love to see the fields with my own eyes.. Standing ovation and wild clapping at the baby geese. just to precious for words

  14. How wondrous. Those goslings and turtles are ever so cute. I miss Red-winged Blackbirds. I saw them all the time in the Midwest. But you don't see them in the Southeast. At least not in my corner.
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. I wish I was in the area, but your blog will have to suffice. A beautiful walk filled with so many lovely photos of all the life around you both. The drone fly is quite beautiful.

  16. It's definitely the season for cute goslings, David, as last week we spotted 2 families of 6 each on the river here. Jeanie also featured new ones on her post.

  17. Querido amigo David, cuanto me gustaría poder estar cerca, para poder pasear contigo. Aunque ahora mismo no podría, hace una semana que me han puesto la prótesis y estoy en rehabilitación, tengo que tener mucha calma y paciencia. Gracias por tus buenos deseos. Te dejo un montón de abrazos, tanto para ti como para Miriam

  18. Beautiful photos. I haven't seen a turtle since we moved to Oregon.

  19. Another excellent outing. Canada geese and American robins! That female cardinal was lovely, and red wing blackbirds are another word for spring.

  20. Buenas noches, que tal David!
    love those little blue forget me not flowers,
    while the birds chirp with passion; the turtles and geese take over the place,
    fruit trees... that park is the garden of eden! fascinates me; life blooms splendor,
    and, by the way, these geeses brought back the memory of when several years ago,
    some of them blocked my path and ran me away lol :D

    Have a beautiful night and a happy awakening 💐 ☀️🌿

  21. The flowers, geese and babies cute, the birds all beautiful David.

  22. Nature is beautiful and your pictures too David !
    Thanks for sharing !
    Have a nice day !

  23. Toujours de très belles photos, c'est très vivant et oui les petites oies sont vraiment mignonnes <3
    Bonne journée

  24. Hello David:=)
    The baby goslings are so sweet. I have not seen any lately, as it's been raining and I haven't been to the park. Although it was a slow day, you saw beautiful plants, birds, insects, and turtles to share with us, it was a pleasure to see them all. Thank you David, as always I enjoyed your post.
    Huge hugs and xxxxxx

  25. Always when I visit your blog I always see your beautiful photo of you and Myriam. Beautiful photos. I like the Red-winged Blackbird. I wish they were here. I see you have also turtles there. Greetings Caroline

  26. I guess that Blackbird is my fave. Truly magnificent with that spot of red.

  27. Walking through this park is a real pleasure. Forget-me-nots are beautiful spring flowers. I love them. Agelaius phoeniceus is an interesting and extremely handsome bird. I've never met him.

  28. The birds are really beautiful. Thanks for the great photos.

  29. Spring in all its glory. Thanks for taking me there. Beautiful photos.

  30. Wonderful pictures. I particularly loved those precious little goslings.

  31. So nice to have an area like that to explore. Lovely pictures. 'tis the season for goslings and ducklings. Is there anything cuter? I hope they all survive.
    Beautiful wildflowers and such an assortment.
    The red winged black bird is always very showy. We don't see them here very often.
    I suspect that the turtles had to park that way because there's no more room to do otherwise.
    Enjoyable post as always!

  32. Oh David, this looks like a lovely park -- and in the city, too. Of course I love seeing the goslings (pity they grow up!). And the red-winged blackbird is another favorite. It looks like your trees are in full flower. Ours are gone and I miss them so thanks for sharing the beauty!

  33. Wonderful photographs.
    My favourites are the goslings and turtles.

    All the best Jan

  34. The RW Blackbird is a favorite of mine and I see them frequently around here. A wonderful series of foliage and birds.

  35. Wild geese feel very comfortable.

  36. A wonderful journey through spring nature with you, David. I love the fields of forget-me-nots. I tried to grow them in the garden, but they love fields. Geese with goslings always make me feel protective of the goslings.

  37. Natura jest tak różnorodna. Nie wiadomo na co patrzeć - na zwierzęta, rośliny, owady, ptaki! Ale tylko to wszystko razem daje pełen obraz. Udane obserwacje, udany spacer, udane zdjęcia! Pieknie, troche zazdroszczę, bo dawno nie byłam w terenie.

    1. Come on over, Ludmila. We’ll go for a walk together.

  38. Gracias David por esta variada entrada. Preciosas las flores y muy linda la familia del ganso con los pequeños ansarinos. Parecen de peluche
    Buena noche .
    Un abrazo.

  39. That Mallard is a handsome fellow;)

  40. David, encontre tu blog y me quedo.
    Preciosa Naturaleza, los pajaritos, las flores los arboles, cuanta riqueza visual nos regala todos los dias. Nuestro compromiso es cuidarla y protegerla de nosotros mismo.
    Un placer visitarte, me encanto!!!
    Abrazos y besos 💋

  41. I enjoyed the picturesque stroll.
    A glorious series of birds and foliage, David.

  42. Beautiful collection of sightings of plants, birds, and insects. I think a camera is a great way to "hold a mirror up to nature" -- not just the stage as in Hamlet.
    best, mae

  43. Hi David - wonderful walk around the park ... with as you mention a lovely array of nature to see and share. The forget me not - beautiful ... we were remarking on it here yesterday - perhaps our wet weather is helping it - the blue bells overpower sometimes. I remember the American robins flocking in to a tree when I was on the farm on V Island - completely devouring whatever it was and leaving an hour or two later - peace came back! I'd definitely take you up on the walk ... but sadly unlikely - cheers Hilary

  44. Hello David, always a delight to read your posts as this one is so wonderful with those colourfull birds. My favorite is the Redwinged Blackbird. As you show I can see that Spring is in full swing as well. Great to have so many friends to enjoy your walkes with.
    Warm regards,

  45. Contact with nature is enriching and rewarding at any time of year, as there is always something beautiful to observe, from vegetation, flowers to birds, in short, you just need to be attentive to find beauty.
    Fantastic photos!

  46. Irish drivers could learn a lot from those turtles!
    Such a lovely spot and beautiful photos of the area and the critters and plant life that inhabit it. The forget-me-nots bring back memories of Alaska and the fruit trees of our yarn in Portland, where there were 3 large plum trees. When they bloomed in spring, the scent carried right down the street.


  47. An outing that, despite the clouds, revealed the beings that inhabit that place, strange to me but familiar to many species since there are several similar ones, it reminds me of a grove of exotic ones that they believe around here, with species of different climates. mild but with a touch of what I see in the Patagonian mountains.
    The red-winged blackbird and the Northern flicker are my favorites. Greetings

  48. Beautiful photos and a great outing. I love all the lovely flowers and a great collection of birds sighted. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great day and happy weekend. PS, thank you for leaving me a comment.

  49. Dear David, I love the pretty forget-me-nots too!
    The Red-winged Blackbird is truly a beautiful bird with its red shoulder decorations. Oh, and a whole fleet of turtles ;-DD
    You're right, the Canada Geese chicks really are the epitome of "cute" (and "fluffy" ;-D).
    The park looks really worth seeing - I'll definitely let you know if we're in your area! (You know, we have plans for Canada, but we still have to save a little money after the last trip... ;-))
    All the best, Traude
    PS: I wanted to ask you, have you seen the Little Blue Penguins in Tasmania? (Or are you more interested in smaller birds?) The only one I saw was "roadkill" - on a small side road :-(((
    By the way, we didn't mainly drive on highways in Tasmania - the roadkill was visible almost everywhere, except in designated nature reserves it wasn't so bad. (And it was worse in the east than in the west.) It's a shame Bruny Island wasn't on our list, but as you said yourself, you can't be everywhere. And our time in Tasmania was very limited anyway. Maybe I'll make another trip there at some point in my life and then I'd like to catch up on some of the things I've missed. And if not, at least I experienced a few of the Tasmanian highlights...

    1. We are always interested in all birds, Traude, all of nature in fact. We did not see Little Penguins in Tasmania, but we visited a colony in Victoria and I saw them on a previous trip in NSW.

    2. How nice that you were able to see the cute little guys! :-)

  50. The geese are such fun to see. It always makes me happy to see young ones.

  51. I often wonder what kind of excitement Mallard would generate if they were rare. The colour on the males head is wonderful. Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

  52. I wish I was up there and hike with you in this park, David. We probably won't make it far because we'll discover something exciting every few meters. In this post I am most fascinated by the Dryad's Saddle. Over the years I have become more and more interested in fungus because I find the texture so interesting and where they appear. This Dryad's Saddle looks quite unusual - how did you even find out that it is Dryad's Saddle? I wouldn't have guessed that. Hugs - Carola

  53. HI David,
    Quite clearly an attractive park to go for a walk. There is a lot to see for everyone being keen on observing birds. Even turtles ! I like the variety and can imagine that you are fond of going there.
    Greetings, Kees

  54. Hi David,
    Wow, beautiful flowers and birds! And also the insects.
    Love it!
    Regards, Maria


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.