Monday, 28 March 2016

On Chickadee Trail
March 27th, 2016

Easter Sunday was a gorgeous spring day. Blue skies, sunshine and warmish. So I grabbed some sunflower seeds and corn and we went to Lynde Shores CA to feed the chickadees and any other birds or creatures that were interested.

There were some ducks & geese but not a lot. Some have headed further north no doubt.

RJ's smile says it all. He loves Chickadee Trail at Lynde Shores.

Turned out there were more people than chickadees this time. The parking lot was full and cars lined the road near the entrance. Typical of a long weekend. It's a favourite family spot in our area.

RJ counted 61 chickadees that ate from his hand on our last visit. This time only three. He remembered the 61 so he was adding to the old count. 64 now.

There were so many people that had already fed them, that most were off having an afternoon nap somewhere I think. 

The woods were alive with bird song though. The odd squawk from a Blue Jay, and dozens of Red-wing Blackbirds were buzzing...  beautiful spring sounds.

We saw and heard woodpeckers pecking, blue jays squawking, mourning doves lazily lounging on the leaves in the sun (the most laid back birds I've ever encountered), squirrels, chipmunks and half a dozen wild turkeys.

For some reason I didn't get any pics of them. I was enjoying watching RJ and was slow on the trigger, so I didn't catch any of the three chickadees that did visit RJ either. 

Why I didn't snap a shot or two of the wild turkeys, etc. I really don't know. :-) Usually I would.

Always time for a bit of fun.

Not a good climbing tree, but he gave it a try.

Despite the lack of chickadees, it was still a fun day. Being out with family, enjoying nature and some conversation always is.

RJ didn't complain. He enjoyed each of the three chickadees that did take some seed from him, describing to us how they felt on his hand, and how they chose a seed. And there were lots of other things going on around us that kept him interested.

We ended the day with some hot chocolate, coffee and donuts at Timmy's.

Update: RJ and family went back to Chickadee Trail the next day with RJ's cousin. It was a blustery day with a cold wind. They only met two other people there. Chickadees were plentiful with lots of them eating from their hands. :-)

They also saw a family of deer... a buck & doe & two fawns. Great! 

- fini -

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Oshawa Second Marsh
March 9th, 2016

I went to the marsh yesterday, wondering if I'd see any early signs of spring.

The Chickadees & Nuthatches are still accepting handouts. Chickadees are quite predictable. They start by perching on a branch several feet away. Then they hop to closer & closer branches, before they come to your hand.

I tried a few one-handed shots. Their next step is to inspect you. Not sure what they're looking for.

Then they inspect the seeds to see which one they want. They then grab one and they're off in a flash of wings to a nearby branch to enjoy it, before they're back for another.

I usually let them eat from my hand for a bit, then put the rest of the seeds on the boardwalk. Usually I just take sunflower seeds. They show little interest in other seeds.

One of nature's abstracts.

At first glance it looked like a small flower. Of course it's just a  fungus with a flowery look.

I thought I was going to be caught in the rain, but it only lasted a minute.

Just weird.

Woody Woodpecker or the Road-Runner?

Most wood-borer (or whatever) trails I've seen are usually random like this.

So this one surprised me. Could they be Emerald Ash Borer trails and their exit holes? The EABs are the ones that are decimating North America's Ash trees.

The channel by the berm is just starting to open. It'll be awhile before we can expect to see the turtles. But if the mild weather holds, maybe it'll sooner, rather than later.

Some Hooded Mergansers in the bay... Thanks John.

On some cue, known only to them, they all took off together, to head who knows where.

Where Farewell Creek enters Lake Ontario, this pair of Trumpeter Swans were enjoying some quiet time. The Mutes (orange beaks) are more common but there always a few Trumpeters around.

After relaxing on the sandbar for awhile, they went for a very brief swim in the creek. A fisherman nearby (he was only about 30 feet from the swans) said they approach now & then hoping you have some food for them.

Then back on the sandbar again. If I'd waited another 2 minutes, I may have captured a couple shots of them in flight, as I heard them chatter behind me, and saw them head out onto the lake.

The lakeshore is a popular spot for teenagers (my guess) when they're out doing their thing. At night I assume. I never see any when I'm there in the daylight. I think they just light the logs on fire instead of gathering branches.

Then again, maybe it's just fishermen trying to keep warm.

This pale green lichen (Thanks John) is on quite a few trees in the marsh. It stands out.

Odd things I haven't seen before catch my eye. On checking it out, the black lines are some sort of plant root or whatever. Moss root maybe? The leaves at the bottom look like new growth.

What I'd call a quiet day at the marsh, but the swans were a pretty sight.

The Friends of Second Marsh web site...
A direct link to a map of the paths/trails in the marsh...

A link to a page that has my past posts re the marsh, in one place rather than scattered throughout this blog...

- fini -

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