Saturday 18 April 2020

The Glory of Spring

Despite the ongoing pandemic, spring continues its slow march (or crawl) forward.  It has been a slow start to the spring in southern Ontario, but there is still lots to see! I have been out enjoying nature within 5 miles of my house for the ongoing "5 Mile Radius Challenge" to see as many birds as you can in this area in a calendar year.  This has turned out to be a great distraction from the current situation, and I have enjoyed finding new and exciting spots to bird watch near my house.  I am currently up to 73 species for my 5MR this year!

This morning I was out at my favourite new spot that has a nice mix of forest, thicket, and wetland.  I was rewarded with 45 species this morning including a bunch of new ones for the year!  Here are a few shots from my outing:

Hermit Thrush

Our backyard Northern Shrike has returned a couple of times this winter.  The photo below was taken through my kitchen window.

Northern Shrike
 The Fox Sparrow was a welcome surprise while out walking last week, but it didn't want to pose for the camera!
Fox Sparrow
 Wood Frogs and Chorus Frogs have been calling while I have been out and about.  I spotted these Wood Frog egg masses in a small ditch of water.

I have enjoyed the vacant trails the past few weeks.  Social distancing has been quite easy these days while out and about.  I look forward to getting out more in the coming weeks to enjoy the glory of spring.

Thursday 2 April 2020

5MR Update/COVID-19 Birding

Well, things certainly have changed in a month!  Fortunately birding can still continue through this pandemic providing that you adhere to proper social distancing!  I have still been doing the occasional bird watching in my 5 mile radius around my house and am now up to 52 species within this circle.  Today I added a 'blue' Snow Goose at a Fergus stormwater pond!  I am enjoying seeing some spring migrants, and my bird feeder is finally getting some use as well!

 Another great surprise for my 5MR was this cute little Screech Owl!  Thanks to Josh P for giving me the tip off!

I also made a trip down to Long Point before the pandemic restrictions really got going and saw the Eurasian Wigeon, although I was not able to get any photos.  I did get some distant photos of a Cackling Goose (central, small bird in photo below).

Other critters are also out and about including this Muskrat.

Stay safe and stay isolated so we can flatten this curve!