Sunday, 1 January 2017

2016 Year in Review

Seeing that the end of the year is upon us, I thought I would put together a post of some of my nature highlights of the year.  Many of those are birds, but there are are many other aspects of the natural world that deserve to be included as well.  The following photos represent the highlights of various posts of each individual month.  Some photos are poor quality, but I associate with a memorable experience.  Some photos are of common species, but are ones that I feel show that species in a good way.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my posts over the past year and I have very much enjoyed following along on many other nature blogs.  I may not post as regularly this year as I have done in the past, but when I do, I will try my best to make it worth your while to read.  Best wishes for the new year and hopefully you will enjoy getting outdoors and discovering Ontario's birds and wildlife.


Harris Sparrow, Embro ON


Glaucous Gull: Avon River, Stratford ON

Great-Black-Backed Gull: Avon River, Stratford ON
Mallard/Black Duck hybrid: Avon River, Stratford ON

Bufflhead: West Perth Wetlands, Mitchell ON

Partially Leucistic American Robin: West Perth Wetlands, Mitchell ON

Northern Cardinal: Old Cut Field Station, Long Point ON

Lesser Scaup: Home farm, Amulree, ON

American Wigeon: Avon River, Stratford ON

Trumpeter Swan: Home farm, Amulree ON

Trumpeter Swans: Home farm, Amulree ON

American wigeon: Home farm, Amulree ON 
Moon: Home farm, Amulree ON
Fox sparrow, Home farm, Amulree ON


White-crowned sparrow, Home farm, Amulree ON

Marsh Marigold, Home farm, Amulree ON

Yellow-rumped warbler, Home farm, Amulree ON
Northern Mockingbird, Pennsylvania USA

White water lily, Pinery Provincial Park, ON

Common whitetail, Pinery Provincial Park, ON
White trilliums, Home farm, Amulree ON

Yellow warbler, Home farm, Amulree ON
Black swallowtail, Home farm, Amulree ON

Lady's slipper, Home farm, Amulree ON

Launching the canoe at Proulx lake, Algonquin Park ON

Common merganser family, Algonquin Park ON

Common loon, Algonquin Park ON

Viceroy, West Perth Wetlands, Mitchell ON

Painted Turtle, Point Pelee Provincial Park ON

Pipevine Swallowtail, Tennessee USA

Black Vulture, Tennessee USA

Summer tanager, Tennessee USA

American Snout butterfly, Tennessee USA

Five-lined skink, Tennessee USA
Bald eagle, Bird Studies Canada Headquarters, Long Point ON

Golden eagle, Bird Studies Canada Headquarters, Long Point ON

Autumn Scene, Home farm, Amulree ON

Mallard, Avon river, Stratford ON

Black-Capped Chickadee, Stratford ON

Rough-legged hawk, Stratford ON

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

2016 Stratford CBC

Yesterday was the day of the Stratford area Christmas bird count.  This was my second year participating and it was an enjoyable day out.  Overall, bird numbers and variety of species was lower than has been reported in the past.  For example, 2554 Canada Geese were counted last year compared to 9 this year.  American robin, which had been hanging on in the area in massive numbers this December, also seemed to have mainly moved on.  Back in early December there were over 2000 counted streaming over Wildwood lake within a couple days.  Undoubtedly many more went unnoticed.

However it was still a great day to be out and to connect with other naturalists. 

I was assigned to a group in the Harmony region and it was our job to check out numerous sideroads and trails south of the city.  The wind made it feel colder than it was, but fortunately we did not have deep drifts of snow to wade through.  The rain and mild temeratures on Monday took care of that. 

Our first birds of the day were American crows.  We have quite a few that winter in this area, but are not as fortunate to have the numbers as the folks down towards Chatham-Kent :)

We stopped at many feeders along the way where we picked up the expected feeder birds, likely drawn to these food sources due to the poor weather conditions.

A common winter sign around here is seeing groups of wild turkeys gathered together out in the fields and this year was no exception.

Raptors put on a decent showing this year, but like many of our numbers were still lower than they have been previously.  Red-tailed hawks, rough-legged hawks, cooper's hawks and northern harriers were all observed.

 One of our highlights was coming across a couple turkey vultures circling overhead.  They were observed last year as well for the first time on the Stratford count.  They must have figured if that could winter here last year, then they could this year too. 

Our day wrapped up around 4:00 and we met up for a potluck and a gathering together of the numbers.  The species total this year was 43, down from last year's 48.  Despite the weather and low bird numbers, it was a great day to be out and exploring the Stratford area.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Some Fall Photos

I'm not usually absent from the blog for this long.  I may not have been posting, but I have definitely been out and about. Amidst my typical fall schedule, I have visited many of my favorite nature hotspots in Perth county and made a trip down to Sarnia with the Stratford Field Naturalists back in early November. 


Stratford- Avon River

Amulree- Home Farm

Winter is on it's way.