Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Sit Spot - February 25, 2020



I was at Plan B Organic Farm in the morning and had an appointment in Ancaster in the afternoon so did not see many birds today.


February 25, 2020 5:23 p.m.
Sit 395 : Brush Pile W : Cloudy 
+2° (-1°) ne 9-14 kph  95% humidity 

(Jet, traffic noise, Train)
(Alaska Airlines flight 410...)
Unidentified chirps 
Canada Geese,

Extras:
Red-tailed Hawk,
Cardinal singing @ 5:40 p.m.
Before sunrise - Cardinal, Blue Jays, Crows, 
   and White-breasted Nuthatch calling 
Chickadees, 
Goldfinches.



Photo Site #2 - East Willow



Monday, February 24, 2020

Sit Spots, etc. Sunday & Monday, Feb 23-24, 2020




Our internet was down yesterday. Things seem to be working today so I hope I can get this uploaded...

February 23, 2020 9:27 a.m.
Sit 393: Brush Pile W : Partly cloudy 
+1° (-4°) s 17-26 kph 69% humidity 

Cardinals singing!
(Jet, Traffic noise)
Crows calling 
Blue Jays screaming,
(JetSuite Air flight 307...)
Woodpecker drumming,
(Train)

Extras:
Cardinal singing before sunrise again 
Also before sunrise: Calls from Crows, 
     Blue Jays, & a Canadian Goose
One bird call sounded a bit like a Red-winged           Blackbird, but I am not sure. Only one call, one time,
Turkey tracks on S.Ravine trail
9:45 Carolina Wren singing behind barn
Chickadees,
Mourning Doves,
Red-bellied Woodpecker,
Black  Squirrels,
Grey Squirrels.


Photo Site #4 - North Ridge Trails



According to my app from Wolfram, there are this many airplanes in the air around us. I am not sure of the distance but it is hard for me to believe there is so much traffic in the sky.

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February 24, 2020 8:28 a.m.
Sit 394 : Brush Pile E : Partly Sunny 
 +1° (-3°) sw 15-23 kph 85 % humidity 

White-breasted Nuthatch,
Blue Jays,
Crows,
(Jet, traffic noise)
(United Airlines flight  449),
Red-winged Blackbirds calling!

Extras:
Mourning Doves,
Canada Geese  @ 5:20 p.m. & 5:40  headed west
Cardinals,
Red-bellied Woodpecker,
Grey Squirrels.


Photo Site #1 - East Pond




1 of 2 flights of geese



Saturday, February 22, 2020

More Flowers & Sit Spot - February 22, 2020






This is a close up of one of the cultivated Witch Hazel flowers. It is called 'Westerstede'.



Above is one of the more amazing little "weed" plants that grows almost all over the world. I saw some on a mountain in the Northwest Territories a few years back and I saw it in Italy, France and England on visits. Here in southern Ontario, I have found it blooming during every month of the year and even a few times under snow when I knew locations to dig for it. It is the Common Chickweed; stellaire moyenne in French or Stellaria Media in Latin.




February 22, 2020 4:37 p.m.
Sit 392:  Brush Pile W : Clear 
+2° (-4°) sw 28-37 kph 72% humidity 

(Jet, traffic noise, Train)
(American Airlines flight 1580...)
Eastern Bluebirds,
Wind in trees,
Trees creaking,

Extras:
Found Wild Turkey tracks 100m East of Sit Spot 
Then flushed one about 150m on
Crows calling in a.m.
Cardinal singing spring songs before sunrise
Blue Jays,
Chickadees,
Mourning Doves,
Goldfinches,
White-breasted Nuthatch,
Red-bellied Woodpecker,
Black Squirrels,
Grey Squirrels,
Red Squirrel.






Photo Site #3 - West Meadow Viewpoint




Wild Turkey Tracks



Friday, February 21, 2020

First Native Spring Flower & Sit Spot - February 21, 2020



I was excited to find the first real native spring flower early this afternoon.  I always start looking in early February these days in hope of finding it in bloom. It blooms in very wet, muddy places near water and can be very messy to find as the weather gets warmer; however, it is a plant that can melt its way through ice and snow so now is a good time to look and not be so muddy. Yes, it is the Skunk Cabbage and is one of the stranger "flowers" to be found. Below is a look at a plant that has melted its way through the ice but is not yet flowering.



Close to this plant, I found a set of several others that were flowering.




The way I check for flowering is to poke my littlest finger down into the spathe to see if I can get any pollen on my finger.




As you can see, I did get pollen,

Below is a photo looking into the spathe where one can see the pollen on the spadix.


Skunk Cabbage (aka Eastern Skunk Cabbage)
chou puant
(Symplocarpus foetus)




February 21, 2020 5:57 p.m.
Sit 391 Brush Pile E  Clear 
-2° (-9°) SW 30-43 kph  59% humidity 

Wind sighing through the trees,
Tree branches creaking & popping in wind,
(Jet, traffic noise)
(JetSuite Air flight 307...)

Extras:
Rabbit by old chicken coop 
Blue Jays,
Cardinals,
Chickadees,
Mourning Doves  
Goldfinches,
Juncos,
Starlings,
Red-bellied Woodpecker,
Grey Squirrels.





Photo Site #2 - East Willow




Thursday, February 20, 2020

Beckett Walk & Sit Spot - February 20, 2020



Fleur-Ange and I attended the Beckett Walk today at Pinehurst Lake Park. The trails wandered up and down through thickly planted pines and circled in ways that I could not keep in my head. The map below is from my Garmin watch, downloaded after I got home,  and shows how we circled about and got lost at one point. Well, not really lost as we did find a map but it it difficult to read maps when you do not know what direction you are facing . . .



February 20, 2020 5:27 p.m.
Sit 390 : Brush Pile W : Partly Sunny 
-6° (-12°) nw 17-26 kph    51% humidity 

Saw one White-tailed Deer as we got to Sit Spot 
(Jet, traffic noise)
(United Airlines flight 2065...)

Extras:
Blue Jays,
Cardinals,
Chickadees,
Mourning Doves,
Goldfinches,
White-breasted Nuthatch,
Red-bellied Woodpecker,
Black Squirrels,
Grey Squirrels,
Red Squirrel.


Photo Site #1 - East Willow



Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sit Spot - February 19, 2020



February 19, 2020 8:35 a.m.
Sit 389: Brush Pile W, Mostly Cloudy 
-4° (-11°) NW 24-36 kph  76% humidity 

Blue Jays,
Crows,
White-breasted Nuthatch,
Dogs barking in distance,
Wind in trees,
trees creaking,

Extras:
Cardinals,
Chickadees,
Mourning Doves,
Goldfinches,
Juncos,
Downy Woodpecker,
Red-bellied Woodpecker,
Black Squirrels,
Grey Squirrels,
Red Squirrel,


4 White-tailed Deer on South Ravine Trail in p.m.



Photo Site #4 - North Ridge Trail




Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Sit Spot - February 18, 2020



I was gone half the day for my usual Tuesday volunteer job at the Plan B Organic Farm so I did not see many birds at our feeder nor anyplace else.


February 18, 2020 5:15 p.m. 
Sit 388: Brush Pile W : Cloudy 
+3° (-3°) w 35-54 kph  75% humidity 

Wind in trees,
Tree branches clicking together,
Crows,

Extras:
Rabbit & Squirrel tracks in snow 
Chickadees,
Goldfinches,
White-breasted Nuthatch,
Black Squirrel.




Photo Site #3 - West Meadow Viewpoint



Monday, February 17, 2020

Sit Spot - February 17, 2020





February 17, 2020 9:49 a.m.
Sit 387 : Brush Pile W Sunny!
-5° (-9°) N 9-14 kph 79% humidity 

Eastern Bluebirds,
Rabbit,
Crows,
Chickadees,
White-breasted Nuthatch,
(Jet,traffic noise)

Extras :
Both Cardinals & Chickadees singing spring songs 
Blue Jays,
Mourning Doves,
Goldfinches,
Downy Woodpecker 
Black Squirrels,
Grey Squirrels.



Photo Site #2 - East Willow



Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sit Spot, Butter & Eggs, plus an Ootheca



February 16, 2020 8:48 a.m.
Sit 486: Brush Pile W : Cloudy 
-1° (-6°) 15-23 kph  85% humidity 

Crows,
(Jet , traffic noise)
(JetSuite Air flight 307...)

Extras:
Coyote tracks,
Many Squirrel tracks,
One set of Rabbit tracks,
Bird tracks on snowy ice 
Two Cardinals singing Spring songs 
Blue Jays calling 
Chickadees,
Mourning Doves,
Goldfinches,
Black Squirrels,
Grey Squirrels.



Photo Site #1 - East Pond


During the late afternoon the sun was shining at just the right angle to show me the remains of one plant that I had  been wanting to photograph. It was a stem and seed pod of a Butter and Eggs or linaire vulgaire in French (Linaria vulgaris).



I added the July photo for those who do not remember the look of the flower.


Also, I saw an ootheca [oh-uh-THEE-kuh], which I had always just called a Praying Mantis egg case but I learned the new term today and thought I would pass it along.

Given that it was on the edge of a path that I walk almost once or sometimes twice a day, I am sure I have passed within 30 cm of it over 100 times without seeing it. Today the sunshine was just right and I was looking down at just the right time. I wonder if I will be able to  find it again in the spring with the young mantises come out.



















Saturday, February 15, 2020

Sunlight & Shadow Plus Sit Spot - February 15, 2020




As I was sitting by the fireplace resting from the morning run, sunlight came streaming through the window and caught the staircase banister in an interesting pattern. 





February  15, 2030 5:17 p.m.
Sit 485 : Brush Pile W Cloudy 
-3° (-9°) s 20-30 kph  58% humidity 

(Jet, traffic noise),
(JetSuite Air flight 307...),
One silent, small bird flew by,
Wind whistling in trees,
Tree limbs creaking,
Donkey braying in the distance, 

Extras:
Crows calling in a.m.
Blue Jays,
Cardinals,
Chickadees,
Mourning Doves,
Goldfinches,
Juncos,
White-breasted Nuthatch,
Black Squirrels,
Grey Squirrels.





Photo Site #4 - North Ridge Trail



Friday, February 14, 2020

Screech Owl and Sit Spot - February 14, 2020



I got a text this morning from our neighbour saying that an owl had banged into their window. She said that the owl soon recovered and flew away. I suspected right away that it was the little Screech Owl that sometimes stays in our "Wood Duck Birdhouse".  The photo that followed the text confirmed my suspicions.



Another photo followed later showing the owl in the birdhouse. When I got home, I checked and saw that it was still there so I got out our camera and took another photo from further away.




That Screech Owl, or another just like it, spent a couple of months in that same bird house last winter. It often played "peek-a-boo" with me as I went out and attempted to take its photo. It would be in the hole, as you see above, until I got out the camera and then it would be gone and there was only the empty hole.

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February 14, 2020 4:49 p.m.
Sit 484 : Brush Pile W  Cloudy 
-8° (-12°) SW 8-11 kph  53% humidity 

(Jet, traffic noise),
(Caribbean Airlines flight 525...)
Prop Plane
No animal nor bird sounds

Extras:
Screech Owl in pond birdhouse 
Blue Jays,
Cardinals,
Chickadees,
Crow,
Mourning Doves,
Goldfinches,
Juncos,
White-breasted Nuthatch,
Downy Woodpecker,
Red-bellied Woodpecker,
Black Squirrel,
Grey Squirrel.



Photo Site #3 - West Meadow Viewpoint




Thursday, February 13, 2020

Snow Walk - Sit Spot - Flower - February 13, 2020




Fleur-Ange and I joined the Beckett Walkers, as usual  on a Thursday morning, for a walk. We were on the rail trail near Paris and next to the Grand River this morning. Fleur-Ange and I walked the longest distance at just over 7 km in 90 minutes. 



The group walks away from the cars for 45 minutes then turns and walks back. Here we are on the way back.


February 13, 2020 5:18 p.m.
Sit 483 ; Brush Pile W ; Cloudy with Snow falling
-7° (-15°) W 26-39 kph 90% humidity

(Jet, Traffic noise)
(Air  Canada Jazz flight 7931…)
Not a sound of animal nor bird.

Extras:
Crows calling in the early morning,
Blue Jays also competing with the Crows,
Cardinals,
Chickadees,
Mourning Doves,
Goldfinches,
Juncos,
White-breasted Nuthatch,
Downy Woodpecker,
One black Squirrel.



Photo Site #2 - East Willow


Shortly after Christmas, last December, I picked up a bulb of an amaryllis. It was on sale at a local hardware store and did not look too healthy to me but the price was right i.e. about 70% off the pre-Christmas price so I took a chance. I forgot to get it in soil for a week or so but finally got it planted. As of today it has 6 huge blossoms and one more bud that will probably be open by tomorrow.