Osprey enjoys flight above Carden Alvar, Ontario

Osprey in flight at Carden Alvar, City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario

After spending all day at the Carden Alvar in Ontario, basically patrolling along Wylie Road north to the T intersection and back again to McNamee Road,  Bob decided that we should continue to check out some other areas of that protected habitat before we made for home.  Cameron Ranch and Canal Lake both deserved a short visit, and near the causeway that crosses the lake we discovered one pair of Osprey already occupying a nesting platform. Read more

Red Foxes enjoy spring in Algonquin Park

Red fox vixen grooms one of her kits in Algonquin Park, Ontario

It was almost exactly a year earlier that Bob and I had occasion to observe a family of Red Foxes in Algonquin Provincial Park, and here we were, once again, in the company of the same vixen with a brand new litter of kits. Read more

A Hummingbird Clearwing Moth at Oxtongue Lake

A Hummingbird Clearwing Moth at Oxtongue Lake

Image of a clearwing hummingbird moth at lilac bush at oxtongue lake, in ontario.

If ever you have seen a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, you were probably mesmerized as we were by the sheer look of its see-through wings and the way it hovers like a hummingbird.  In fact, you might have mistaken it for one of those teeny birds.  Bob and I have seen Hummingbird Clearwing Moths on a couple of occasions, once in Algonquin Park and this one above in my mom’s garden at Oxtongue Lake, Ontario. Read more

A Northern Flicker Flashes Some Yellow

A Northern Flicker Flashes some Yellow
Image of a Northern flicker in flight near Algonquin Park, Ontario

Bob and I were surprised when we visited my mom’s place at Oxtongue Lake, Ontario, in late April to see so many Northern Flickers, or Yellow-shafted Flickers as they are also known.  On the first day alone, we saw no less than 8 Northern Flickers, 6 at one time in a leafless deciduous tree.  The same can be said for a day trip into Algonquin Park where these handsome woodpeckers were seen frequently and their rattling calls heard more often than that. Read more

The Courtship Ritual of Cedar Waxwings

The Courtship Ritual of Cedar Waxwings

Cedar waxwings courting in trees at Oxtongue Lake in Ontario

My childhood home at Oxtongue Lake holds a very special place in my heart, and we visit there often.  Every season has something special to offer and to excite Bob and me.  In early June, it was the nesting pair of returning Eastern Bluebirds that first captured our attention, but with expansive views from mom’s sunroom windows, we saw at least a dozen other species of birds including four pairs of Cedar Waxwings. Read more

Eastern Bluebirds at Carden Alvar in Ontario

Eastern Bluebirds at Carden Alvar in Ontario
eastern bluebird, carden alvar, carden township, city of kawartha lakes, ontario, pic 10

Bob and I were up early on May 3rd in our attempt to get to the Carden Alvar at a decent morning hour.  We’re usually a little slow to get off the sheet, but in this case, we did better than usual and found ourselves on Wylie Road by 8:30 a.m.  I know it’s not sunrise, but we still scored lots of sightings, among them several pairs of Eastern Bluebirds. Read more

A Wilson’s Snipe at Ontario’s Carden Alvar

A Wilson’s Snipe at Ontario’s Carden Alvar
wilson's snipe, carden alvar, city of kawartha lakes, ontario, pic11

Bob and I came home from Ontario’s Carden Alvar very satisfied with our experience in that unique habitat.  The combination of grasslands, forests, shrublands and wetlands creates a landscape that is not only favoured by a wide variety of wildlife but also is attractive to those people who go in search of the birds and animals that live there.  One such bird that we managed to see was a Wilson’s Snipe. Read more

Visiting the Spanish Steps in Rome

Visiting the Spanish Steps in Rome

The Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy

On the afternoon that Bob and I landed in Rome, Italy, we were in dire need of a stretch given the long hours of travel time from Toronto.  Our accommodation, Hotel Manfredi, was centrally located in the Old Quarter so The Spanish Steps were less than ten minutes by foot from the hotel lobby.  It seemed a likely destination given its close proximity. Read more

White Ibis at the shrimp ponds in San Blas

White Ibis at the shrimp ponds in San Blas

white ibis at shrimp ponds, san blas, mexico, pic 2

What great fun to set off exploring the vicinity around San Blas, Mexico, in search of wildlife.  The morning that Bob and I scoped out the shrimp ponds on the outskirts of this small fishing community, quite a variety of birds met our searching eyes, most of which we had never seen before.  Among those plying the water for something to eat was this impressive White Ibis. Read more

A Brown Thrasher at Carden Alvar

A Brown Thrasher at Carden Alvar

brown thrasher, carden alvar, city of kawartha lakes, ontario, pic 5

Our first time visiting the Carden Alvar had Bob and me astonished by the myriad sounds of nature that combined into a marvelous symphony:  choruses of frogs, whirring of Wilson’s Snipes, echoing conk-la-rees from the Red-winged Blackbirds, and Savannah Sparrows raising their voice in song.  On several occasions, all were overshadowed by another lively bit of birdsong that had us mystified…until we finally spotted this Brown Thrasher. Read more

A Black-throated Blue Warbler in our Garden

A Black-throated Blue Warbler in our Garden
black-throated blue warbler, male, toronto, pic 1

One day in early May, as I returned home from doing some errands, I found Bob tied up on the telephone.  He no sooner hung up the receiver but what he declared, “there’s a new bird in our back apple tree!”  It turned out to be a male Black-throated Blue Warbler. Read more

A Blanding’s Turtle at the Carden Alvar

A Blanding’s Turtle at the Carden Alvar
blandings turtle, carden alvar, city of kawartha lakes, ontario, pic 15

Bob and I had been looking forward to getting up to the Carden Alvar for at least a couple of years.  Our schedule and family commitments just did not allow us the opportunity until this May.  I was filled with excitement at the prospect of seeing a number of early spring migrants and birds that favour the specialized habitat of the alvar plain, so it came as a pleasant surprise to also come across a rare Blanding’s Turtle. Read more

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