Frame To Frame – Bob and Jean

A Fledgling Tree Swallow At Second Marsh In Oshawa

A Fledgling Tree Swallow At Second Marsh In Oshawa

tree swallow fledgling - looks at our camera - second marsh - oshawa - ontario

Our visit to Second Marsh Wildlife Area in Oshawa was very rewarding.  Not only is that area of land very interesting and beautiful to walk, but the myriad habitats attract many different bird species, so it is a birdwatcher’s delight.  Bob and I were all set for a leisurely stroll as we patrolled the hiking trails in search of wildlife, and some of the first birds we saw were Tree Swallows.

Tree Swallow - dainty feet - Second Marsh - Oshawa - Ontario

Standing guard over a fledgling, this adult Tree Swallow held fast on the railing of an observation deck even as I crept very close.

Second Marsh entrance sign - oshawa - ontario

Second Marsh is composed of a series of hiking trails that feature lookout points for viewing of the wetlands and interpretive signs to enlighten visitors.  The day we visited was a very hot one for the middle of May, but in prime time to observe migratory and nesting birds.

Second Marsh - Oshawa - Ontario

It was pleasant as we meandered the Marshland Trail in sight of Second Marsh for a gentle breeze wafted over us to alleviate the scorching rays of the sun.  The whispers of last season’s bulrushes told tales of a harsh winter and spread promises of a fruitful spring.

Tree Swallow looks at Jean - Second Marsh - Oshawa - Ontario

A brilliant splash of blue is what tipped me off to a Tree Swallow at rest in a sparsely-leafed tree.  It seemed to take note of me and threw a harsh glance my way.

Jean spies Tree Swallow - Second Marsh - Oshawa - Ontario

The Tree Swallow was not inclined to flee the tree, but instead seemed to be keeping watch over the nearby birdhouse.  It wasn’t long before another swallow took flight from the nest box.

Tree Swallow at rest - Second Marsh - Oshawa - Ontario

Tree Swallows have iridescent blue backs that flash in the sunlight, but this one, sitting in the shade, did not show off its colours to its advantage.  The plumage was striking nonetheless, and I could make out the faint black eye mask above the startling white chin.

Tree Swallow - pretty blue - Second Marsh - Oshawa - Ontario

Tree Swallows, though small songbirds, are streamlined with long, pointed wings and a short squared or slightly notched tail.  It almost looks like the wings are too big for the bird!

Tree Swallow looks right - Second Marsh - Oshawa - Ontario

Bob and I observed the swallow for a good 15 minutes before continuing on our way.

Bird Studies Canada - Second Marsh - Oshawa - Ontario

An interpretive sign adjacent to an observation deck highlighted some of the birds that might be seen in the marsh.  Bird Studies Canada was featured on the sign as this is an important wetlands on the northern shore of Lake Ontario when it comes to migration and prime habitat for nesting birds.

jean takes picture in lookout of tree swallows - second marsh - oshawa

When I mounted the steps of the lookout for a view of the marsh, I was surprised that two Tree Swallows refused to budge from their perches on the deck’s railing.  I soon understood why.

Tree Swallow looks at the marsh - Second Marsh - Oshawa - Ontario

To my right, an adult Tree Swallow stood vigilant…

tree swallow fledgling - looks to camera - second marsh - oshawa - ontario

while a fledgling took its ease there in the sunshine.

tree swallow fledgling - preening back feathers - second marsh - oshawa - ontario

It seemed content to preen its feathers,

tree swallow fledgling - preens under right wing - second marsh - oshawa - ontario

stretch its wings…

tree swallow fledgling - second marsh - oshawa - ontario

and just gaze about.  Juveniles, such as this, do not yet have the steely blue plumage of an adult but instead are more of a grey-brown on top with even the hint of a grey breast band.

In Bob’s video, you can watch the little tree swallow going about its grooming with nary a concern for me.

jean stands with tree swallow fledgling behind her - second marsh - oshawa - ontario

As I turned to leave the observation deck, I’m sure the adult Tree Swallow heaved a sigh of relief.

tree swallow fledgling - looks left - second marsh - oshawa - ontario

With the cool breeze ruffling the fledgling’s feathers, it didn’t seem like it would be leaving any time soon.

Tree Swallow on lookout - Second Marsh - Oshawa - Ontario

Meanwhile, the adult Tree Swallow continued to assume its position as protector and sat shimmering in the sunlight.

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