Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Arrivals

I took one of my elderly patients to the front entrance of the hospital for a ride to an appointment by wheelchair taxi. She waited for me without a jacket or hat thinking the weather was as warm as what we experienced on the weekend. Today's bright sunshine was deceiving as a strong, cold wind blew from the north. In the past week we have had snow, rain, thunder and lightning, hail, and temperature variations of 20 C.

Eastern Phoebe

We walked through a local conservation area on Sunday afternoon. It was short-sleeve warm yet the lake was still frozen over. This is the time of year to see nesting Bluebirds and Tree Swallows, yet things were very quiet, perhaps because the weather was very unsettled. My husband has a good eye for bird movement and he noticed this Eastern Phoebe taking short flights from an old apple tree in pursuit of emerging flying insects.

Savannah Sparrow

A short distance away, Savannah Sparrows were flitting about in a ditch and an Eastern Meadowlark sang from a distant tree. A loud Northern Flicker flew by and a few Tree Swallows circled overhead along with a kettle of Turkey Vultures.

The water along the edge of the lake was open and a few Common Mergansers with a Trumpeter Swan swam beside Canada Geese and Mallards. But I wanted to see Eastern Bluebirds, a species that is generally elusive in our area.

This tree is completely surrounded by suckers growing up from the boggy soil. The habitat is ideal for many small birds and I caught sight of one Bluebird in the area. It flew off as I tried to get closer but we found it again along the roadway. What a lovely bird!

My 2011 spring count is off to a slower start than last year, but the birds will soon arrive faster than I can count them.

Eastern Bluebird

FOY Species April 9-10, 2011 

Savannah Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Meadowlark, Tree Swallow, Northern Flicker, Osprey


  1. It is so fascinating to watch all the birds as they return.I look forward to each new arrival.

  2. You got a great shot of that elusive bluebird. Can't wait to see its western cousins at the canyon.

  3. It's not been the best spring ever, but I guess we're getting there.

  4. Hi Ruth, I was wondering what conservation area this blog post was from. Thanks for any info you are willing to provide.

  5. Hi Kellie,
    This is Guelph Lake Conservation Area in Wellington County ON.
    Put it in Google maps for directions. You have to pay to enter in the summer camping season but in winter and spring you can drive in for free. It is one of my favourite birding areas.

  6. Thanks Ruth, I haven't been to Guelph Lake (only stopped along the road a couple times) so I'll definitely be checking it out this winter. Thanks so much for the reply!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.