Results of the 2012 Christmas Bird Count

The 22nd annual Christmas Bird Count took place on December 27, 2012. The fresh fall of snow overnight hindered or even prevented the participation of some count volunteers. Overall, there were 18 participants that took part in the field observations. Generally, the Count produced close to average results based on comparisons with previous counts. The total number of species reported was 51 and the total number of birds was 10,082. The long-term averages for those are 49.9 and 9760 respectively. The … Continue Reading ››

Cackling Geese at Fairy Lake, Acton

On December 23, 2012, Bradley Bloemendal posted the sighting of at least three Cackling Geese at Fairy Lake in Acton was on the ONTBirds hotline. Next day, I went to check out the report. At that time, there was still a fairly large area of open water on the lake. I counted 330 Canada Geese, 32 Mallards, one American Black Duck, 6 Common Mergansers, and 8 Ring-billed Gulls. I could not distinguish any Cackling Geese among the birds there but … Continue Reading ››

Dust devils

Earlier this Spring on two successive days, I was driving along our gravel road and noticed a ‘dust devil’ at the same location each time. I am sure that everyone has seen such things at some point in their lives. Seeing one is not at all unusual but noting two in the manner that they occurred prompted me to prepare this little note. The conditions that must exist to form the dust devils will likely occur many times but they remain … Continue Reading ››

Bobolinks and Forks of the Credit Provincial Park

In mid-July I watched a flock of bobolinks at Forks of the Credit Provincial Park. They were gathering prior to their incredible 10 000 km journey back to the pampas of Argentina.
Male Bobolink
Male Bobolink
The bobolinks of Forks of the Credit Provincial Park are good news for a species in sharp decline in Ontario and beyond. Breeding Bird Survey data indicate an alarming 52% drop in Ontario’s bobolink population … Continue Reading ››

Weather-related Stress on Plants, 2012

So far, the year 2012 has seen some disruptions in normal weather patterns. In March, we experienced some rather warm days that caused many wild flowers to appear early, foliage on trees and shrubs to emerge early, and for amphibians to start breeding early as well. This was followed by a relatively cool April. Then in June and July there were days with high temperatures and dry conditions. This report examines some of the impacts of those weather conditions on … Continue Reading ››

Tough, tenacious turtles

Spring time is a time of new life and new beginnings: trilliums bloom, maple buds burst and red fox kits playfully tussle. At this time adult turtles are also thinking of new life, as they search out mates, breed and lay eggs. Turtles are fascinating creatures: there is fossil evidence that turtles have been around for 200 million years, which means they existed alongside dinosaurs. And turtles survived whatever catastrophic event(s) that led to the extinction of 90% of plant … Continue Reading ››

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