Category Archives: author

Long-tailed Ducks

Long-tailed Duck (Fiona Reid_
Long-tailed Duck (Fiona Reid_
Personally I prefer their old name, Oldsquaw, but sadly it has been replaced by a more prosaic one. Nonetheless, this bird has always been a favorite of mine, a winter visitor elegantly attired at all times, and as with all the winter ducks, apparently unfazed by cold water and icy winds. Don Scallen and I had stopped off at the Travelodge Hotel … Continue Reading ››

Death of a tree

Two weeks ago one of my favourite trees was felled by a bulldozer. This tree, on Creditview Rd. in Brampton, was graced with the lovely arching form that only mature elms exhibit. Before Dutch elm disease ravaged the land this beauty was common. The few remaining mature elms are rare treasures. The lure of this elm was so powerful that I would include Creditview Road on my route to work simply to … Continue Reading ››

Tufa deposits discovered in Credit River watershed

Belfountain CA Tufa Deposit (Photo by Lynda Ruegg)
Belfountain CA Tufa Deposit (Photo by Lynda Ruegg)
In 2012, Credit Valley Conservation inventory staff discovered a provincially and nationally rare phenomenon along the Niagara Escarpment at Silver Creek and Belfountain. This discovery was of tufa, a soft rock, being actively formed at the emergence of select springs. Tufa is a variety of limestone. It differs from typical Escarpment rock formed … Continue Reading ››

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 ››