Category Archives: Birds

Ontario to Whitehorse, Day One

For years, my last surviving Uncle has asked me to visit him in Chilliwack, British Columbia (I had flown out when I was a teenager), but it was time to go again. So figuring that we would be driving all the way, I said to my husband that I also wanted to go to the Yukon, after all, it would be unlikely we would ever have the opportunity again. My husband, having worked at the hospital for over twenty-eight years, has earned seven weeks holidays each year, so I suggested he take five of those weeks. He, of course, thought I was insane, and was not completely convinced he wanted to drive that far, so I needed a ‘hook’ to get him on-board. It didn’t take long for us to come up with the ‘hook’ – enter Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta

The trip was on!

Day one, Total kilometres to ferry 300.

We were both agreed to arise around 4 a.m. but the husband thought he would be a really sweet guy and let me sleep in, this as it turned out was bad idea, as I forgot numerous things while I tried to finish packing everything in a half-hour, have coffee, get dressed, etc. Both of us were in the car at 6 a.m., said our goodbyes to the young man who would be left in charge of the house, my vegetable garden, and most importantly our two dogs. I think my husband drove about an hour and a half when he realized he forgot his wallet! No driver’s licence! Quickly phone the young man, who thankfully is still at home rather than on a trail walking our dogs. I ask him to drive an hour to highway 401 and 6, where we, in turn will drive an hour back, and meet him at the car park. This normally would not be such a big deal but we had booked ourselves a spot on the ferry from Tobermory, Ontario to South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island.
Chi-Cheemaun Ferry to Manitoulin Island
Leaving Tobermory on the ferry
Matt and I on the ferry to South Baymouth

On the ferry from Tobermory to South BaymouthOnce on Manitoulin Island the plan was to meet up with fellow Blogger Christine, who had graciously offered to be our host, show us around the island and even put us up for the night.
Christine and I
Christine, her husband and daughter gave us an amazing tour of Manitoulin Island. One of our first stops was Bridal Veil Falls for a wonderful swim.
Bridal Veil FallsEnjoying the water Bridal Falls
Next was a visit to Manitoulin Chocolate Works, then dinner at The Trough. Later, exhausted from the whirlwind tour of the island, Christine put us up for the night, and our first good night’s sleep was well earned.

Sandhill Crane on Manitoulin Island:

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Canoeing in Cootes Paradise

Last weekend my husband and I finally had an opportunity to put everything aside and take the canoe out for a paddle. We are lucky enough to live in a city where Lake Ontario, Hamilton Harbour, and Cootes Paradise are only a 10 to 15 minute drive from home, as long as you hit all the green lights of course.

Cootes Paradise, managed by the Royal Botanical Gardens, is an amazing place for birding, amphibians and reptiles. The marsh is quite large, and a perfect setting for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Starting at the Princess Point canoe launch we travelled east along the edge of the marsh, north parallel to the highway, west past Hickory Island, Rat Island, then south before turning east to head towards Cockpit Island eventually ending back at the canoe launch. In total, my husband paddled 7.58 kilometres.

Swan with foot in the air

We thought this swan was quite comical with it’s foot in the air.

Turtles catching some sunlight.

Turtles catching some sunlight.

A heron taking flight

A heron taking flight.

In this part of the marsh, there must have been a hundred swans. It was lovely how they parted allowing us to paddle through the centre of them.

In this part of the marsh, there must have been a hundred swans. It was lovely how they parted allowing us to paddle through the centre of them.

A red-tailed hawk with a dinner.

A red-tailed hawk with a dinner.

Ducks on a log

Ducks on a log.

Crane

A crane.

Comerants in a tree.

Comerants in a tree.

Black Crowned Heron

Black crowned heron.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

Lily pad flower

The required snapshot of a lily pad flower.

I think the Robin is actually plotting my death

For some silly reason a couple of Robins decided to build their nest atop our backyard gate. Now granted we do have another gate we can use, but if we even go anywhere near, the Robin sounds the alarm! The squeaks or yeeps that come out of its throat are very threatening, and I am concerned that one day, the damn bird is going to dive down, and swat me in the head.

Years ago, a pair of Cardinals that have nested in our backyard for twenty odd years built theirs too close to my clothesline, so every time I went out to hang the laundry I had to continually duck from the Cardinal making a bee-line for me. As much as I may want to remove this nest, and as much as my husband believes Robins are akin to rats, the nest will stay until the eggs have hatched, and the birds have flown the coup.

Nest above our backyard gate

Can you see the nest?

Robin Eggs

First view of her three eggs.

Robin hiding in the tree

The Robin is hiding in the tree as I came too close to snap another picture.

3 new Robin eggs

Still not hatched.