Tag Archives: wildlife

In all their glory

And just like that, they’ve arrived: strutting in the treetops, filling the air with song, dazzling us with their beauty; behold, the warblers are here, in all their glory!

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Blackburnian warbler at Britannia Park on Mother’s Day, 2014

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Back away slowly…

I stumbled on something fishy going down in a back alley, and let me tell ya, if looks could kill…

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Weekend Highlights

Some highlights from a spring weekend spent on the trails in South Ottawa: a rainy walk at Richmond Conservation Area, and a sunny jaunt at Beryl Gaffney Park. Two local spots that we love to explore, through every season, to see what we can see.

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Hollow

Looking up through a hollowed out pine snag, amazed at the sheer size of this old giant.

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Taken with smartphone, at Brittania Park, looking for owls.

 

 

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Spring sun

The days are getting longer, the sun is getting warmer, and this week I, too, have found myself sitting in a sunbeam with my eyes half-closed, enjoying the tiniest hints of spring.

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Mourning dove on an oak branch at sunset.

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So tired

Maybe it’s the lingering cold and snow, maybe it’s changing the clocks, maybe it’s March break and having the kids around all day, but man, am I ever bagged. I should follow this guy’s lead and get some sleep.

And while he looks cozy enough, I think I prefer my bed over a tree branch – much more comfy.

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Get Outside!

We just got back from a walk in the woods at Baxter Conservation Area, which has some great trails in the forests along the Rideau River. What an incredible day! It’s gorgeous out there – if you’re experiencing a hit of spring weather like we are in the Ottawa Valley, oh my goodness get outside and enjoy the sun, the melting snow, the porcupines in the trees and the purple finches singing.

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Rural Abstracts 2

The ducks took flight, evading visible obstacles, as well as an unseen predator, filling the sky with their motion.

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Found!

We’ve been looking for these guys in the neighbouring rivers for a year now, ever since this encounter. So it was a  surprise to see them today, but as always, a pleasure – they look like they’re having so much fun, slipping in and out of the water, rolling around on the ice.

We couldn’t get very close to them, and it was freakin’ cold out so I didn’t last very long, but now that we know where to look, I hope to head back and get better images of them soon. ‘Cause they’re such a RIOT!*watchingitallunfold_found

*A little bit of biologist humour there…If you take the first two letters of each word in River Otter, it gives you their shorthand name: RIOT. Get it? Haha, haha. Sigh.

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Owl Bonanza

A Sunday drive in the surrounding agricultural areas yielded three (3!) Snowy Owls within a kilometer stretch of one road. That’s just nuts.

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This is most likely a female, due to size and colouration (females are bigger, males are whiter). Her glare is a little unnerving, don’t you think? But she was so calm and not at all bothered by us.

I don’t know if you’ve heard about the irruption going on right now, but there is a smorgasborg of Snowy Owls all over North America, a result of a very successful breeding season up North (thanks to a high lemming population). They’ve even made it as far South as Florida! So if you’re keen to spot an owl or two, head out of the city where there are wide open fields, and check on the tops of fenceposts and power poles. Happy searching!

If you’re wanting to know more about why the owls are here, I’ve added links to a few articles explaining the occurrence:

Washington Post article

Tree Hugger article

National Geographic article

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