Author Archives: Mark Whitcombe

What’s in a name?

We are Headwaters Nature, a group of nature enthusiasts, in the beautiful Headwaters region of Southern Ontario, around Orangeville. We live and explore nature in the Headwaters of the Credit, Humber, Nottawasaga, Saugeen, and Grand Rivers. ONheadwatersnature.ca? onHeadwatersNature.ca? onheadwatersnature.ca? https://www.ONheadwatersnature.ca? https://www.onHeadwatersNature.ca? https://www.onheadwatersnature.ca? All six are functionally the same. All are the website addresses or URLs for the rejuvenated website for our Headwaters Nature club. It doesn’t matter whether you include ‘www’ or not. It doesn’t matter if you include ‘https” or not. It doesn’t matter whether anything is capitalized or not. All the various options end up sending you to this website. Please bookmark this and refer to it regularly. We see this name, onHeadwatersNature.ca, as having various possible interpretations. Firstly, ‘ON’ could stand for Ontario, the home province of our club. Or it could mean ‘on the topic of’ Nature within the Headwaters region: “exploring nature in the Headwaters… Read more »

dawn over wetlands

Is this a waiting time for everything?

I was out strolling along the cracks and crannies of the natural world in Orangeville for a couple of hours at dawn this morning. In this Covid-19 isolation time, the town was — thankfully! — so quiet from a human perspective. So few cars out; the lineup for Timmies near where I live was down from the typical dozen cars wound around the place to one or sometimes none at all. But the trails and stream valleys were often filled with the morning cacophony of bird song and screeching. The gangs of Grackles and the swirlings of Starlings were especially noisy! What struck me was that the Common Grackles and European Starlings were still in flocks. Not in pairs carrying nesting material. They were in remarkably large groupings, perhaps hundreds of grackles and several swirls of fifty or more starlings. Why? I’m wondering if these birds are not quite ready for… Read more »

Dark-eyed Junco (by Paul Blayney)

2019 Christmas Bird Count Report And Results

The 120th annual Christmas Bird Count is run by the Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. Counts can be done on any single day between Dec 14 and Jan 5 and are conducted within a circle of diameter 24 km (15 miles). This year we counted on 2020 January 04, marking our 28th count as several years were missed. Since 1987, the UCFN/HN have been responsible for the Caledon circle, which includes Orangeville.