Category: observations

The (Not So) Secret Woods of Early Spring

I love this time of year— early spring: the snow is gone but nothing much is leafing out yet, so you can see the bones of the landscape. Even without the anticipation of the spring birds arriving almost daily, early spring is an exciting time. We can walk more easily through the woods now that the snow is gone, and we can see far into the trees without giving ourselves away. A couple of weeks ago, I was on my way into the woods for an early morning walk, when I noticed some movement about 200 metres ahead of me. I could clearly see a line of female turkeys scuttling across their usual path through the woods. And when I brought my binoculars up for a closer look? A young doe bringing up the rear! She froze, and we stood “binocular-to-eye” as I waited for her to move on. After… Read more »

Spring Bingo for 2020 April 04

Here’s the Headwaters Nature Bingo page of clues for the next several weeks! We’re now encouraging you to include up to three of your personal observations that go beyond the list of 22 other observations! Make this your own challenge — and include observations that mean a lot to you! (I am personally going to include the Merlins that I saw earlier this week in downtown Orangeville. They were exciting to see!) Send your observations to the Webmaster for prizes of ‘inestimable value’! Here’s a printable blank bingo card (including instructions) for you to use if you wish. We’re also including a printed version of the current clues: Wild Leeks / Ramps (poking above the ground; bonus point for sustainably digging and eating one leek! Woolly Bear caterpillar (bonus point: what is the name of the moth, and what colour is it?) Baby bird of any species and name the… 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 »