Yesterday’s spot of good weather, and lack of inspiration writing-wise, found me getting into my car with my camera with thoughts of getting pictures of the Turkey Vultures I had spotted on previous days, when on trailer runs to the town dump! After weaving about through many previously unexplored country lanes without any success, I decided to try my luck by the Rideau River to see what there was there. Well, as luck would have it, the late morning and afternoon proved to be very interesting indeed. Unbeknownst to me, it was a returning day for three pairs of Ospreys, who had just taken up brand new residences on some of the constructed man-made platforms built for them to occupy, create, and raise their families.

Fortunately, most of these, as well as being close to the river, are also fairly easily accessible by the roadsides, which is where I was able to find them. What an exciting treat to not just be able to see them perching up high, but also see them close-up in flight, and then witness them mating and later the return of one of them with a fish in its talons, most of which it consumed in a nearby tree, before sharing with its mate still on the nest.
Whilst most of this activity was going on, I was able to get some good views of the riverside marsh grass activity too, where the Red-winged Blackbirds like to nest. They are very elusive in their behaviour and don’t stay in sight for very long, once they get into the reed beds. Glimpses of their red shoulder epaulettes were possible, usually just from one side of them, but very rarely could I see both at once as they descended and disappeared from view, of course, a picture was almost impossible to get of this happening, – – – grrr, next time!

With the day starting to get colder, I decided to quit and travel home via a well known bridge crossing. This, too, was very eventful, and just stopping and opening the window I got some wonderful sights of another Osprey pair as they were going through their mating rituals too! I’ll say no more!

Since mentioning the oddball activity of one of our garden Robins, another couple of people have mentioned such oddball behaviour from some of their visitors. The latest has been that of a female Cardinal, who is attacking a friend’s windows with some regularity. Of course, everyone who has this type of behaviour going on thinks of the discomfort to the individual bird, but the birds don’t seem to desist for some reason. Maybe some of you know the answer and can help us in understanding it. The birds themselves don’t seem to be able to stop themselves either! Whilst I leave you to ponder that dilemma, I hope you are identifying and enjoying the appearance of our Spring birds – despite the weather. Stay safe and well,

John Baldwin.


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