November, with its ever changing weather affecting the birds, as well as ourselves, has come and gone. This morning whilst getting my garbage bin to the curb, I was treated to the honking of four or five skeins of Canada Geese wending their way across the sky, seemingly in no particular rush to depart the area. In fact, they were heading back up to the Rideau River, whose still unfrozen waters must still be offering them some form of nourishment and relaxation for the day ahead. I haven’t been over to the waterside to see what might be there, so have just confined my bird viewing to the immediate vicinity of my garden, where my usual bird friends are not disappointing, and are still competing with the red, grey and black squirrels for my feeder food! I am not sure who is winning, but I’m glad the squirrels cannot reach the feeders hanging in my windows, due to their height and inaccessibility. The Goldfinches, Chickadees, Woodpeckers and Nuthatches are very much in favor of this arrangement and don’t have to compete for food, except with each other, but usually on a fairly amicable basis. For the  smaller ground feeders, like the Juncos, they still have to compete with the bigger birds such as the Rock Pigeons, Mourning Doves, Blue Jays and even a couple of Crows, but they seem to make-out OK, so all in their bird world seems to be OK. Hopefully it stays that way, and they get enough food to be able to survive.

As I write this, and not having seen this week’s edition of the NGT yet, I am not sure as to whether or not I should be apologizing for the submission I made concerning the Swans and Cygnet that I saw and photographed near Burritts Rapids. I was so worried about making a wrong decision about their identity, that I did, in fact, make one. I wrongly concluded that they were Tundra Swans, when they were Trumpeter Swans!  I made the mistake, despite my own pictorial evidence, of creating, in my mind false, arguments as to what they were. The adults were obviously the Trumpeter breed, but I went with looking at the cygnet’s beak colorings, (do we ever listen to teenagers!?), for the final answer, and have since been enlightened to my error. A bird enthusiast reader and a bit more of an expert than I am put me right, after he had seen, on a different day in the same area, three adult Trumpeter Swans. He also had a Bald Eagle fly over him, and he spotted a Ring Billed Gull too, so he had had a great bird day, as well! Hopefully you are also spotting and recognising more of our feathered friends and are getting enjoyment from doing so, but make sure that, whilst doing so, you stay safe and well.

Cheers, John Baldwin



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