I was fortunate enough to attend the guided bird walk led by Luc Fazio and Dan Salisbury on June 25 at the Riverwood Conservancy in Mississauga. These walks are always interesting and those of us who attend really appreciate the many volunteer hours of work our expert leaders commit to each season. This last walk of the spring was especially fun, though, as we met several unexpected birds.
Screech Owls Fledge Young Successfully at Riverwood Conservancy in Mississauga
The walk started with a chance to admire a Ruby-throated Hummingbird perched high over the upper pond.
We hadn’t progressed far when sharper eyes than mine spotted three fuzzy half-football sized shapes perched amongst a tangle of grape vines and shrubs. Three fledgling Screech Owls were trying to get some rest despite the heat and sunshine.
Everyone was very respectful of the birds and stayed a significant distance away on the public footpath. (The combination of Poison Ivy, multiflora rose, raspberry canes, and Cow Parsnip should help keep others back and on the trail too!) Once everyone had a chance to see the birds through loaned binoculars and a scope, we moved on, leaving the birds still undiscovered by any Chickadees or Blue Jays.
(I think it shows how little the owlets were disturbed by us that they were still there over 2 hours later when we passed along that section of trail again.)
Our Mississauga Mourning Warbler Male Brings His Family to be Admired
Further along the trail, we eventually reached the spot where we had often seen a male Mourning Warbler singing. Some birders had seen a female Mourning Warbler in that area a couple of times as well, although I missed her.
This time, however, the male, a female and a juvenile fledgling Mourning Warbler all popped up to be admired! I had wondered whether or not they had successfully nested and the proof was zipping through the tangled branches in front of us. It was great to get such vivid proof of what we’d been hoping. Who knows, maybe next year or the year after we may have several nesting pairs in the Riverwood / Erindale Park area of the Credit River.
While Admiring a Family of Belted Kingfishers, a Black-Crowned Night Heron Puts In an Unexpected Appearance
Further along the Credit River, we paused to watch a pair of Belted Kingfishers and one juvenile. While looking at the swallows and Kingbirds, someone noticed a very large grey, black and white bird perched in a tree beside the river. It was an adult Black-crowned Night heron. (The juvenile night herons have a much different brown and white dappled look.) Night herons are not commonly seen from the main paths in Riverwood, so this gave everyone an easy look at a lovely bird.
Bird Walks Can Lead to Other Interesting Creatures
Along the way, we saw several other interesting insects, plants and animals.
Free Guided Bird Walks Begin Again at Riverwood Conservancy in the Fall
If anyone is interested in participating in one of these walks, the dates will be posted on the Riverwood website a few weeks in advance. There may be a walk or two in October and then some winter water bird walks at J.C. Saddington Park on Lake Ontario in the winter.
In the meantime, keep an eye on the Riverwood Conservancy Events Calendar for other types of free outdoor activities coming up this summer. There is a Tree Walk, for instance, on July 2, 2016 and an Astronomy Night on July 12.
I’ll be at some of these events: they’re all excellent opportunities to learn and to meet others who are interested in the outdoors.
- What Is This Large Grey and White Bird Perched On a Tree in the Rattray Marsh?
- White Spotted Sables Moths Are Aptly Named
- An Adult Screech Owl in Burlington Ontario
Have you seen any unexpected animals on your recent rambles? Please share your sighting with a comment.