Last Spring Guided Bird Walk at Riverwood Conservancy Ends With a Flourish of Finds

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.

Photo of Screech Owl Fledgling Please on NaturalCrooksDotCom

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.

Photo of Screech Owls 3 Fledglings on Branch on NaturalCrooksDotCom
The open eyes show that these owls are being stressed by us, so we moved on.

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.

Photo of Screech Owl Fledgling Close on NaturalCrooksDotCom

(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.

Photo of Mourning Warbler Not Adult Male on NaturalCrooksDotCom

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

Photo of Black Crowned Night Heron Near Dragonfly Crossing on NaturalCrooksDotCom

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.

Photo of White Spotted Sable on Grasses on NaturalCrooksDotCom
This White-spotted Sable moth perched in the open which they rarely do.

Photo of Yellow Warbler Empty Nest on NaturalCrooksDotCom
The Yellow Warbler chicks have left the nest–but the House Wrens haven’t.

Photo of White Tailed Deer Buck on NaturalCrooksDotCom
This White-tailed Deer buck wanted to look like a moose. A doe and fawn were also seen later.

Photo of Green Frog Riverwood on NaturalCrooksDotCom
Several Green Frogs were calling and basking along the Credit.

Photo of Twelve Spotted Skimmer Riverwood on NaturalCrooksDotCom
This Twelve-spotted Skimmer was also basking.

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.

Photo of American Goldfinch and the Moon on NaturalCrooksDotCom
Maybe this Goldfinch will come to astronomy night to learn more about the moon he’s admiring.

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