Chronicles of the Woodlot
Outdoor Ontario

Chronicles of the Woodlot

Shortsighted

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 CHRONICLES of the WOODLOT
I heard the ethereal flute-like call of a Veery in the woodlot but I couldn’t immediately investigate that delightful aria because of the usual responsibilities. A brief return visit a little later met with quiet, so I did my best impression of a statue for a while and then I heard it again, not far from the street, perhaps within 10 meters of the boundary between boulevard grass (weeds) and the dense bush beyond that threshold. I took my bearings and retired since further scrutiny at that time was simply not in the cards.
Today it was somewhat drier so I figured (often the prelude to calamity) that I might be able to spend a half hour in the woodlot for a stake-out of sorts and see what looms therein. As usual, I took a foam rubber mat and an old backpack with me to pamper my weary bones. The woodlot is so full of deadfall and bush that achieving a penetration of even 10 – 20 meters used up all my precious time.
I decided on a choice fallen tree that was bathed in what passes for woodland stage-lighting on a low budget. I observed spooked movement upon my approach, all cardinal signs of wishful thinking. The first actor to enter the stage turned out to be an ovenbird. That makes this little fellow my FOY warbler sighting. There was also a rustling sound behind me that was suddenly muted from time to time as if by a TV remote. I didn’t have a remote with me so I knew it wasn’t me doing it. I did not dare to move. The ovenbird kept me occupied even though we did not have a great deal in common. I couldn’t conjure any good oven jokes.
As soon as the little ovenbird quit the stage, a thrush flew in and perched on yet another fallen tree, not far from where the ovenbird had been before it decided that I was too unsavory to tolerate any further. This backdoor visitor was not a rustling robin although I expected one. It was a Veery. I didn’t move. It came closer. I risked a slow unthreatening slump because my back was sore from being so remarkably unsavory.
The Veery thrush looked directly at me. With its long-range scanners fully engaged it must have picked-up clear signs of my … unsavoriness. It was unimpressed and dispassionate about those readings and I could tell, it simply didn’t care, so I declared “I dub thee Shingles”, cuz shingles just doesn’t care. At one point it was only a couple of meters from my tingling feet. Was it postural paresthesia or was it because I haven’t been on a date like this for years. Either way it was great. All things come to an end though and on this occasion, once again, I blame it on those infernal squirrels.




Ally

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I have never seen a ovenbird. Can't you ask that one to fly west a bit? And I hope there are photos coming up...


Shortsighted

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 CHRONICLES of the WOODLOT - 2
A flash of red in the woodlot was all it took for me to testify to its authenticity. No, it was not Little Red Riding Hood. She wouldn’t show her scarlet tunic around here because she still owes me money for that Prada extravagance I got for her. I’m such an idiot. This particular flash of red could be only one thing … a Pileated woodpecker. On this occasion it was hammering away on a rotting log. Most likely it was looking for grubs, or perhaps it was just mad-as-hell. This most splendid percussionist was only about ten meters away from me so I immediately curtailed all walker activity and searched for my mini binocular somewhere in the tote basket only to discover that it was not there. Rats! Of course, I didn’t have a camera with me either. I decided to return to the woodlot later in the day for maybe 30 minutes, if I could swing it and see what could be discovered there.
‘Mission Unlikely’ did occur but for less than the hoped interval. My brief visit uncovered a singular denizen from the moldy depths of the leaf litter where it lingered to bask in my flagrant alliteration. A female Eastern Towhee. I remained on the ground and perfectly still. OK, perhaps not perfectly still because I don’t do anything perfectly. My heart was keeping tempo with my excitement. 



 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2022, 07:33:30 am by Shortsighted »


Ally

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Shortsighted

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Chronicles of the Woodlot - 3:
 The spring warbler migration through the para-GTA is generally viewed to occur with urgency during the three week interval from May 7th until May 21st, although there certainly are early arrivals such as Yellow-rumped and Pine warblers, as well as late arrivals such as Wilson’s and Blackpoll, among others. Climate change may skew the time-line in the coming years, if it’s not already showing its influence.
The Big Day traditionally falls on May 14th when warbler migration northward to cottage country and above is at its peak. Personally, my big day doesn’t really begin until the Tylenol starts working. Taking this prognostication with a grain of salt, evidence of any warbler migration here along the street-side woodlot is hidden from my view. With few exceptions the woodlot is as quiet as a tomb. Pest birds are certainly making their presence known. Species such as grackles, RWBB, and cowbirds are having street parties. As previously reported on this forum, the robin seems to be rallying this year. I’ve witnessed them queued for a particularly favourable wet spot likely lively with juicy worms. Not my cup of tea but then these are American robins so perhaps that explains it.
Each day while I escort my dad with his walker I also scan the adjacent woodlot for movement, both amongst the fallen debris and the boughs that grace the curb. The presence of a flycatcher can usually be detected from quite a distance because of its habit of returning back to the same, or similar perch after each foray. Closer scrutiny is needed to detect warblers.
Yesterday finally validated the occurrence of a warbler migration. At three spots along the street-side woodlot there were a few warblers doing their thing. I couldn’t believe my eyes. They were not exactly dripping from the trees because Ally would need to be here for that to happen. Still, hot-spots must be really … hot by now. I did not see anything rare, or even uncommon. My favourite species, such as Cape May, Blackburnian or Bay-breasted were not in attendance, although a Canada warbler is a very welcome treat. The woodlot featured an immature Canada during last year’s fall migration. If past years are anything to go by, street-side evidence of the warbler migration may have vanished by tomorrow.
Sightings include: Black & White / Chestnut-sided  / Magnolia / Canada / Common Yellowthroat / BT Blue (female)








 


Ally

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Wow! And wow some more!! That is some handsome collection.


Dinusaur

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Wow, what a beautiful group of warbler you got to see in one place - good going SS.