Category Archives: Birds

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

This spring it seems like it has rained more often than other years. Our spring runoff wasn’t too bad, but then the rain started. We had flooding at our place, and all around us, there were people dealing with flooding. It has not been an easy spring for people.

Places near the water were hit the most.

When it seemed that it was high, it got higher still.

It has not only affected people, but has also affected some of the birds. The mallards were looking to set up nests, but we have not seen any ducklings. The nests must have gotten washed out.

This duck used our shed to roost on. Is it too much water even for her?

And then we saw this groundhog – up on a stump enjoying what little sun we have had.

We have seen him up there several times. Does this indicate that the ground is pretty saturated?

It reminds me of tough times that we can be going through. We don’t have to face our problems alone if we belong to the Lord and turn our problems over to Him.


During migration times, we often see buffleheads on our lake. Often they are here in the spring even before all of the ice is gone from our lake. They  are quite shy when  they are on our lake and it’s very difficult to get close to them.

Buffleheads are North Americas’s smallest ducks. They are sea ducks and are usually seen diving for their food.  The males are black and white, with a large white patch on their glossy green and purple heads. The females are much more subdued with gray-brown feathers.

They are mostly monogamous, and often keep the same mate for several years. Apparently one has lived to at least 18 years.

I chose this verse because it is good to remember that if we know the Lord, our strength comes from Him. We do not need to be timid like the buffleheads.



Our First Snowfall of the Year

One of my favourite times of the year is the first snowfall. It doesn’t always come when we expect it, and often catches some of us before we have everything done for the winter.  I enjoy seeing the lake still open, the loons on the lake, and the snow along the shore and on the trees.

My geraniums might have been shocked by the snow this morning.
We’ve had a beautiful fall – the leaves still look good in places.
Some people don’t have their docks in yet.






Red-winged Blackbird: Female

I’ve had a difficult time being able to get a good clear photo of a red-winged blackbird. Recently I was in my kayak in the Gull River, and was able to get some photos of some female red-winged blackbirds. These ones were guarding their nests in the marshy area.


They almost look like a large, dark sparrow.


The males were just flitting in and out at times, so I wasn’t able to get a good one of a male. This one was hiding further in the rushes. You can see that he doesn’t look at all like the female.


Males can have as many as fifteen female mates. They spend most of their time defending their territories. I was surprised to find out that the oldest recorded was 15 years, 9 months old.


The female weaves her nest around some upright stems. I never saw any nests, but the females were making sure they were keeping an eye on me and “standing guard”.

God wants us to be on guard and stand firm in our faith. He is the One who makes it possible for us to do this.


Baby Swans

We visited the George Langman Sanctuary again when we were in Orillia.  You can see my previous blog here:


Right now they have some baby mute swans. It was interesting to watch them with their parents.


The young swans are called cygnets. They come in two colours: gray and white.


The gray chicks are also called “Royal”. They start off with gray down and eventually grow in gray-brown and white feathers.


The white ones are called “Polish” chicks. They are completely white. When they grow to be an adult, they might have pink or gray legs and feet. Others have black legs and feet.

Redhead Duck

We have a visitor on our lake that we haven’t seen before. This is a redhead duck and is probably a bit lost on its migration trip.  They usually winter in large flocks along the Gulf Coast and some around the Great Lakes. They migrate to the Great Plains and West for the summer.IMG_9963IMG_9972IMG_9961_edited-2

Purple Finches

We are being bombarded with many birds at our feeder right now. There is a flock of purple finches, and another bigger flock of pine siskins – which all fight for the sunflower seeds. It’s very entertaining and is especially amusing when you see the smaller pine siskin keep the larger finches away from the food.


The male purple finch is brightly coloured and is easier to identify than the female (seen below).


They are larger and chunkier than chicadees and nuthatches. Their beaks are larger than sparrows, but it’s still difficult for me to identify a female purple finch when the male isn’t around.


Apparently, Roger Tory Peterson, who studied birds and wrote bird identification books described the purple finch as a “sparrow dipped in raspberry juice.” I think that’s an apt description.

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