Monday, May 31, 2010


Vacation week one wrap up:

Friday, May 28th
- Started the vacation off by having a relaxing and enjoyable dinner at the Keg.

Saturday, May 29th
- Took in a birding festival at Sam Smith Park in Etobicoke. It was educational and enjoyable.

Sunday, May 30th
- Went on a day long birding trip to Carden Plain (an important birding area) with friends.

Me birding at Carden Plain.

We had a great day and saw over 40 species of birds! That's up from last year.


Virginia Rail- First sighting for us, and she had babies with her!

Alder Flycatcher

Upland Sandpiper

Eastern Bluebird

After a long day of birding in the hot sun we had a early dinner at one of my favorite places, the Briars Resort, before heading home.

Enjoying an icy cold lemonade at the Briars after a long day in the sun!

Monday, May 31st- Shopping Day! I wanted to get some new summer clothes, and we needed to get some things for the bedroom. With the help of Reitmans and Ikea, mission accomplished.

Tuesday, June 1st- Spent most of the day at home enjoying the yard before heading downtown for dinner and an evening performance of the musical, "Rock of Ages", which we enjoyed very much.

"Rock of Ages" is a must for any 80's music fan.

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010- This morning we enjoyed breakfast at the "Grenadier Restaurant" in High Park, and then went for a bird walk, but spent most of our time there feeding the chipmunks. Rest of the day was spent relaxing at home.

Thursday, June 3rd- We spent the day at home as we were having new flooring put down in the bedroom. We had it painted a couple weeks ago, so now all we have to do is add a few more decorative touches and it will be complete.

Meadow likes to be involved in all the home projects.

A sneak peak at the redecorated bedroom, just a few more things to add.

Friday, June 4th-
We ended the first week off on a high note! We went for a day trip to one of our favorite places to visit, St. Jacobs. We go over a couple times a year. We started our day there by going birding on a trail we learned about, Mill Race Trail, and were treated to lots of sightings. We're already talking about doing an overnight trip next year when the migrates are passing through.

After the walk we shopped in the village and we picked up some goodies; homemade pickles, jam and maple syrup.

We had dinner at our favorite restaurant there, Benjamin's, before heading home.

Taking a rest after walking the trail.

A list of birds that have been seen on the trail.

A Great Blue Heron, I love seeing them, as they always remind me of Nova Scotia.

Now on to week two......

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


The backyard, where we spent the majority of the long weekend and our favorite place to be!

We had a lovely long weekend. It was just the right mix of socializing, yard work and together time.

Saturday morning we met a girlfriend we hadn't seen in a while for brunch at Dr. Generosity's. After brunch we ran a few errands and then headed home to spend time in the backyard and plant veggies and flowers.

Rob plants the veggies and I plant most of the flowers in decorative pots around the yard and arrange the decorative ornaments. We're a good team!

Welcome to our backyard, the furry and feathered are welcomed here.

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Flowers planted on Saturday.

The "backyard bunnies."

Flowers planted on Saturday.

One of our lawn ornaments, I call him "Frankie Flowers".

Flowers planted on Saturday.

A new lawn ornament we picked up on the weekend, it was so us!

The Black-eyed Susans will bloom here later in the summer.

We bought a new and better quality birdbath this weekend. We get as much enjoyment out of watching the birds in this as they do using it!

Rob's "Bird Garden". A work in progress. Most of the plants here attract birds or produce berries for them in the winter months.

Sunday we had friends over in the afternoon to enjoy the yard and a BBQ.

Our friends two year old son, Finn, enjoyed the backyard immensely on Sunday afternoon.

Monday morning we went "birding" for a while at a park down by the lake.

A Yellow Warbler singing his little heart out at a park we visited Monday morning.

Monday afternoon was enjoyed in the backyard by the whole family.

One of our furry friends, Jigger. He's climbing my leg for a peanut.

Rob and Meadow relaxing on Monday afternoon.

Our budgie, Misfit, enjoying the sunshine in the backyard. We caught her out here almost 2 years ago, after she spent the summer wild in our yard. She escaped on someone, but she's part of our family now.

We had a great long weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


A male Scarlet Tanager, I've finally seen one!

May is absolutely the best month of the year for birders. With all the migratory bird action going on, no pesty mosquitoes, and the trees not yet in full leaf bloom, making it easier to spot the birds. The opportunities to see many different species of birds are abundant.

Warblers are one of the species of birds that Rob and I have been trying to see this spring. They don't make it easy, these feathered beauties are small, like to hang around the tops of the trees, and they don't stay still! We've been lucky this year, we've actually seen a couple different Warblers last Sunday at High Park, but are hoping to see many more before the end of the month.

Yesterday I had plans to meet up with a girlfriend and go for a walk in a park close to her home. With my binoculars in hand we started off on our walk. The birds in the park were plentiful, and I actually had three firsts yesterday!! Meaning I saw 3 different birds yesterday for the first time! Lucky for me, my friend didn't mind me "birding" during our walk, and was enjoying seeing all the different birds too. I gladly shared my binoculars with her so she could get a better look too. A walk that usually takes her one hour, took us two, but it was time well spent.

A Yellow Warbler. There were many of these in the park yesterday.

A Black and White Warbler. I saw a few for the first time yesterday.

A Yellow-rumped Warbler. Again, another first for me yesterday.

A Black-throated Blue Warbler. I saw one of these for the first time on Sunday at High Park in Toronto.

Almost at the end of our walk, a brilliant flash of red startled us both, and then I went into complete shock as it hit me as to what I was looking at, a male Scarlet Tanager!

When you get into birding there are some birds that you really hope to see one day, and this gorgeous bird is one that Rob and I have been wanting to see for YEARS! I couldn't believe I was seeing one. Usually high in the trees and secretive, he was just above eye level and so close we didn't need binoculars to watch him. Though not a Warbler, he was the absolute highlight of my outing yesterday. I felt a little guilty that Rob wasn't there to see him with me, but we're going back on Saturday morning with fingers crossed.

All pictures in this post were "Googled" from Google Images.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Great Horned Owl

One of our favorite places to visit is Mountsberg Conservation Area in Campbellville, Ontario. We discovered it a few years back after picking up a brochure at our local bird store.

We visited this special place last Saturday for the first time in about a year and were surprised and thrilled with all the work that they've done and are still doing, to make it an even more enjoyable place to come for the day. The large grounds host many picnic tables, and the new visitor centre has washrooms and a gift shop. There are many walking trails and they host many activities and special events through-out the year.

As we were driving up to the parking lot we happened to notice a Painted Turtle out on a log in the pond by the driveway, so after parking the car we walked back to the pond to take a closer look. We were also treated to a sighting of a Green Heron, also at the pond. It was the first time we had seen one of these beautiful creatures. A Northern Water-snake was also coiled around one the bushes over the pond. All this, and we hadn't been out of the car for ten minutes!

A Painted Turtle sunning himself in the pond.

A Northern Water-snake.

The main reason we had decided to visit Mountsberg for the day was to see if the Tree Swallows had returned for the summer, they had!

The "Swalloville" nest boxes, all will be filled with Tree Swallows.

Welcome to Swallowville, where the Tree Swallows return every year.

A pair of Tree Swallows claim a nest-box for the summer to have and raise a family.

The barn at Mountsberg is always a busy spot. It houses the many barn-yard animals, including; horses, goats, sheep, rabbits, roosters, hens and Barn Swallows for the summer.

A pair of bunnies, one of many hopping around the bard-yard and grounds.

A pair of Barn Swallows who will build a nest and raise their family in the barn.

One of the many pretty roosters and hens walking around the barn-yard.

A baby bunny, one of the many hopping around the barn-yard.

A pair of baby lambs in the very busy barn-yard.

One of the things that makes Mountsberg Conservation Area truly special is the Raptor Centre, where many different species of raptors, including Owls, Hawks and Eagles are housed. They are non-releasable due to injuries they have sustained, and are unable to survive in the wild. Mountsberg provides a permanent home for these birds.

On the weekend they have shows to show case the birds and you can learn a lot about them and get an up close look. If you don't make a show, you can follow the "Wildlife Walkway" and see them that way.

You can also "adopt" one of the raptors for the year and receive an annual pass to the park and know that your dollars are going for the care and upkeep of the birds and the centre. Rob and I plan on "adopting" Quincy, a Snowy Owl, when we return later this month for a bird banding program.

Mountsberg Conservation Area is a beautiful and wonderful place for any nature nut to spend an enjoyable day. I know Rob and I are already looking forward to our next visit to this truly special place.

A Bald Eagle at Mountsberg.

A Female Snowy Owl at Mountsberg.