Mar 222017
 

It was a good first day of spring for river sightings on our stretch of the Indian River. The pair of Canada Geese, first seen on February 26, came up onto the back area to check out the availability of grass. Conclusion – not much there! The geese tend to come up much later, when they have a young family, to feast on the long lush grasses before the summer cut. A male Hooded Merganser spent a bit of time resting and preening on a fallen tree trunk in the river, and later a male Bufflehead, and a male Wood Duck were seen sharing the same tree trunk. We don’t see the Wood Ducks very often so it was a real treat.

Roll on spring!

Stephenie Armstrong, Warsaw

Male Hooded Merganser (Karl Egressy)

Wood Duck – Jeff Keller

Mar 062017
 

On the morning of March 3, my son witnessed two Bald Eagles attacking a Canada Goose in flight. The goose landed in the Crowe River and while landing, swatted the eagle off his side. The second eagle stayed above and did not attack the goose. My son grabbed the binoculars and saw that the goose was injured. The two eagles stayed in the area high above but did swoop down periodically, and I was able to see them with the binoculars as I was skeptical that they were Bald Eagles. We then went on the Internet to see if they frequent this area, as we have been up here since 1980 and this is our first sighting.
Robin Galllagher, Crowe River

Bald Eagles – Jan. 31, 2016, Simmons Ave, Peterborough – Trudy Gibson

Feb 282017
 

Our pair of Canada Geese arrived today, along with a single male Bufflehead. The geese do not nest nearby as far as we know, but they regularly patrol our stretch of the Indian River in the spring to see off any rivals, using our old dock as a base. The position of the dock gives them a long, clear view of the river, both upstream and down. Happy news.

Stephenie Armstrong, Warsaw

A nesting pair of Canada Geese – March 2008 – Drew Monkman

Feb 272017
 

I haven’t submitted a sighting in a while but thought of it today when a lovely pair of Trumpeter Swans appeared on the Pigeon River, just north of Omemee, among the usual Canada Geese. They don’t appear to have bands or yellow tabs on their wings so I’m assuming they are wild. This is on the Pigeon river, just north of Omemee.

Karen Cooper, Omemee

A pair of Trumpeter Swans on the Pigeon River – February 25, 2017 – Karen Cooper

 

Jun 212016
 

I went out early both Saturday and Sunday (June 18 and 19, 2016) on Lower Buckhorn lake and took these pictures.

Robin Blake

Wild Rose - June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

Wild Rose – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

White Admiral -June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

White Admiral -June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

White Admiral -June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake (9)

White Admiral -June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake (9)

Slaty Skimmer - June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

Slaty Skimmer – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

Osprey - June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

Osprey – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

Northern Water Snake - June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

Northern Water Snake – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

Four-spotted Skimmer - June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

Four-spotted Skimmer – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

Eastern Kingbird - June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

Eastern Kingbird – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

Canada Geese - June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

Canada Geese – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

Blue Flag - June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

Blue Flag – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

Bald Eagle - June 18-19, 2016 - Lower Buckhorn Lake - Robin Blake

Bald Eagle – June 18-19, 2016 – Lower Buckhorn Lake – Robin Blake

Mar 112016
 

The meltwater pond at Mather’s Corners, located at the junction of County Road 2 and Drummond Line, is once again attracting a variety of waterfowl. Several hundred Canada Geese are there right now, along with dozens of Mallards. In addition to the species listed below, there are also small numbers of American Black Ducks and Northern Pintails.

Gadwall (Anas strepera)
– Reported Mar 14, 2016 11:38 by Warren Dunlop
– Mather’s Corners Meltwater Pond, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Pair – Male with light greyish tertials and black rump/tail.”

Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) (1)
– Reported Mar 10, 2016 15:33 by Luke Berg
– Mather’s Corners Meltwater Pond, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Media: 3 Photos
– Comments: “Continuing adult white morph.”

Cackling Goose (Richardson’s) (Branta hutchinsii) (1)
– Reported Mar 10, 2016 15:33 by Luke Berg
– Mather’s Corners Meltwater Pond, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Media: 2 Photos

American Wigeon (Anas americana) (1)
– Reported Mar 11, 2016 10:10 by Martin Parker
– Mather’s Corners Meltwater Pond, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:

SOME OTHER WATERFOWL OF INTEREST SEEN RECENTLY IN THE KAWARTHAS:

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) (1)
– Reported Mar 10, 2016 17:19 by Warren Dunlop
– Humphries Line, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Presumed continuing. Observed here previously.”

Redhead (Aythya americana) (5)
– Reported Mar 10, 2016 13:27 by Warren Dunlop
– Peterborough–Little Lake Cemetery, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Males with brick red heads, gray sides, black breasts and rump, and light greyish blue bills.”

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) (1)
– Reported Mar 10, 2016 16:40 by Warren Dunlop
– Rice Lake–Holiday Pines Park, Peterborough, Ontario
Map:
Checklist:
– Comments: “Female – lacking distinct white chin and well defined border between neck and breast of female COME. <br />Associating with large group of COME.”

American Black Duck - Karl Egressy

American Black Duck – Karl Egressy

Pair of Northern Pintail - Karl Egressy

Pair of Northern Pintail – Karl Egressy

Male Gadwall (photo from Wikimedia)

Male Gadwall (photo from Wikimedia)

Snow Geese (Marcel Boulay)

Snow Geese (Marcel Boulay)

American Wigeon - Alan D. Wilson

American Wigeon – Alan D. Wilson

Cackling Goose (small bird) with two Canada Geese - Brendan Boyd

Cackling Goose (small bird) with two Canada Geese – Brendan Boyd

Male Redhead (Wikimedia)

Male Redhead (Wikimedia)

Mute Swan (photo: Drew Monkman)

Mute Swan (photo: Drew Monkman)

May 272015
 

As previously posted, there were two Canada Geese families grazing out the back of our property adjacent to the Indian River on Sunday, May 17th. One pair had three goslings, the other had eight. We also had another brief sighting of a family with several young the next morning at about 7am.

Mid-afternoon on Tuesday 19th, following a walk down to the dock, Peter discovered we had a stowaway.  A tiny gosling had got into our canoe, and with the sides so smooth and slippery, the little fellow couldn’t get out.  We had no idea how long it had been there, but thankfully the depth of the canoe had provided much needed shelter from chilly winds and maybe even a cold night.  So, what to do?

Gosling in boat - Peter Armstrong

Gosling stranded in boat – Peter Armstrong

We brought the gosling into the house, placed it in a deep container lined with soft bedding and partially covered with a folded towel, and initially fed it fresh grasses and shredded organic lettuce in some water.  The gosling had a very healthy appetite.  After checking various websites for suggestions, we added some water-soaked crushed Cheerios, a mirror for (pretend) company, and a stuffed sock, nicely warmed in the clothes drier, in place of a cuddly toy for comfort.  The mirror proved to be a source of annoyance, but the sock was a hit.  One website also said that young geese and ducks actually like a cuddle, close to the chest, as a calming device, and that too worked after an initial upset.  I enjoyed that bit very much!

Following helpful suggestions from our neighbours (with whom good friendship and love of nature are equally shared) Peter checked a website www.ontariowildliferescue.ca which listed wildlife centres authorised by the MNR. The next morning, he phoned one of the closer wildlife refuges that can accommodate water birds, “Shades of Hope” in Pefferlaw, near Lake Simcoe.  They were happy to take the bird, but advised that if en route we came across an area of water where there was a similar family of Canada Geese we could drop him into the water and his natural instinct would be to go and join them. It seems this doesn’t work for ducks (they reject any that are not their own), but Canada Geese will accept any gosling and are known to actually steal from other pairs. That being the case, we decided to try and locate a local pair that might still be on our river or, if not, somewhere in the vicinity. I was keen to keep the youngster on its home patch if possible.

Further help and collaboration from next door allowed Peter to set up on a better placed dock than our own as a stake-out to scout for geese, with canoe at the ready if needed, while I toured the Warsaw area by car. I only came across one lone goose on the river in the village, so no joy there.  However, as luck would have it while I was gone, a family group of two adults and seven goslings were spotted about 300m away from where Peter was stationed, and they were slowly making their way downstream towards him.  It took a long while, but when they got closer and settled for a while about 100m away, he was able to make his way cautiously through the tall grasses in the marsh, carrying the foundling in a lidded stack-a-box, and managed to get just slightly up-river of them to release the little one.  As soon as the gosling hit water, it started an incessant chirping, and almost immediately Mom swam over from the opposite bank to reclaim the lost one, bringing the offspring count to eight.  We had most likely found the right family!  And we were treated to a fabulous “float-by”, captured by camera, to top it all off

So, a happy ending to what could have been a sad little story.

Stephenie Armstrong, Warsaw

Gosling back with its family - Stephenie Armstrong

The “lost” gosling now back with its family – Stephenie Armstrong

 

 

Postscript:

This morning, May 25th, the two families seen on May 17th came up onto our back area again to browse, one family with eight goslings, the second with four, not three as earlier reported.  They stayed for about two hours.  Initially, the two families remained quite separate as before, with no interaction between the two groups.  At some point, the families moved closer together, and it soon became apparent that two goslings had teamed up with the smaller group, with six now in each family.  There was little sign of any aggression from the adults, other than the odd neck bending, and when the families returned to the river, each pair of adults sailed off with six goslings each.  I wonder which family now has our rescued gosling!

Canada Geese families grazing - Peter Armstrong

The two Canada Geese families with four and six goslings respectively – Peter Armstrong

Reconfigurated family - now with six goslings! - Stephenie Armstrong

One of the two reconfigurated families – now each with six goslings! – Stephenie Armstrong

 

May 202015
 

Our latest sighting involves the ever present Canada Geese, but it was their behaviour that I thought was interesting. On the afternoon of May 17th, we had two Canada Geese families grazing in our riverside “meadow”. One pair had just three goslings, but then a second pair came up with eight in tow. The two groups kept apart but with no posturing, just pasturing! It has been several years since we’ve had geese dining on our back area, and on that occasion there were three families. They arrived together and left together, but while on land, just as yesterday, each family maintained their distance, and there was no interaction between the groups.

Stephenie Armstrong, Warsaw

Canada Geese with goslings  - D. Monkman

Canada Geese with goslings – D. Monkman