All Archived Reports

  • Week of April 15, 2024 – Magnolias and more

    Magnolias seem to thrive in London. Different varieties have been in bloom since early April. Now, the magnificent magnolia tree at Eldon House is in bloom. We can see it from our balcony and visit it when the gardens are open. Monday and Tuesday were both sunny with temperatures in the high teens. There were…

  • April 7 & 8, 2024 – The Eclipse and More

    Last Friday, we had a brief snowfall that featured pea-sized pellets of snow. Today we are in the midst of a three-day rainfall that has triggered a Special Weather Statement from Environment Canada about the potential for flooding and high winds. Sunday, April 7, was warm and sunny. We walked the riverside path near the…

  • Labatt Ospreys

    12:22- 12:29, April 5, 2024 As the Osprey pair spend more and more time on the low platform, we hope they will adopt it as a replacement location for the nest that is gone. Some nesting material was added this morning. We still need to see more sticks for a nest.

  • Komoka PP – The Ponds April 1, 2024

    Today, is a quintessential April day, cold and blustery. We’re looking forward to warmer weather on the weekend and hoping for clear skies on Monday for the solar eclipse. April 1st was a sunny day without too much wind and the temperature in the single digits. We went with friends, all hoping to see some…

  • Late March 2024

    Last week’s snow has melted and the daytime temperatures have remained in the expected range of about 7C with a mix of sun and cloud and rain. On March 25th, we went to the ponds at the Strathroy Wastewater Treatment Facility to see some migrating waterfowl. The mix and number of birds changes from day…

  • Early April 2021 – 2023

    After weeks of spring weather, spring officially arrived early this year – around 11 pm on March 18th. This week, the weather has been anything but springlike. There have been snow squalls every day and we now have more snow than we’ve had all winter. I suppose this gives some credence to the adage about…

  • March 13, 2024

    SPIDER ALERT! There are two small photos of spiders in a gallery that follows the Cedar Waxwing gallery. On Wednesday, March 13th, it was 18C and sunny. Not at all typical mid-March weather. The forecast for the rest of the week is for overcast skies, rain and temperatures falling to within a more normal range…

  • March 1-7, 2023

    We have had a lot of foggy days and much higher than normal temperatures, but still it snowed on February 28th. The skies cleared on the 29th and the snow disappeared. On March 1st, we headed to Gibbons Park. The warmer weather has brought the early arrival of some migrating birds. As we walked the…

  • Hilton Head – January 17th to 23rd, 2020

    Despite our unseasonably warm weather, there are no new sightings to report, apart from some lovely sunsets. On Wednesday, we set out for a walk, but the wind soon blew us back inside. The incoming front dropped the temperature from 12C to below zero in a few short hours and then delivered snow. We have…

  • It’s still February…

    We’ve had another cycle of cold and snow followed by unseasonably mild weather. On Wednesday, it reached 9C. We heard House Finches and Northern Cardinals singing. The House Finches appeared to be building a nest on one of the downtown buildings. On Tuesday, the sky was clear and we were hopeful of seeing birds at…

  • February 2024, so far…

    Last week, we finally had some sun. The temperature remained above freezing during the day. On February 6, we headed to Pinafore Park in St. Thomas to a forested trail where we expected to see some birds. It was sunny when we left home, but had clouded over by the time we reached the park.…

  • January Birds 2021-22

    There have been a few mild, sunny days this week. We’ve been out and have seen a few birds, but our post isn’t ready yet. Here is another look back on recent years’ observations. Since our January 2024 weather didn’t offer many opportunities to see and photograph birds, we decided to review the birds we’ve…

  • January 2024

    After days of frigid weather, temperatures have risen to well above freezing. There have been much fog and so much rain that the snow has disappeared and the river has flood to higher levels that we’ve seen before. On a crisp day before the rain, we spent a sunny afternoon at The Coves. Except those…

  • More Cozumel – December 2016

    We were fascinated by the prehistoric look of iguanas. They were a common sight around the grounds of the resort as they basked on a sunny tree limb or lawn. There was an abandoned property next to the resort. The beach there was frequented by Laughing Gulls and a few shorebirds. In the scrubby growth…

  • Cozumel December 2016

    Winter recently arrived with a vengeance, complete with blowing snow and a polar vortex that has brought arctic air south. Here is this week’s forecast. The colder weather has brought glimpses of the sun and blue sky. It has also produced frost patterns on our windows that resemble feathers and down. Our orchids have agreed…

  • More Hilton Head Birds – February 2018

    Just as we were escaping winter in Canada for a week, we saw many familiar birds who were also enjoying the milder temperatures in South Carolina. These included Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Song Sparrow, Northern Flicker, American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird, Belted Kingfisher, House Finch, Hermit Thrush, Rusty Blackbird, European Starlings, and Common Grackle among others. Some were…

  • Hilton Head Shorebirds and Gulls – February 2018

    Since our weather has been so constantly overcast and gloomy, we are craving some sun. The best way to find sun without travelling is to revisit our time in sunnier destinations. Thanks to friends, we spent a week on Hilton Head Island in February 2018. This was a chance for us to learn about some…

  • Our First New Year’s Day Bird Walk

    We had a white Christmas only because of the fog. All week, the temperature remained steadfastly above freezing. There was so much rain that the river overflowed its banks and then receded gradually over the past few days. Apparently, our mild winter so far is due to an El Niño weather pattern. We signed up…

  • Year in Review: 2023

    Dear Friends, since this will be our last post until the new year, we thought we’d look back over 2023. JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER Thank you for your feedback through the year. As always, please let us know if you would like us to remove your name…

  • November 2018

    We have had relentlessly gloomy weather recently, including several foggy days. On one such day, we could not see anything beyond the river. A week ago, the skies started to clear at the end of the day to great effect. We have been feeling nostalgic about the number of birds we could see, even in…

  • Two More Local Parks in November

    Our mid-November week of warm weather continued before plunging into sub-zero temperatures. Sunset on November 15th promised good weather on the 16th. We decided to attempt the 3.3 km loop of the Dorchester Mill Pond Ecotrail. The elongated pond is located on Dorchester Creek in the Village of Dorchester. The trail offered different terrains and…

  • Local parks in November, 2023

    Last week, when the weather brought sunshine and temperatures into the teens, we made time every afternoon to walk in a different local park. The Coves in November was very quiet. We heard few birds and saw none until we visited the bird feeders on a property adjacent to the trail. Here we found a…

  • Neighbourhood Walks – November, 2023

    Early November still holds patches of life and colour. November 6th November 10th and 12th A few wildflowers were still in bloom and had some insect visitors. Most plants had gone to seed: Virgin’s-Bower, New England Aster, Common Milkweed, goldenrod with flea beetle. Apart from Mallards and Canada Geese, there are many fewer birds present…

  • Sifton Bog ESA, October 31, 2023

    Sifton Bog Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) is a floating acid peat bog surrounded by deciduous swamp and upland forest. A boardwalk leads through the woods to Redmond’s Pond. This pond in the midst of the bog is slowly decreasing in size as it fills with sediment and peat formed by the Sphagnum moss that carpets…

  • Neighbourhood Walks – September/October 2023

    The canopy in vivid colour, October 25th. Rain and cold temperatures on October 30th took down many of the leaves. The canopy has lost much of its colour and will soon have the monochrome palette of November. You can also see in the photo below, taken October 31, that the city is in the process…

  • Strathroy Lagoons – October 23, 2023

    We’ve continued to have overcast skies and rain much of the time. The skies were clear on the morning of October 23rd. The air was chilly from the first overnight frost we’ve had this fall. With the promise of sun, we couldn’t resist a trip to check out the migrating waterfowl at the Strathroy settlement…

  • BioBlitz at Warbler Woods: 18 October 2023

    We got a notice that the Ecology Department at the City of London was conducting a BioBlitz between October 16 to 22 at four of the environmentally significant areas (ESAs) in the city. A bioblitz is defined on the iNaturalist website as “a communal citizen-science effort to record as many species within a designated location…

  • Hawk Cliff, September 1, 2023

    September 1st was a fine sunny day to visit Hawk Cliff. Hawk Cliff Woods is one of the nature reserves stewarded by the Thames Talbot Land Trust. It is a 230-acre property overlooking Lake Erie near Port Stanley. The reserve comprises a significant area of Carolinian forest, a wildflower meadow, and the Auzins Community Wildflower…

  • Greenway Park – Oct 2/23

    We’ve had exceptionally warm, humid fall weather, more than 10C above the expected temperature of 16C. As the air cools overnight, mist forms as the moisture in the air condenses. The colour of the leaves is now changing rapidly as the hours of daylight wane. Greenway Park borders the Thames River. As we got out…

  • Two Parks with a Special Visitor – Sept 23, 2023

    We were delighted to spend a day birding with a friend from California who was in Toronto for only one day. It was sunny and mild, the perfect fall weather for walking the trails at Colonel Samual Smith and Humber Bay East. A Red-tailed Hawk greeted us at Colonel Sam, landing high in a tree…

  • Two Ponds – Sept 10/23

    Medway Gravel Pit Pond The pond is on the property of an active quarry, but the area surrounding the pond is no longer being excavated. The pond and surrounding field attract a few migrating birds and create habitat for various plants and insects. Despite our attempts to approach the pond quietly and cautiously, we managed…

  • Neighbourhood Walks 2 – July & August, 2023

    Birds aren’t the only creatures that we encounter on our neighbourhood walks. Here’s a selection of what we have seen. Names available on request! Thanks to friends, we knew to watch for turtles basking on the river rocks on sunny days. We were fortunate to see both northern map turtles and spiny softshell turtles one…

  • Neighbourhood Walks – July & August, 2023

    There are several parks along the Thames River in our neighbourhood: Harris Park, Ann Street Park, Gibbons Park, Blackfriars Park North. These are most often our destinations on neighbourhood walks. Over the summer, we hear resident birds from our balcony – Red-eyed Vireo, Carolina Wren, American Robins, Bluejays, American Crows, American Goldfinch, and, almost always,…

  • Blackfriars Community Garden – August 1, 2023

    Our neighbourhood walks sometimes take us to Blackfriars Community Garden. On our way along the river, we keep our eyes out for birds. This handsome American Robin greeted us at the garden. On August 1st, the gardens were in full bloom. Someone had even planted a fig tree. They told us that they store it…

  • More PEC – July 2023

    Here are some more photos of our time in Prince Edward County. These were taken in a few different places. Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area: We did make it briefly to Prince Edward Point and managed to see a few birds there. The birds were far away and the light was harsh – not…

  • The Coves August 11, 2023

    We’ve had a lot of rain recently. We can often see the rain before it arrives. Over the past month, we had heard that there were Black-billed Magpies on a rural road next to a farm in the St. Thomas area. This is considered a rare bird in our area since the normal range for…

  • Toyota Wetland – 23/08/06

    One of the many stormwater holding areas in London is on the edge of town, soon to be surrounded by development. But for now, this large area has a few ponds and large puddles that support a lot of wildlife. Being close to Fanshawe Lake (man-made by the construction of Fanshawe Dam) there are several…

  • Clear Creek Butterfly Count

    After the other North American Butterfly Association (NABA) count in the area was rained out, I was especially interested in participating in this count on July 30, 2023. My fellow counters, Ric and Sandy Symmes, and I preferred to skip the morning part of the count and arrive for lunch at the rendezvous point. That…

  • Bradley Crossroad 2023-07-15

    On our (scenic) way back to Picton for dinner, we took a one-track dirt road with water-filled potholes from the recent rain. As we drove, we saw clouds of yellow butterflies lift off and decided to stop and wait for them to settle back down. There were a number of species puddling (or mud-puddling) together…

  • PEPtBO 2023-07-15

    We managed to get to the observatory for a short walk before lunch. We were able to park in front of the familiar buildings, the house and the old bird-banding shack. Now there is a much larger building on the property for reception and banding. The first thing we looked for was Cliff Swallow nests.…

  • Little Bluff 2023-07-14

    Yesterday afternoon, London had a fierce thunderstorms with hail and torrential rain. By evening, the storm had moved on and the skies had cleared. This is the first report of our long weekend in Prince Edward County. We were eager to visit the Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory to see all the changes since we…

  • Nature in the City

    Last week, we drove to Toronto to see the newly-choreographed production of Romeo and Juliet performed by the National Ballet of Canada. The dancing, the music, the sets and costumes were all exquisite and well worth the pain of driving to downtown Toronto. We went early to ensure we were downtown in good time. That…

  • Sinclair’s Bush May 21/23

    Sinclair’s Bush is a 46 hectare forest. It includes an undisturbed, original forest that is an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest with seven provincially rare species within its boundaries. We were alerted to the woods as a possible birding hotspot, but on the afternoon we were there, we detected few birds. Instead, we found…

  • Yarmouth Natural Heritage Area 2023 06 20

    What a wonderful natural heritage area – 208 acres of forest, ponds, wetlands and streams. There were birds around the parking lot by the road and even more birds as soon as we started walking up the trail. We tallied 22 species altogether. Many were singing, a few were visible. The “best” bird we saw…

  • May 22 Rondeau

    On the holiday Monday, May 22nd, we returned to Rondeau to look for birds we had missed on previous visits; especially, the Prothonotary Warbler. We were told that there were Prothonotary Warblers nesting in an area of the Tulip Tree Trail, but that one might be spotted anywhere along the trail. Spoiler alert, we were…

  • Erieau Marsh Trail May 21

    You may know that Canada is experiencing an exceptional forest fire season with fires raging in almost every province and territory. Earlier in the month, our skies in London were hazy from wildfires in the western provinces. More recently, we have been affected more seriously by heavier smoke from fires in Quebec and northern Ontario.…

  • Erieau Marsh Trail May 20

    To avoid the crowds at Rondeau Provincial Park, we decided to go to the Erieau Marsh Trail on Saturday and Sunday. From our cottage, we identified 20 species singing or seen from our cottage. The trail follows a former rail line on a dyke through the marsh. Today, there is marshland is on one side…

  • Rondeau May 19

    Our cottage in Shrewsbury was across the street from a wetland on the shore of Lake Erie. There were Red-winged Blackbirds nesting among the reeds. We saw one act as a sentry when a cat came down the street. Even wilder was a Bald Eagle that was harassed by one sentry until it dropped the…

  • Rondeau May 18

    We arrived at our cottage in Shrewsbury with enough time and energy to go to Rondeau Provincial Park before dinner. The cottage backs onto a short canal and overlooks a wetland. The road into the park is lined with trees and wildflowers. We had excellent directions to a tree with a Screech Owl and we…

  • April 26, 2023 – Solitude Nature Reserve

    On a fine spring afternoon, we headed to Solitude Nature Reserve. The mission, as stated on the reserve’s website reads: “Solitude Nature Reserve is owned and managed by the Phil McNamee Charitable Foundation for the purpose of preserving a natural environment where the public can enjoy nature.” The paths and the boardwalks through the wet…

  • Another Spring Outing

    April 16, 2023 – Toyota Wetland We took advantage of one of the last sunny days to visit a wetland surrounded by development and near a Toyota dealership. Our brief outing yielded 17 bird species, many of them flying overhead at a distance – Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Turkey Vulture, Osprey and two Tree…

  • April 19, 2023 – Strathroy Settlement Ponds

    We had two days of stormy weather before the skies cleared and we could head to the Strathroy settlement ponds to see migrating waterfowl. There was little wind and the settlement ponds were like mirrors. We counted 21 species here including these waterfowl: Canada Goose, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, a female Canvasback, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked…

  • Three Spring Walks

    We took advantage of the sun and summer-like temperatures to visit several parks. Here is an overview of a some of them. April 11, 2023 – Kilally Meadows ESA April 13, 2023 – Pond Mills Conservation Area The ponds at Ponds Mills Conservation Area are part of the approximately 200 hectare Westminster Ponds / Pond…

  • Woodlawn Cemetery

    April 9, 2023 Our stormy weather cleared on April 6th. Since then, we’ve had a week of sun and unseasonably warm weather. This is a weather forecast we have not seen in quite some time! What are all of those yellow discs? At the end of the week, we’re expecting rain and cooler temperatures. The…

  • The Coves – March 30, 2023

    As promised, March 30th was a day of sun and bright blue skies. It was not exactly spring like as the wind kept the temperature just above zero. Still, we saw and heard 17 species of birds on this outing. The recent rain and melted snow made for very muddy trails. The sprouting clumps of…

  • Gibbons Park March 28, 2023

    Tuesday was meant to be one of the few sunny days this week. Although we had glimpses of it, the sun was mostly obscured by clouds. Still, we ventured forth to Gibbons Park. If nothing else, there would be the owls! In the end, we saw or heard 15 species, including the Great Horned Owls.…

  • Morocco 4 – Jardin Majorelle

    Our weather has continued to bounce between winter and spring with some sharp transitions. After snow fell, warm temperatures and rain made the river overflow its banks. Today is the first day of spring, but winter may not be done with us quite yet. On the lone sunny day last week we went to the…

  • Morocco 3 – Gardens

    Our weather continues to be overcast with light snow most days. Still the temperatures are relatively mild – hovering around 0C – and it feels like spring on days with little or no wind. On these days, cardinals and House Finches are singing loudly, declaring territory and attracting mates. The conditions are still not great…

  • Morocco 2

    Volubilis Another winter storm blew through last Friday, fuelled by yet another Texas low. The weather forecasters are now telling us that we will have more wintery weather in the coming few weeks before warmer than usual spring weather sets in. Another storm is dumping snow on us again today (Friday, March 10) with 10…

  • Morocco 1

    Travels in Morocco – Introduction Our weather has continued to alternate between spring-like temperatures and snow accompanied by freezing rain. When the skies have cleared, we have been able to follow the close approach and then the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter in the early evening sky, as described by the science reporter in the…