Monday, November 18, 2019

The colours of Bird Alley

Our most recent arrival at Bird Alley yesterday was a White-throated Sparrow!( seen in the included picture, see its white throat! and its yellow lores) actually there were two of them!
We had many feathered visirors yesterday and we were pleased to welcome back the Song Sparrow which had not appeared for the two previous days.
The very busy Blue Jays ( and there seemed to be several), added their beautiful blue to the outdoor scene, The yellow of the American Goldfinch was very low key as their appearance was very brief. We did not detect any grey as the little Juncos which had appeared to be quite plentiful on previous day did not make an appearance
The colourful red on the back of a Hairy Woodpecker's head was missing so we can conclude it was a female of the species that was feeding in the alley and to finish off the day's listing was the ever present, loyal, Black-capped Chickadee

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Monarch Butterfly update

Update on the Monarch butterfly caterpillars! On August 4 and 5th. We collected three caterpillars from our milkweed plants and put them in cages on a bookshelf in our back porch.

For two weeks the caterpillars ate milkweed leaves daily and grew long and thicker in their bodies. Daily I provided  fresh leaves and removed the many round poop pellets from their cages. When they climbed to the top of the cages
and  had attached themselves there  by Wednesday morning and their caterpillar
bodies were hanging in a “j” shape we knew they were on the threshold of entering their chrystalsis stage! By late Wednesday afternoon we could no longer see any caterpillars! In their place were three shiny green chrystalsis pods hanging from the top in each cage!
Amazing! On. August the 31st. We expect we shall see three adult Monarch butterflies, one in each cage.  Magical!  Butterfly pictures of Adult Monarch butterflies in the cages in about ten days are next folks!

Monday, August 12, 2019

dry milkweed blossoms

The stalks on this milkweed blossom are drying and as they become dried out and brittle they fall from the plant. Realising that the little monarch butterfly caterpillar climbing on the blossom stalks might fall to the ground and be lost from its food source of mlkweed leaves, I took the caterpillar and picked a fresh milkweed leaf and placed them together in a cage for its safety and development. In about two weeks time this little caterpillar should be in its chrysalis stage, after which it will become an adult Monarch butterfly, then hopefully on its way to Mexico for its wintering! Nature is magical! Please help protect Nature's many, many delicate, beautiful creatures!

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Monarch butterfly eggs hatching!

I am monitoring my milkweed plants looking for signs of newly hatched eggs. a hole in a leaf might indicate that an egg has hatched and a tiny caterpillar might be feeding there! YES, I found such a holey condition on two leaves this morning and I found two very, very small caterpillars nearby the hole in the leaves. I would approximate their body length to be about 1/8 inch in length. Apparently they will remain in this, their caterpillar stage for about two weeks, munching on milkweed leaves until they have fattened up and they become much larger, getting ready for their chrysalis stage. I do hope they survive and I can keep track of them! In the picture below you can see from where the Monarch's egg hatched. You can see the tiny caterpillar and also the hole from which it hatched from to the left of the caterpillar.
Just imagine that this winter this tiny caterpillar may be an adult Monarch butterfly wintering in Mexico!! Isn't nature fascinating! Lets all do our share in protecting Milkweed patches!

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Monarch Butterfly Eggs!

The female Monarch butterfly was back yesterday and was laying a few eggs on the underside of milkweed leaves!

 The egg shown above is a very small pinpoint white dot
The egg shown above is an enlargement of the egg found on the underside of the milkweed leaf.
Caterpillars are expected in four days! ( maybe by the Weekend?,)We shall monitor these developments carefully!  Please go to the following link for detailed information about the metamorphosis process of the monarch butterfly.
I shall follow this process on this blog within the next couple of weeks or so.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

AMAZING Monarchs: A New generation!

We have two blossoming milkweed plants growing in cracks in our cement doorstep in front of our garage door. Today we have been watching a female Monarch feeding there on the blossoms since around 10 a.m. this morning. It is still feeding there now, around 2 p.m.
I am hoping that it will lay eggs on the plant and in a few days, maybe we will see a Monarch butterfly caterpillar emerge. Last summer we found such a caterpillar on one of the leaves. I had decided last summer not
to disturb the caterpillar and thought to watch its natural development. However, much to my disappointment the caterpillar disappeared from the plant following a windy night. This year, if the occasion arises I plan on caging the caterpillar and feeding it fresh milkweed leaves daily. I have raised Monarch butterflies successfully by doing this and monitoring its progress for about three times now.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

A Swallowtail butterfly for Saturday Critters.

A Swallowtail feeding on Purple Vetch.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

A Canada Goose family for Saturday Critters

I spied this Canada’s family crossing a pond in group earlier this week. There were eight goslings in total. That is quite a large family! I have read that a female Canada will lay from four to nine eggs. If that is so, then this group has been quite a successful hatch so far with a survival number of eight. May all continue to go well for them.
I am posting this morning to Eileen’s Saturday Critters which can be found at: May this first summer weekend go well with you all.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Wood Turtle for Saturday Critters

Tthis is turtle season in my area. Daily I see Painted turtles and I am waiting to see the big Snapping turtles laying their eggs.  Yesterday I saw a turtle species that I seldom see, a Wood Turtle!  I think it had been in the  process of digging a location to lay its eggs as the soil was disturbed there as I came along.  the bright red on its legs and neck signified to me that it was a Wood Turtle


 I am linking today to Eileens Saturday Critters which can be found at

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Cedar Waxwings for Saturday Critters

This is an event that I wait and watch for every year: that being of finding Cedar Waxwings feeding among the apple blossoms!  The delicacy of the light

yellow of the bird's breast's mingles beautifully with the delicate pinks and whites of the blossoms.
I am linking this morning to Eileens Saturday Critters which can be found at
Have a wonderful sunny weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 06, 2019

An Interesting Mystery

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Two Painted Turtles for Saturday Critters

It has been a slightly frustrating spring awaiting sunny warmer weather which would entice the Painted turtles out of their watery environments, encouraging them to sun themselves on the river or pond banks.  Yesterday I saw this pair on the banks of the pond where I had often seen them in the [past springs.  Warmer days are upon us now and hopefully that is good news for turtle sightings.

I am posting today on eileen's Saturday Critters which can be found at

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Baltimore Oriole

We were  delighted to receive a visit from a Baltimore Oriole several times in Bird Alley this past week.  At first the peanut feeder seemed to be its favouirite go to location.  However, it was very attracted to the hummingbird feeder and attempted to feed there.  I recalled having heard that grape jelly was a  favoured food for orioles so I had some and decided to place a few tablespoons of jelly on a saucer.  The jelly was well received and appreciated by the oriole. The next day the jelly was all gone, with a little help from a Chipmunk as we watched as one nibbled at the jelly.  For two days we put out grape jelly and both days the jelly was all gone.  We had a hummingbird feeder hanging on our clothesline and the Oriole was quite successful there getting some nectar as the feeder jiggled  when the Oriole nudged it and the nectar within was easily jiggled out within easy reach of  the oriole.  That feeder is now empty also..I think that orange guy had quite the sweet tooth!

 I haven't seen the Oriole since Friday so I am assuming its visit is now over. However it was a lovely visit for us sitting inside viewing its beauty through our windows.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Northern Paraula for Saturday Critters

Its warbler season and today I am sharing this Northern Parula on Eileen's Saturday Critters.  Eileen's Saturday Critters can be found at

Saturday, May 18, 2019

A Muskrat for Saturday Critters

I love to find other critters other than birds out in the wild and yesterday I found a muskrat swimming in a large pond area. he first thing I did was look for the tail

to tell me if it was a beaver ( flat tail) or a muskrat ( skinny tail) and when I saw the tail I knew it wasn't a beaver! as you can see from the picture above it was a Muskrat. I was sitting in my car with my window rolled down nd thus could not get a variety of pictures but I did Iwill try to get a selection of poses to post here.

I am posting today to Eileen's Saturday Critters which can be found at:

Friday, May 17, 2019


I hadn't seen a cowbird for quite a while, however yesterday afternoon I spied a grey bird in bird Alley that I was not familiar with and I finally concluded that it just might be a female cowbird!

 My id of a female cowbird was somewhat verified  shortly after when I saw a  male brown-headed Cowbird feeding in Bird Alley.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Barn Swallows

There is a pond area that I go to daily and at this time of year is is full of Tree Swallow activity, busily skimming near the water surface in search of insects. This year I have found Barn Swallows among the Tree Swallows. I have never seen Barn Swallows at this location before. It is a wonderful find for me!
the above picture  hows three  Barn swallows.the rust picture from the left and the middle one, both display the larg o wide fired TIL characteristic of Barn Swallows.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Our First Ruby-throated Hummingbird this Spring.

Hummingbirds ..
yesterday David bought a couple of new hummingbird feeders and

they are hanging in Bird Alley. I watched hopefully all afternoon yesterday but no sightings! However this morning I saw a Hummingbird in the small branches of Bird Alley, about two meters from a full, brightly coloured red feeder. I haven't seen any approach a feeder yet, but I'm quite sure it will happen sometime today. But will I be watching it at the time???? As you can see the red throat in the picture above, our first hummingbird visitor was a mle.  As the day wore on the little bird became more comfortable with our area and visited the feeder often.,  He is back visiting and feeding again this morning.

female Rose-breasted Grosbeak

I have been waiting for the arrival of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and yesterday one arrived! However it was not the handsome male with its beautiful rose coloured breast, but instead a rather plain, uninteresting female arrived yesterday afternoon and also again this morning just a few minutes ago. Hopefully its male counterpart is nearby and it will arrive soon!? 

When the male finally arrives I shall post its picture here as an update!

Saturday, May 04, 2019

A RuiffedGrouse for Saturday Critters

I saw this Ruffed Grouse sauntering slowly across a country road in a treed area.  I slowed my car to very surely keep close to it taking pictures all the while. It never got scared away at any of the time. 

Locally this bird is known as a Birch Partridge, apparently this is a misnomer.
" Dec 22, 2008 …" The ruffed grouse is frequently referred to as the "partridge" or as a "birch partridge." This is technically wrong, as partridges are unrelated …"

I am linking today to Eileen's