Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hawks of The Vermilon River.

I  always see these guys circling looking for prey, and they're a long way up. If I knew where they nested I'd be camped out looking for close-up shots . But it appears I have to settle for what I can get. It also makes the ID difficult, but I think they are Northern Goshawks, although Red-Tailed Hawks are native to the area. ID'ing of birds is getting more difficult. With the re-greening of the area, and global warming, new species are moving in. The other day I had to send a photo to Science North, a type of natural history museum to help in an ID.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ring-Billed Gulls of the Vermilon River.

Gulls fight over food

Mirror Image

Gull in Flight

Gull with Unusual Plumage

Mid Air Collison
 In an urbanized or even rural area in Southern Ontario, this bird, or its cousins, would be dismissed as a nuisance,but in this area they are an integral part of river life. They are also one of the great fliers who ride the warm air thermals, the others being the hawks, and the crows or their cousins, the ravens. They are distinguished from Herring Gulls by the ring on their beak.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

White-Throated Sparrow of the Vermilon River.

These photos were taken along the banks of the river with the complete cooperation of the sparrow. The White-Throated is just one of the many types of sparrows native to the area.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flowers of the Vermilon

Bull Rushes

Devil's Paint Brush

Wild Sage

Devil's Paint Brush

Ox-Eyed Daisy

Bee in Common Burdock

Elecampane showing flower and buds

Field Thistle



Wild Aster


Common Mullein

 Its time for a change of pace. The Vermilon forest also has an active line up of wild flowers, although a lot of people would call them weeds. They're not all here, but there is always next year.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Edible Berries.

Rippening Blueberries

Rippened Blueberries

Moutain Ash

Could be chokecherries or high bush cranberries blowing in the wind.
Same as above


Pin Cherries

Wild Raspberries
 Despite some inherent dangers the forest has a bountiful side supplying food in the form of edible berries for the birds and wildlife. As well the blueberries are handpicked commercially and shipped south. In the forest it gets to be a race as the blueberries are the favourites of the native black bears. Remember I said it was a wilderness forest. The raspberries are small, but incredible sweet. The pin cherries are tart but make a great jelly that a friend makes for us. No one eats the mountain ash berries, but the wildlife. The berries provide my energy food when I'm hiking or waiting at a wetland to see what's around.

The Same Family: Blue Jays, Ravens and Crows

American Crow

Crow In Flight

 Blue jays are squawky, flighty birds and when they spot you in the forest everything else is alerted as well . Nevertheless, they're colourful, and this one was almost posing. The crows here are huge and do quite well from their scavenging. As well they are beautiful fliers. The raven is very well established in aboriginal legend as a trickster, and its a pleasure to see him on our journeys.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Canada Geese Cont'd

These are other photos taken of Canada Geese in the early spring with the ice on the river which accounts for their flying mishaps, and later with their goslings. I noticed that the geese have about 5 goslings which declines to 2 over the summer, likely the result of predators.