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** The most recent post is below in full, with short excerpts from earlier ones after that to tempt you into reading them in full.

Teenagers …

It’s that time of the year again when the young birds leave the nest and the berries on the trees begin to ripen. This morning a recently fledged American Robin (note spotty breast) was flopping about in an Amelanchier canadensis tree in the garden and learning to take fruit without falling out of the tree … something it did several times as it overstretched to reach one just out of range.

(* click images to see at full size)

Sunday, June 13, 2021|Categories: birds, Garden|Tags: , , |0 Comments

On the Naming of Birds

Monday, December 28, 2020|Categories: Birding, birds|Tags: |

Tits or Chickadees?Not sure how I had missed this after a lifetime looking at creatures but I recently came across a photograph of a small bird and thought "funny looking Chickadee". This was the bird: It didn't take me long to work out that it was similar but different - here is the Black-capped Chickadee we [...]

“West Island Wildlife #2” – FREE

Sunday, December 27, 2020|Categories: Birding, birds, wildlife, winter|Tags: , , , |

Do you know just how varied is the wildlife on the West Island in Winter? West Island Wildlife is an occasional webzine. It is FREE and fully illustrated, and has the intention of introducing readers to the surprisingly varied wildlife and native plants to be found on the West Island of Montreal. Following the good reception (thanks everyone) which [...]

The Dark Morris and Climate Change

Tuesday, December 22, 2020|Categories: commentary, morris dance|Tags: , |

Terry Pratchett wrote a wonderful book under the title of “Wintersmith” that mentioned the essential role of the annual silent performance of the Dark Morris in ensuring that winter arrives as it should. I was reminded today, the winter solstice, of this tradition and, as a former morris dancer/musician myself felt the need to reacquaint myself with the [...]

Winter Music

Sunday, December 20, 2020|Categories: music, winter|Tags: , |

This winter, instead of sorting through the CDs deciding what seasonal music to listen to while putting up the winter tree I opted to spend a happy afternoon creating a seasonally specific Spotify playlist - and sharing it. We do Christmas, of course we do, but we really enjoy the Winter Solstice a few days before so [...]

Winter Duties Start Again (Birds)

Friday, December 4, 2020|Categories: Birding, birds, conservation, Montreal, Uncategorized|Tags: , , |

Best time of the year Well - almost 🙂 Faithful followers of this journal will recall that we spend three to four months each winter visiting and walking around the nearby bird observatory in the snow and deep cold to top up the feeders and to take a census of what birds are to be seen. We [...]

A Challenge Accepted

Tuesday, December 1, 2020|Categories: Baie-D'Urfe, Birding, birds, Garden|Tags: , , , |

Garden Birds - November 2020. During this "lockdown and go nowhere" year Bird Protection Quebec have replaced their weekly guided birding field trips with a series of interesting virtual alternatives. Basically, they have been saying, here’s a challenge, go and do it and then tell us all about what you found. For the month of November the challenge [...]

Recipe – Stuffed Focaccia

Monday, November 2, 2020|Categories: bread, Recipe|Tags: , |

I have to give 100% credit to my friend Emily, the “Baking Queen” for this idea. Recently she posted about stuffed focaccia and her rolled creations looked so appealing I had to try. Especially I had to try as half the inhabitants here have to avoid gluten and my GF regular focaccia is the outstanding winner of [...]

Early winter community jollity

Sunday, October 25, 2020|Categories: Baie-D'Urfe|Tags: , |

Looking to the future - When I was a kid over a half century ago Hallowe’en (it had an apostrophe in it back then) was an indoor party with "exciting" games such as apple bobbing. Nobody actually had these parties but we read about them in children’s story books, probably written pre-war. Sometime during the eighties before we [...]

On the Street Where You Live – an Idea

Sunday, October 25, 2020|Categories: Baie-D'Urfe, Landscape, photography, streets|Tags: , , , |

A Project Perhaps? We were walking near home recently, as we do every day to keep things working as they should be, and went along a short stretch of a road separated from the Autoroute 20 (that's the very busy and noisy road to Toronto) by a dense but narrow stretch of trees on undeveloped land. It's the [...]

Forest Walking

Friday, October 23, 2020|Categories: arboretum|Tags: , |

The End of Autumn We had thought that our last visit to the forest a couple of weeks ago would be the high spot of the tree colour this year but somehow the leaves have hung on and this morning's exercise found us walking under some more glorious golden trees. That and we saw the Red-bellied Woodpecker. [...]

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