An Insider's Guide to Waterloo Region

Interesting places on and off the beaten track

Archive for the ‘Birding’ Category

Fluffed up in the Cold

Cold weather increases the energy needs of wild birds. This male House Finch is fluffed up to help insulate itself from the cold. I will be filling the feeders to the top before the winter storm which is predicted to start tomorrow night.

Written by Ruth

January 31, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Posted in Birding, Wildlife

Tagged with ,

Winter Hike at Huron Natural Area

Josh Shea, coordinator of Kitchener’s Natural Areas Program (KNAP), led a winter hike at Huron Natural Area on Saturday, January 23, 2011. He discovered coyote scat and was describing its unique characteristics to the group. Over 30 people of all ages came out in spite of bitter cold temperatures.

Written by Ruth

January 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Who Built this Tower?

I accessed the Walter Bean Trail near Kestrel Street in Kitchener last week and walked along the river to Kiwanis Park. This tower is on the opposite side of the river near Bloomingdale. I have looked on the satellite map and have searched the internet for information, but can find nothing to identify it.

Here is a map of the area. Does anyone know who built the tower and if it is accessible to the public?

This is where I took the photograph. You can see the tower in the distance across the river. Eagles are commonly seen along this stretch of the Grand River in the winter.

Written by Ruth

January 19, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Posted in Birding, Grand River, Trails

Winter Robins

Grand River, Homer Watson Park opposite Pioneer Tower

I walked along the Grand River in Homer Watson Park yesterday. It was very cold and bleak as I stepped over big chunks of river ice which were thrown up on the banks during the recent thaw. This is one of the few areas of the river that has open water within the city limits. The nearby water treatment plant discharges treated water here and it seldom freezes over in this area opposite the Pioneer Tower. I was looking for birds and saw the usual species in the trees and water. Then I noticed some unusual birds on the edge of the ice. Robins! A flock of about 30 birds was in the trees below the tower and they came to the edge of the river for a drink. The light was poor and the bottom picture was taken with digital zoom but there is no mistaking these birds.

Written by Ruth

January 14, 2011 at 8:19 am

Ducks on the River

I walked along the Linear Trail after work yesterday. The Grand River is ice free following the thaw and rain we had last weekend and is home to many ducks which come south to winter in our region. Goldeneye, Bufflehead and Merganser ducks are found along this stretch of the river. This memorial bench is ideally situated for watching the river. On the opposite bank is the RARE Charitable Research Reserve. It is not uncommon to see deer on these river flats.

Common Mergansers and Common Goldeneye Ducks on the Grand River


Written by Ruth

January 5, 2011 at 7:59 am

Grand River at Conestogo

This is near the confluence of the Conestoga and Grand Rivers. A Juvenile Bald Eagle was sitting in a tree on the opposite bank of the river. (map to Sawmill Rd. and Golf Course Rd.)

Written by Ruth

December 29, 2010 at 12:19 am

White-breasted Nuthatch

Sunday’s wet snow hardened into ice very quickly with the cold north winds have lowered the temperatures considerably. Our feeders are very busy as the birds need more food to keep warm. This White-breasted Nuthatch found the suet feeder encased in ice yet it hammered away to get a few seeds.

Written by Ruth

December 14, 2010 at 12:07 am

Posted in Birding, Weather and Seasons

Tagged with ,