One of my favorite places to spend a spring morning is the Big Creek Marsh at Long Point, Ontario, one of the finest marshes left in Ontario. As a bonus, the wind was blowing enough to keep the biting bugs away.
When the Marsh Wrens arrive and set up territories, they get into some serious singing. If you watch the video, you’ll see that they are not the most beautiful of singers but they are enthusiastic.
The Hooded Warbler, Wilsonia citrina , is named for the black plumage which covers the neck and the cap of the male, and which sets of the gold face beautifully. It breeds in eastern North America, including small numbers in southern Canada. It is designated as threatened here due to low numbers and the increasing decline in deciduous and mixed woodland where it prefers to breed. It winters to the West Indies and Central America.
This image was taken in Long Point, Ontario where there a scattered breeding pairs.
This is a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk, Accipiter cooperii which was taken from the banding nets at the Long Point, Ontario tip station in May/2006. At that time of year, much of the sandy soil is covered with dried grass which makes a good background.
“Lawrence’s” Warbler Vermivora pinus x chrysoptera is the recessive cross between the Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers. This image was taken at the Old Cut banding Station in Long Point, Ontario.
Early one morning, while looking for migrant birds along the lake at Long Point, Ontario,I spotted an adult fox standing like a sentinel on a pile of rubble. As I drove slowly closer I was delighted to see that there were a half a dozen young kits playing under her watchful eye. She gave a sharp alarm bark and they quickly disappeared.
I sat quietly in my car, and eventually they re-appeared. The mother had decided I was not a threat and I had the treat of watching them tussle and play. One curious young animal came within a few feet to examine me. I spent several hours watching them and eventually the adult became confident enough with my presence to go off on a hunt.
This lovely Red-winged Blackbird was perched along the Big Creek marsh trail at Long Point. She sits on a graceful plant called phragmites or Common Reed. It is a tall plant that is often used in gardens but it has invaded natural marsh area throughout North America and is difficult to control.
Ontario Parks have recognized the dangers of this plant and are studying possible controls. They include herbicide, cutting, burning, smothering and biological.
One of my favorite wildflowers is Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea, sometimes known as Painted Cup. The beautiful red portion is actually a bract, while the flower is a smaller yellow green portion at the top. The best spreads I’ve seen are in sandy soil like there is in Long Point, Ontario.