I can never leave Hendrie Valley Park without a smile. If you’re in the neighbourhood and perhaps having a down day, the black-capped chickadees here will leave you in stitches. These little dears will do anything to catch your attention including but not limited to landing on your camera lens and/or hood, or your head. Saturday afternoon’s visit was no different. While an endless parade of chickadees took seeds from my hand, one little enterprising chickadee landed on my knapsack and started pecking away at my seed bag.
As with Lasalle Marina earlier Saturday morning, the dark-eyed junco appeared to be the most numerous species.
I leave it to you to tally the juncos!
At the west end of the park I found these green-winged teal.
I was surprised to find killdeer!
While adjusting my camera I noted some movement across the stream. A family of four and their dog approached from the right. Not wanting to miss documenting what I saw, I motioned for them to proceed quietly. Together we watched what unfolded. Two other couples with their dogs joined in moments later. This is what we saw:
Curiously, the three dogs present didn’t bark at the coyote.
Suddenly and without warning I heard a loud racket from the tree to the right of me. I’m thinking, what the blazes is wrong. I turned my head then started laughing. This little Carolina wren obviously wanted all nine humans and three dogs to leave posthaste. Too cute!
Thankfully, this Canada goose was not stuck in the ice.
Heading back I found three photographers happily taking pictures of a flock of cedar waxwings.
I was about to head out when I ran into a charming senior. She stopped me to inquire about my camera equipment. She was using a portrait lens and very knowledgeable about cameras and birds. I asked her if she wanted to photograph waxwings. She did. We headed over but she didn’t want to disturb the group. I told her she wouldn’t. After a local birder shot an uzi-style round of photographs, I tapped him on the shoulder and asked if she could go in front of him. He graciously allowed her through. It was a wonderful sight. There she was holding her own as the three other photographers rapid-fired their cameras. When she had her fill she thanked everyone, introduced herself, and inquired about their photography equipment prior to rejoining her family.
I always think back to when I first started. Generous folk helped me along the way. For me it’s important to give back. I often carry extra black-oiled sunflower seeds to Hendrie to give to visitors, particularly the children, who either brought the incorrect type of seed or bread, or didn’t have anything with them to enjoy the pleasure of feeding the birds.