Now close your eyes. Listen to the sounds of the forest around you. How many different birds can you hear … two, three, six? The song we are going to listen for today is that of the Swainson’s Thrush, a bird you definitely hear but may never see. It’s beautiful song is a series of rising spiralling whistles, once heard, not soon forgotten. Lets head along Stoney Creek to North Road – remember to keep your eyes and ears open.

Hey, is that a black-headed grosbeak? – to the right, on the bush at two o’clock … it went in … I think it is on a nest. Can you guys see it?


It’s right there. Under the branch that is sloping downward.

Randy can you find it in the camera?

There it is – a male and a female! The male is sitting on the nest.

Anyone found it in the book yet?

Got it. Description reads: Male: black head; buffy orange breast and collar; bold white marking on the black wing. Female: large bill; buffy eyebrow; light streaking on buffy breast; 2 white wing bars – both male and female incubate the eggs and will sing from the nest (pg 33 Stokes Field Guide to Birds)

YES!!! We have a male and female! Way to go Amanda. A first sighting for us.

….. an hour later

I hear a band or something.

Maybe someone is playing a CD.

Mmmmm … something smells good.

I’m hungry.

I think someone is having a barbecue.

I smell a different kind of aroma now.

Stomachs grumbling, six birders emerge from the end of North Road.

The music is definitely louder and coming from our right where two blocks down the street a colourful striped trailer is parked. Smoke lazily floats upward.

Looks Italian.

Do you think it is a gelato trailer?

Binoculars to eyes we are able to make out the words

Gelato? Food? Let’s go!

Bingo! Welcome to Oakdale Community Days, plant sale and Casalinga Food Cart where you have a choice of burgers, hot dogs and fries or a delicious fish, prawn, coleslaw and avocado wrap. Yummy! The six of us sit in the shade, on a grassy slope, enjoying our unexpected feast to the music of a community band. And for dessert – free donuts, coffee and hot chocolate compliments of Tim Horton’s. Bonus!

14 bird species recorded today including the Swainson’s Thrush

4 squirrels (had the joy of watching a mamma giving her young one lessons on how to jump from branch to branch – this information may come in handy one day if we have to out climb a bear!)

3 butterfly species: cabbage white, funereal duskywing and swallow tail species

Starting temperature, at 9 am, on this Saturday the 31st of May, 2014 was 13 degrees – skies – sunny and blue!

Come learn with us. You will be glad you did. Check out our calendar tab to see when you can join in our next Thursday or Saturday morning walk. Adventure awaits!

group by Wendy Snyder, black-headed grosbeak & food trailer by Randy Snyder, couple by Mojgan Aghevli

group by Wendy Snyder, black-headed grosbeak & food cart by Randy Snyder, couple by Mojgan Aghevli