Birding and more...Newsletter
2010 / Issue 5


March is definitely the month for Ducks, Geese, and Swans in Belleville, and the surrounding area. Mute Swan by Elaine KirschCanada Geese and Mallards are everywhere. It's also easy to see Mute Swans and Tundra Swans. There Red-breasted Merganser by Garry Kirschare Mallards, Mergansers, and Goldeneyes on the Moira River. There are Long-tailed Ducks and Red-breasted Mergansers in Wellington Harbour. Presqu'ile Park is bragging that they have Wood Ducks, American Wigeons, Northern Pintails, Greater Scaup and Lesser Scaup. East Lake has Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Scaup, Goldeneye, and Buffleheads. Kaiser Crossroads has Male Long-tailed Duck by Garry Kirschseen Buffleheads, Northern Pintails, and American Wigeons, and Prince Edward Point features White-winged Hooded Merganser by Garry KirschScoters, Long-tails, Buffleheads, and a variety of Mergansers. So this is the time to get out to the open waters and take in your fill.
The Ducks, Geese and Swans are waiting.

Picture of the week
Long-tailed Duck (female)

From the Birds in the Wild gallery on our website


The Readers Patch is a space for your photos, stories, and/or comments.
Send anything you'd like to share with us to:

A Duck's feet have only very tiny capillaries in a lace-like structure.  Warm blood flows from the body and criss-crosses with the colder blood coming up from the feet. The hot and cold capillaries exchange heat which preserves the Duck's core temperature.
This means that a duck's feet never feel the cold, even if they swim in icy cold water.


     What's New this week

New posts have been added to the Birding and more blog:

New pictures were added to the Birds in the Wild gallery and the Landscapes gallery.

A new page has been added to the site, called: Ten Tips for Successful Birding.


Taken in front of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
by a friend of Paula's


"You never know what might be around the next corner."

There's an old saying amongst birders: "One bird landing is worth a dozen taking off".  OK, it's not an old saying. In fact, I just made it up, but it is true. If I'm lucky enough to be somewhere when a bird lands, I'm usually going to get a good look and probably a good photo. If I scare off a dozen birds by blundering into a place where they were just perched, I'm going to get a very brief glimpse of their backsides as they fly away - and I will almost never get a photo of them.

I've learned that whenever I'm walking through the woods and I come to a bend in the trail, I am best served to slow down and try to get a peek around the corner before I keep going and scare off whatever might be there. It happened so many times to me when I first started birding. I would come striding into a clearing, or make a fast turn only to see what would have been the best bird of the day fly off. Conversely, recently I have been fortunate enough to get some great photos by being patient and taking my time when hiking in the bush.

So next time you're out and about, remember to slow down a little. It'll increase the chances for those special sightings. Good luck and good birding!


With the warm weather we've had this past week, it's really beginning to feel like Spring and we see signs everywhere that's it just around the corner. We aren't ready quite yet to remove our “winter” feeder arrangement for “spring/summer” but since the snow is gone and chances are that very little will come now, we've hung a couple of feeders on the double hook in the back flower island. (For the winter we kept everything closer to the house to make it easier to put out the seed.) Almost instantly Chickadees were swooping in to grab a bite and I'm sure the Cardinals will be visiting them soon.
Butterfly Bush (by Elaine Kirsch)While we prefer to have the birds coming closer to the house we like to give them options and provide for the ones who don't feel comfortable too close to people. There's been a nice variety and number of birds the past few days which is a real treat and hopefully a taste of what the Summer will be like.

With this Spring mood in the air, I'm beginning to think about soon pruning the shrubs that need to be pruned before flowering, in late Winter/early Spring. Most of the shrubs we've chosen will flower in early to mid Spring followed by fruit later, and while some require very little pruning (if any) some do require heavy pruning. In particular I'll have to cut back the Butterfly BushButterfly Bush (by Elaine Kirsch) to within about 6 inches of the ground. I try to put it off for as long as I can in case some of the returning birds need its seeds but it needs to be pruned before the new growth begins. Most of the other shrubs we have just need to be pruned for appearance – cutting out the older wood or dead branches and any stragglers that spoil the look. Again, I'm leaving those as long as I can in case the birds need the leftover seeds but I'll soon get out there and give them a trim. I'm not a person who likes work but this is a chore I'm looking forward to!

If you liked our newsletter please pass it along to your friends and family.
Subscriptions are free!
Just send an email to:

    Copyright © 2010 Garry Kirsch                                                          

If you wish to cancel your subscription send an email to