To the left is a male White Breasted Nuthatch at Bronte Creek in Burlington, Ontario; and below is a Black Capped Chickadee.
Sunday February 01, 2009 has been the best day of the winter season so far and by a long shot. The sun was out in full and we hit a bamly +3c for an afternoon. It was on the windy side but that was okay.
We decided earlier in the week, weather permitting, we would check out Bronte Creek in Burlington, Ontario. A great bunch of walking trails although with the snow a pair of snow shoes or cross country skies make the trek much easier. Acres of forest, open fields and a river runs through it! This makes a good place to hopefully spot some wildlife. We've heard of what can be seen here from the many small birds species such as the very tame Black Capped Chickadees which more often than not will take seed from the palm of your hand, White Breasted Nuthatches, Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays among many others. Word is Snowy Owls are in the area but we didn't see any; along with a few Hawk species like the Red Tailed. Mammals are in abundance too but we only saw black Squirrels, gray Squirrels and heard the angry chatter of one Red Squirrel. Deer can be seen, if you are quiet and lucky enough.
There are buildings about the conservation area... very old houses (not open) and a small farm. Loads of House Sparrows live in the barns and hop about the old farm equipment within. There are Cows about and a Peacock pen too!
It's a great place to spend a nice afternoon, not too far out of Toronto. The only drawback is that it takes you a bit to get into the woods and away from the road noise of the QEW (highway). I am not keen on listening to the cars and trucks speeding by as I am on a nature hike.
In another year or two there will be an even bigger drawback as directly across from the entrance to the conservation area is a flat field with a nice big zoning sign; which means construction and development are coming soon. More houses? Shopping mall? There is a Tim Hortons (coffee chain) about 60 seconds down the road from the entrance already. To the north are some housing deveopments with hundreds of newer homes. The conservation area is protected, of course, but as more and more humans are drawn in... what will the animals do? Adapt? Move on? If so, to where? They are surrounded by housing developments, strip malls, main roads and one big highway.
So, while I enjoyed myself greatly with all that nature had to offer on this day; seeing that sign on the way into the park kept a bit of the grim reality in the GTA as it swells above capacity with humans and the need for more homes, more Walmarts, more chain restaurants and so on.
Sometimes, I am not very proud of the human race...