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    For sure, DorothyMH ! I'm hoping that once Covid-19 restrictions end, she will have the confidence to keep doing more, and not just revert back to doing only the seniors' classes (which obviously were not pushing her to work to the best of her ability).

    Well, there aren't any hills in Rondeau, CaptainCanuck . Much as I loved to hate running hills in my youth, I do miss them now. (There aren't any hills anywhere near me though. Rondeau is not special in that regard.) But yeah: Rondeau is a pretty sweet running location overall.

    Thank you, Io6 .


      April 28 Daily Dose of Nature

      I got three first-of-season sightings this morning, including this guy:

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      This is a Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia). You can tell it's a male because of the big black cheek patch and black throat.

      Here is a female Black-and-white Warbler I photographed last spring:

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      Unfortunately, this is the best photo I have so far of a spring female black-and-white. It's pretty fuzzy. But it's good enough to show the colour pattern. Female Black-and-whites have light grey cheeks and a white throat. They do have a thick black line that extends backward from the eye, but it's not nearly as much black as in the male's cheek patch.

      Here is another spring male:

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      He's got the black cheek patch, but his chin is only partially black. This may indicate this bird is a youngster, just less than a year old.

      Black-and-white Warblers don't change a huge amount between their spring and fall plumages. The males usually get a whitish throat with black spots. The females get some buff colour in their underparts, like this lady I photographed at the end of August last year:

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      Black-and-white Warblers are our only warblers that regularly forage by creeping along the trunks of trees. Their foraging behaviour is very similar to that of the Brown Creeper. Black-and-white Warblers and Brown Creepers are similar in size, and they both display a pattern of dark and light streaking on their backs, so it can be easy to confuse these two species from a distance. Though downy woodpeckers are a bit larger than Black-and-white Warblers, this size differential can be difficult to judge in the field, and female downies have the same black-and-white colour pattern as black-and-whites, and the same habit of foraging on tree trunks. One key distinguishing characteristic between Black-and-white Warblers and both Brown Creepers and Downy Woodpeckers is that creepers and woodpeckers use their long tails as props to stabilize themselves against the tree trunk. Black-and-white Warblers do not do this.

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      Black-and-white Warblers have shorter tails than both Downy Woodpeckers and Brown Creepers. They are adapted to walk around on tree trunks with the help of stocky legs and extra long hind claws which help them to grip the bark.


        I love your bird photography! Are you familiar with the board game Wingspan? It is one of my favorite games and it is all about birds (I think it was designed by an ornithologist)!


          That's brilliant that the programs are going so well for her, that's a wonderful improvement.

          Having always lived in hilly places the idea of no hills is utterly alien to me. You'd be welcome to borrow some of mine for a bit, they're currently a bit of an obstacle for walking!


            Originally posted by Rainbow Dragon View Post

            I have so many cool critters to post about. I didn't want to forget I had promised you grebes.
            Rainbow Dragon Thank you so much for keeping your promise!! ❤️

            That's an interesting story! I am happy that photographing the Great Kiskadee gave you the chance to share your passion with other people and to learn more about birds and birdwatching!


            What a nice plumage the Horned Grebes have!! The Black-and-White Warblers are very cute too! Thanks again for sharing photos and knowledge.


            That's so kind of you to support your mother, I'm happy to read that she's improving so much and that she's gaining both confidence and force! They're both very important. Maybe, when the restrictions end, she will remember the incredible progress that you helped her to get and so she won't just settle with the old classes, hopefully she will want to go on with your workouts!

            Have a nice day and a good workout with your mom!

            ~ Claude


              Yay your mum!!


                Originally posted by Rainbow Dragon View Post
                Thank you NancyTree .

                We have to keep fighting the good fight though. Otherwise, what is the point?
                If it turns a profit, it's because the owner is likely laundering money through it.


                  Hello, Whirly15 ! I am not familiar with the Wingspan game, no. It looks interesting. I will check it out. Thank you for the recommendation!

                  I wish I could borrow some of your hills, Zastria . I well know they can be a pain when they're there and you don't want them to be. But I do miss them now that I no longer have any. (Technically, I do live on a hill, or rather, a limestone ridge. It's just really small. And it's the biggest hill in town.)

                  Zastria lapedrina TopNotch I think my mother is pretty happy with her progress (even if she does complain about doing the workouts at the time).

                  BravoLimaPoppa3 I don't have any reason to believe the bowling alley was not a legitimate business in the past. Land here is cheap, and the employees are no doubt all paid minimum wage and only work part-time. It doesn't take much to turn a profit when one's overhead is low. I just don't know what the new owner's interest in the business is, given it's so far outside of his wheelhouse and not even in the same ballpark as his other businesses with respect to revenues.


                    Tuesday, April 28 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 6

                    Baseline - Day 10: 16:40 - Level III with my mother.

                    Xpress Tone - Day 18: 27:00

                    yoga flow: 18:00

                    Total: 61 minutes

                    Other stuff:

                    2 km hiking

                    Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 118/118
                    A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 108/108
                    No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 139
                    No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 58
                    GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 42/76
                    GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 55/76


                      April 29 Daily Dose of Nature

                      Today's Daily Dose of Nature is another FOS sighting and a new species for my yard.

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                      This is a Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii). Lincoln's Sparrows do not breed or winter in my area, but they are fairly common in my neighbourhood during migration. They can be difficult to spot though, because Lincoln's are very secretive birds. They spend most of their time skulking around on the ground, rarely straying from the cover of thickets, hedges, and marsh grasses.

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                      The Lincoln's sparrow's colour pattern provides ideal camouflage for their habitat, but when one does catch a good look at one of these little sparrows, their intricate markings present quite a fancy feast for the eyes.

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                        Sharp looking lil' birdy right there. Appreciate the great pics and info!

                        lol, I saw a bird at work the other day while walking, and thought of Rainbow Dragon ...couldn't get my cell phone out quick enough for a shot!


                          Those are great pictures, RD, especially of such small and nimble birds. These lads (and lasses I assume) are the closest thing you've posted to the "small brown birds" in our back garden, who are having a great time at the moment!


                            Birds are tricky photography subjects for sure, WSMC27 ! I always give my camera a good workout when I am out birding!

                            That's interesting, Colin . New World Sparrows (Family: Passerellidae) are not closely related to Old World Sparrows (Family: Passeridae), but our birds are called "sparrows" because of their visual similarity to your sparrows. And yes: the birds in today's DDoN could be males and/or females. I have no way of knowing as Lincoln's sparrows are not sexually dimorphic. Neither do they have seasonal changes in their plumage. They pretty much all look the same all the time.

                            WSMC27 you asked me a while back if Wood Ducks have a seasonal change in their plumage. Yes, they do. Eclipse (non-breeding) males have similar colours overall to the females, except for their red eyes, colourful beaks, and the white markings on their heads, which they maintain year-round. I don't have any good photographs of eclipse males, but you can see one at:


                              There's a bird I often see when I'm running around the nearby pond, and I can't ID it. I really need to get a good picture, so I can compare the suggestions the Merlin apps gives me. Although these birds are always on the ground when I see them, I never manage to get my phone out fast enough before they disappear into the next bush.


                                LOL sleep_twitch . That is so often the case.

                                Is it a "little brown job" or a shorebird? LBJs on the ground and disappearing into bushes for cover usually = a sparrow in my part of the world. But most of my sparrows are only superficially similar to your sparrows. The only old world sparrow we get in my area is the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) but that is not so much a skulker--at least not in North America, where it is associated with human environments (rural, urban, and sub-urban) more so than wild areas. I think this is true of House Sparrows everywhere (but my knowledge of birds outside of Ontario is pretty limited). New world sparrows are more closely related to old world buntings. (I don't know anything about any of your bunting species.) Thrushes are typically ground foragers too.