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    Colin over the past decade that I have been keeping track, our magnolia has bloomed anywhere from mid-April to a full week into May. The one exception was in 2012 when we had a very early spring. The magnolia blossoms had emerged fully from the sepals by mid-March; they were just at that stage where the petals were fully exposed, but the blossoms had not yet opened. Then we got hit with frost again, and all the magnolia blossoms died without ever opening. It was very sad. All the magnolia trees all over our neighbourhood were covered in dead, brown flowers.

    This year we had several periods of mild weather over the winter, and the flower buds grew quite large. I was afraid we would witness a repeat of 2012's performance, but the blossoms held out this time. (We are expecting frost for tonight and tomorrow night, which I suspect may put an early end to this year's magnolia blossoms. But at least we got to see and enjoy them for a few days.)


      May 7 Daily Dose of Nature

      Saw lots of these birds on my hike yesterday.

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      This is the aptly-named Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia). It's our only warbler that is pretty much all yellow all over. (There are a couple of Neotropical non-migratory subspecies, one of which has a chestnut red cap and the other of which has a chestnut head, but the subspecies found throughout most of North America, including where I live, are all pretty yellow.) The males (pictured above) have red streaking on their breasts in breeding plumage.

      Female birds may show a slight bit of red in the spring, or may show none at all. This is another spring bird (probably a female, based on the light amount of breast streaking):

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      Here are a couple of birds I photographed last year on August 1st. The bird in the foreground has caught itself a nice little snack.

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      Yellow Warbler nests are frequently parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds, but unlike most of the cowbirds' victims, Yellow Warblers are able to recognize the foreign eggs in their nest. The parents will then build a new nest right on top of the old one, burying the cowbird eggs (and their own as well), and lay a new clutch in the new nest. If the new nest is again parasitized by a cowbird, the Yellow Warblers build on top of the eggs again, sometimes resulting in nests with several tiers to them.

      Here is a video of the male bird pictured at the top. He was singing pretty much non-stop when I first came up on him. Of course, he grew shy the moment I started rolling video, but he does resume his "Sweet, sweet, sweet. I'm so sweet," song near the end of the clip.


        Global Big Day is this Saturday! Global Big Day runs from midnight to midnight in your local time zone, and you can participate from wherever you are--even if you are not able to leave your own home. (Data from urban and sub-urban locations is in fact particularly valuable to the scientists who rely on eBird data for their research since these areas are usually under-sampled.) How many birds can you find in your own backyard, local park, or even just looking out from your window?


          There isn't an issue with going out to walk around the lake where all the Candian Geese and other birds are Rainbow Dragon.

          The city officials decided though to have the flow of foot traffic, etc on the walking path go one direction to help make social distancing easier. Taking this into consideration, we would have to walk completely around the lake if we want to use the walking path, and we don't have enough time to eat and to do the full walk. We still manage to get outside at our break time (weather permitting) for a nice 20 to 25 minute walk though.


            Ah. That makes sense, Seri . I have wondered if we will see some of the narrower trails in Rondeau go uni-directional once the park re-opens. (No word yet on when that will happen, but definitely not before June.) I'm glad you're still getting outside for your walk, even if you're not able to visit the geese and goslings at the moment.


              OOOOooooHhhhh Birds pictures over here ! I think i'll stick around here more often ! And thanks again for the trick for the song of the Yellow Warbler, i didn't have one in French but this one is good !


                Tuesday, May 5 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 13

                Baseline - Day 17: 17:00 - Level III with my mother.

                yoga flow: 44:00

                Total: 61 minutes

                Other stuff:

                3 km hiking
                4 minutes restorative yoga
                10 minutes meditation

                Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 125/125
                A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 115/115
                No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 146
                No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 65
                GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 43/83
                GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 58/83


                  Wednesday, May 6 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 14

                  Baseline - Day 18: 38:45 - Level III with my mother.

                  yoga flow: 24:00

                  Total: 62 minutes

                  Other stuff:

                  6 km hiking
                  6 minutes restorative yoga

                  Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 126/126
                  A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 116/116
                  No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 147
                  No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 66
                  GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 44/84
                  GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 59/84


                    Thursday, May 7 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 15

                    Baseline - Day 19: 24:30 - Level III with my mother.

                    yoga flow: 48:00

                    Total: 72 minutes

                    Other stuff:

                    1 km hiking
                    8 minutes restorative yoga

                    Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 127/127
                    A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 117/117
                    No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 148
                    No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 67
                    GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/85
                    GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 60/85


                      Hello, and welcome, Myrvina ! I take it you are a birder then too? Will you be participating in Global Big Day tomorrow (Saturday)?


                        Question: Should I, Laura Rainbow Dragon, lifelong hater of all things push-up, join The Pushers? In theory, I do want to be less weak at push-ups. And I know there's only one way to make that happen. But a year? Can I really suck it up and maintain a commitment to my nemesis for a full year?

                        I have been playing around today a bit with a plan to get through the first 28 weeks. It's a very pretty plan--if I just admire the colours and ignore what actually following through on the numbers would mean. If I do consider those numbers however... Ugh! I'm pretty sure those 28 weeks will burn through most of my supply of willingness to suck it up in the push-ups realm. Then I'll still be left with almost half a year to go--half a year of rep counts so high, the sheer boredom of so much counting will become yet another obstacle to my finishing the year. On the other hand: I'd be a whole lot better at push-ups by that point in time. But I'd have to keep doing the push-ups forever to avoid losing those gains. I say again: Ugh! (But I'm thinking about it.)


                          Maybe try out the plan but with the view of treating it as a feasibility study for whether you want to join the Pushers for next year? That way you are still accruing gains but not hitting rep counts that will be motivationally detrimental.


                            Hmm... I'm pretty sure I would not stick with even the 28 weeks I have a plan for without the accountability of The Pushers, Io6 .

                            I could always start including the vinyasas I do as part of my yoga practice once the reps start getting higher than what I want to do in regular push-ups. That's got to be good for ~ 10 reps a day (on the days when I actually squeeze in a proper yoga practice). Adding a dozen or so sun-salutations to the start of each day wouldn't be a bad thing either. I did once complete 108 sun salutations in a single day. Not that I'd want (or have the time) to do that every day. But it's an option for mixing things up on occasion.


                              Rainbow Dragon I do a little bit of ornithology for fun, it's my parents in reality that are pationate by birds (not sure if it's the right word / meaning in english sry for that ).
                              However while hiking or camping with them it's sure got my interest but i'm not that good.
                              but yeah, learning the song of birds with easy words make sometimes things easier to remember. My parents learned me some warblers like :
                              "oui-ti-ti oui-ti-ti oui-ti-ti ouit" (with French accent) = common yellowthroat

                              "Please please please to meet you !" Or "nice nice nice to meet you! " = Chestnut-sided warbler

                              tomorrow i'll be working all day in my backyard so yeah, i could take note of what I see, i didn't know there was an event for that lol! I'll go check this out ! Thanks !


                                May 8 Daily Dose of Nature

                                I saw this little bird way up high in my neighbour's pine tree on Wednesday morning:

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                                I was pretty sure it was a female bird, because we don't have too many male warblers that look that dull this time of year. I had no clue on the species though. I've been working on my warbler IDs. But there's not a lot to go on in this photograph, and the females are difficult to begin with. Unfortunately, blurry, far away shots are often all one gets to glimpse of a warbler. I lucked out later the same day, however. I was standing at my back fence again, eyes trained on the woodlot behind, in search of warblers, when this little lady flew right up to me and landed in our cedar hedge, not a metre away from my face. Of course, my camera was focused for a far away shot. It took some time to get it reset to shoot a bird so close by. And the angle of the lighting was not great. But I managed a decent shot of the bird.

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                                I still could not ID it. What was I looking at here? The bird appeared drab olive-grey all over. It reminded me a bit of a flycatcher, but it didn't look right for any of the species that frequent my area. It's colours seemed too dull, and there wasn't enough contrast in the wing bars for any of our Empidonax species. I was still stumped. This bird, however, seemed determined to make my acquaintance. The next morning, I was standing at the back fence again, when she flew down from her pine tree perch and landed on the ground just a couple of metres away. We have a sump pump in our basement that drains out the back of our property, and the water from the pump was creating a nice little stream for this bird to bathe in.

                                Click image for larger version  Name:	pine3.png Views:	0 Size:	593.8 KB ID:	689133
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                                You cannot really ask for better views of a warbler than these. Every field mark this girl has is clearly visible. Even so, I would not have been able to ID this bird on my own.

                                Fortunately, I don't need to go it alone when it comes to bird identification. iNaturalist to the rescue! I uploaded my photographs, and the image recognition software suggested Pine Warbler (Setophaga pinus) to me. I looked it up, because I've never seen a Pine Warbler quite this devoid of colour before, and learned that the ID fits, assuming this is a first year female. So I have a satisfying conclusion to my mystery--but the true treat here was the lovely opportunities this bird afforded me to watch her in action.

                                Here is another Pine Warbler I photographed last spring:

                                Click image for larger version  Name:	pine5.png Views:	0 Size:	433.8 KB ID:	689135

                                This is also a female bird (or possibly an immature male), but with it's yellow breast, white belly, olive-yellow back, and yellow mark over the eye, it's more easily identifiable as a Pine Warbler than my visitor this week.

                                Like all of our wood warblers, the Pine Warbler is primarily insectivorous, but it is known to also consume a significant quantity of seeds. For this reason, these birds do sometimes visit feeders, although their preference is for pine seeds. The Pine Warbler's diet changes seasonally, according to the relative abundance of insects versus seeds in its environment, and its digestive system undergoes seasonal physiological changes to adapt to these changes in diet.

                                Unfortunately, I do not have any decent photographs of male Pine Warblers. So I'll leave you to check out All About Birds if you'd like to see the "full colour" version of this bird.