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    May 9 Daily Dose of Nature

    It was cold and windy in my cell of the Hive for Global Big Day, but I still got in a great day of birding. It will likely take me a few days to sort through all of my photos, get my counts input into eBird, and figure out just how many species of birds I saw today. So for tonight, I will give you some more cute photos of baby birds.

    Goslings (Canada Goose - Branta canadensis)

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    Baby Grackle (Common Grackle - Quiscalus quiscula)

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    Fledgling Robin (American Robin - Turdus migratorius)

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      Grackles have freaking awesome feathers!


        That's brilliant that you'll be able to go back to Rondeau! I'm excited for you


          Don't they just, 'rin . Most people around here ignore the grackles, because they are common. But I think they are beautiful. One day soon I will dig up some photos of adult birds in good lighting and do a post on grackles.


            Thank you Zastria ! I'm excited too! So many trails, and only one re-opening day! Which one to choose?
            (Just kidding on the choice dilemma. If the Marsh Trail is open, I am totally going there first thing. It was closed all last summer from flooding that occurred in mid-May. So if that trail is above water on Friday, I'll be hiking out to the very end of it while I can! If the Marsh Trail is already inaccessible, I'll start out on Warbler's Way, then work my way down Harrison, right through the centre of the park, adding in all the little side trails as I reach them. Either way, it's going to be a great day!)


              Thank you, Colin . I've done 15 push-ups this morning for Day 1 of the Knee Push-ups Challenge. So I guess I am joining you. It is comforting to know I will not be the only push-up hater there.


                I started the challenge as a hater, too. And I quit... now ... I still don't like PUshups very much, but I made peace with'em


                  I thought the knee push ups challenge was a gentle way of progression and shoulder strength building. Particularly for women. I had done the chest and arms all the way through, and partly the regular pushups but had to stop it. As I’ve said before, for us older females (of which I seem to be β€œan elderly female” here in the Hive), if we aren’t doing SOME kind of push up several times a week, we lose EVERYthing in the UpperBody that we’ve gained during a challenge or program. I swear, I get so disgusted by that body difference between males and females.

                  Also, Rainbow Dragon, have a great time birding back in Rondeau


                    Thank you, DorothyMH . I will most certainly have an excellent time in Rondeau on Friday!

                    I too find that it's difficult for me to gain strength in the upper body and that I lose it quickly when I stop doing the same volume/level of work. This has always been the case for me, even when I was quite young. (I could do more push-ups, longer flexed-arm hangs etc. as a child than I can now, but this is largely because I was a skinny child, so bodyweight exercises didn't involve too much weight back then.) We are definitely hormonally disadvantaged when it comes to building upper body strength (even more so than with lower body strength, for whatever reason). I'm hoping that I find through this period of focussing more on push-ups a way to make them a more regular part of my life going forward. Suffering the torture of doing so many push-ups only to allow whatever gains I make from the work to dissipate again within six months time is not what I have in mind!


                      oneironaut I shoot with a Nikon Coolpix P900. It is a compact digital point and shoot camera with 83x (2000 mm equivalent) optical zoom. Most of the time I use it in full auto mode. (I have played around with the manual settings only a tiny bit.) My camera has its limitations. But for my purposes, it is the best camera available.

                      One rule I set for myself way back at the beginning of my adventures in birding is that I am never allowed to become one of those birders who drives from hotspot to hotspot. I will drive initially to a generally good birding location, like Rondeau. But then I park the car and get out and walk. Yesterday I hiked 22 km in total. It would not have been a fun day if I'd been lugging a DSLR camera with a 2000 mm lens around the whole time! (Not to mention, I would need to carry a monopod to shoot anything successfully with such a long lens!) I did consider getting the P1000, which has 125x (3000 mm equivalent) optical zoom, but it weights 50% more (3 lbs. for the P1000 versus 2 lbs. for the P900) and I likely wouldn't be able to hold my subject in the frame shooting handheld at such a high zoom in any case. (On a windy day, keeping my subject in the frame at 83x zoom is challenging enough.) Plus the P900 has built-in GPS, which I need for uploading anything to iNaturalist.


                        May 10 Daily Dose of Nature

                        This fancy lady (and yes, this is a female bird) is a Wilson's Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor):

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                        Phalaropes are unusual in the bird world in that the females are more brightly coloured than the males in breeding plumage. Male Wilson's lack the dark neck stripe that the females show in breeding plumage, and their colours are more subdued overall. This reversed colour pattern occurs for good reason as phalaropes also exhibit a reversal of more traditional gender roles in the bird world: it is the male phalaropes that incubate the eggs and care for the young and therefore need to be duller in colour to provide better camouflage at the nest site. Female phalaropes abandon their partners as soon as they have finished laying their clutch of (usually four) eggs and go off in search of a new male to mate with.

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                        Wilson's Phalaropes are primarily a western species. They are long-distance migrants who winter all along the west coast of South America and across the south of that continent. They migrate through Mexico and the southwestern United States where they stopover for several weeks at saltwater lakes to fatten themselves up--often doubling their body weight!--before completing their journeys. Wilson's Phalaropes primarily breed in inland northwestern United States and Canada, but there is also a population which breeds further east, in southern Ontario.

                        Wilson's Phalaropes primarily eat tiny aquatic invertebrates. Their prey is so small, they need to eat a lot of them! As such, these birds are very active foragers.

                        I saw this bird on Saturday at my local sewage lagoons. (Sewage lagoons may seem to the uninitiated like an odd place to go birding, but they provide a rich source of aquatic food and therefore can attract large numbers of birds, particularly waterfowl and shorebirds.) My phalarope was foraging in shallow water, but these birds will also forage in deeper water where they are known for spinning around in circles, creating whirlpools which are thought to stir up their prey and bring it to the surface where it is within easy reach of the hungry phalaropes.


                          Friday, May 8 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 16

                          Baseline - Day 20: 31:30 - Level III with my mother.

                          Total: 31 minutes

                          Other stuff:

                          1 km hiking

                          Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 128/128
                          A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 118/118
                          No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 149
                          No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 68
                          GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/86
                          GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 61/86


                            Saturday, May 9 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 17

                            Baseline - Day 21: 36:25 - Level III with my mother.

                            yoga flow: 22:18

                            Total: 59 minutes

                            Other stuff:

                            22 km hiking
                            20 minutes restorative yoga
                            8 minutes meditation

                            Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 129/129
                            A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 119/119
                            No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 150
                            No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 69
                            GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/87
                            GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 61/87


                              Sunday, May 10 - Rainbow's Days of Fitness Day 18

                              Knee Push-ups Challenge - Day 1: 1:00 - done on my toes

                              Baseline - Day 22: 30:45 - Level III with my mother.

                              yoga flow: 31 minutes

                              Total: 62 minutes

                              Other stuff:

                              1 km hiking
                              11 minutes restorative yoga

                              Only Homemade Food - ​​ - Total Days: 130/130
                              A Salad a Day - ​​ - Total Days: 120/120
                              No Video Games - ​ - Total Consecutive Days: 151
                              No Seated Television - - Total Consecutive Days: 70
                              GBOT (10:30) - - Total Days: 45/88
                              GOBOT (6:30) - - Total Days: 61/88


                                Love the Phalaropes!😍It made me dizzy to watch them spin!!πŸ˜‚