Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jacob's Woods, St. George

A couple Sundays ago, in the couple hours between church services, I went for a quick walk through the local green space area in St. George.  It's a patch of forest with two different section: a mix of older, more traditional forest of pines and deciduous, and as section of slowly maturing, planted white pines.  Unfortunately, it has never really yielded much in the way of bird life in the times I've walked through it.  This time however, I heard a House Wren chattering its scattered song.  I saw it flitting around me in the trees, checking out who the intruder was in it's territory, but it was too quick for any pictures.

I did see a few butterflies moving about though.  A new butterfly, the Gray Eastern Comma (thanks for the correction Dwayne) was one of them.

Gray Eastern Comma

Gray Eastern Comma.
(the sun just nicely came out as it opened its wings)

Norther Pearly-Eye

With the lack of activity, I soon headed up the ridge to behind the cemetry where someone has been maintaining a few mown trails through a young aspen forest.  It's a neat forest; the trees are all reaching for the light and there is no brush under cover.  At eye level, the view is pretty clear, the only bottom vegetation lower down a thicket of wild raspberry and goldenrod, providing plenty of food for birds that prefer "emergent cover".  Soon enough, I heard the scolding sound of the House Wren again.  The trail I was on was on the top of the ridge, the bottom of which was approximately where I had seen the wren before. So it's quite likely it was the same bird and I was still in its territory.  This time I could see it with more light and clear views.

House Wren

House Wren in classic wren pose.

Soon, I recognized the song of an Indigo Bunting (I'm starting to learn some more bird songs which is helpful).  It was too shy for pictures though. As I came out of the woods and passed a small brush pile from the cemetery, I heard a stern warning "buzz" of a worried little bird and I soon saw a flash of bright yellow and white and black meandering through the tangle of twigs and sticks.  A Common Yellowthroat, life bird #130.

Common Yellowthroat on the edge of a brush pile.
Common Yellowthroat
With a bird name containing the word "common" you almost feel guilty if you've not noticed them more before.  Checking in the Birds of Hamilton (we're in the Hamilton Bird Study area), the frequency charts do show them as common, but not abundant like Robins, etc.  The Common Yellowthroat's tendency for low, dense underbrush and nesting in a brush pile like I found this one would contribute to them not being easily, or often seen.  A very cute little bird.

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

As I headed home through the cemetery, I noticed a Chipmunk hole with the remnants of harvesting the the meat from walnuts. Someone is busy preparing for winter! The kids call the walnut shell halves "pig noses."

Chipmunk hole and walnut shells.

In the golden rod along the way home, I noticed two busy flies. Not sure what they are.

Two busy flies.

There is an old, abandoned (I think) tree nursery of some sort on the edge of town, and my walk home brought me through there.  In one spruce tree, there was a whole group of both male and female House Finches.

House Finches

A nice Sunday walk!
Till next time.... Keep enjoying His handiwork!


  1. Brian, great posting. I love the inclusion of butterflies in this posting! I have a gentle correction though... I think the Eastern Comma is a Gray Comma! Gray commas have that darker underside to their wings with the slate-gray at the top. Notice also the little silvery "comma" on the underside of the wing is L shaped and not C shaped. Amazing photos... that Sigma is treating you real nice isn't it? -Dwayne

    1. Thanks for the correction on the "comma" Dwayne! Much appreciated!
      I am enjoying the lens!


Sorry about the annoying word verification... I've been deluged with Spam comments lately and some have been offensive.