Sunday, 7 March 2021

Robins and snowbirds

Bad news in our neck of the woods. I used to volunteer at PCC: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Perth Community Care. Also, a day care centre in Carleton Place, which is in our health unit. We had another 19 reported Saturday, but they don't update our health unit's COVID site on the weekend.

Renfrew has has a major outbreak. It is northwest of Ottawa, north of us.  As of March 5, there are 30 active cases in Renfrew County 

We went for a drive. Somebody needed to get out and about. And it wasn't me! His arm and neck continue to give him some pain. I'm doing all his chores. Off we went. I suggested we go look at Narrows Locks. It was pretty much frozen solid in most places. We didn't stop for photos, but this is what it looked like! It should begin thawing this month, and the birds will return on their way north.


Our first excitement was seeing a flock of robins! I think our dashcam needs replacing. The images aren't great. It does give you an idea about how our winter is faring! Still lots of snow. I suspected robins, and one landed on a tree as we zoomed by.

We've had robins overwinter in the past. A baker's dozen, one year. Another year we had just one. None this year. 

That said, they are moving up the continent right now, according to Journey North. These are flocks of birds, which differs from individual sightings. It's a good sign of migration.

 We kept on driving, and flew back into the blue skies. I spotted some snowbirds at the side of the highway. We drove by, turned around, and came back to the same spot. I grabbed my camera, and shot this through the window. You'll just have to trust me, really! 

Sadly, by the time I got into the back of the car, grabbed my zoom lens, the snowbirds were gone again. They kept coming to the side of the road. I guess for grit. A human trio came walking along from down their driveway, and the birds didn't come back.  The birds had been there awhile, the guest visiting them said she saw them on her way in. This is the best I could do from the dashcam.

 We had one snowbird visit us just once!

Off we went home. I decided to take a detour. Nothing like a muddy sideroad!

There are some streams around, and I wanted to see how open they were. I stopped on the bridge for photos. These I took through the car windows. It was durn cold!

From there, I took us to Tayside Estates, on Ernest Way. The backyards on the one side of the development look down into a gully, which leads to the Tay River.

They've been working on this development for awhile, an article about sulphates in the water dates it to 2010. They needed some help with water quality.
“(The) raw ground water does not meet provincial standards for hardness, sulphate, colour,” said Noelle Reeve, the township’s planner, who pointed out that Renfrew County and the City of Ottawa do not allow in-home water treatment, but Lanark County has allowed it in the past.
 They are sold out, but for three properties. I presume you have to go with the Mackie Homes developer. They are listing them for $779,900, with your choice of style of home. A tad above our budget! I wouldn't want to clean all that, either. 

I noticed a wee park there, too. John Miller Park. I needed taller boots to go out in the deep snow, so I stayed in the car.

"John Herbert Miller (1950-2014), was a fifth-generation farmer who lived on the land that is now home to Tayside Estates outside of Glen Tay."

From the article by Desmond about the ribbon cutting ceremony, I learned that Miller was a pioneer in more modern farming methods, such as 'no till' conservation movement, and had free range cattle on 300 acres. He attended the Kemptville College, which inspired him. What a nice legacy!


DUTA said...

How very cute, the little bird on the branch,is!
I've noticed Miller had a rather early death (at 64). RIP!

Tom said...

...I have yet to see a robin, I better an eye out for them.

eileeninmd said...


Love your Robin and the sweet Snow Bunting.
Take care, have a great new week!

Lowcarb team member said...

Sorry to read about the Covid numbers near you, please stay safe and well.

Robins are my favourite birds, it was lovely to see your Robin.

All the best Jan

Karen said...

A gang of yahoo's down in the town of Renfrew, or was it Arnprior?, had a social spreader gathering, and the whole county is being punished! I don't understand how yellow means we can have ten indoors and 25 outdoors, and keep it at bay. Our mall has guards on the doors now. People are in quite an uproar.

Breathtaking said...

Hello,:=) I'm not too good at the moment, Sciatica, can't sit at the computer, so if I don't visit, you will know why. Standing to make this comment. Love your capture of the lovely Snowbird, very pretty bird. Your robins are so different than our's, but definitely more striking,and I think your captures are great.
Thank you for following my blog, ...I couldn't see where I could follow you,...sorry!!

Out To Pasture said...

Robins? Hooray!! That is a very welcome sighting! Didn't know about the virus outbreak in Renfrew. As always, Jennifer, an excellent report.

Anvilcloud said...

It was cold yesterday. I had left my photo gloves behind, so my digits got quite frosty bare-handing the camera.

William Kendall said...

Wonderful winter shots.