April 8 2013. Caledonia ON. After a fulfilling morning at the bird observatory, a morning that produced lots of welcome sightings: Osprey, Eastern Phoebe and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker among them, I drove home wondering what would be next. Spring migrants are streaming in, we heard our first Northern Flicker, a flight of three ponderous Great-blue Herons laboured their way nortward high above the river and the first Tree Swallows were swirling around checking out nest boxes. And I surprised myself with a couple of on-the-go shots of a group of Common Mergansers flying upstream.
There’s rain and a chance of thunder in the forecast; such turbulence does funny things sometimes setting off a cascade of new birds. And if we do get a decent April rain it will prompt a frenzy of amphibian activity: Wood Frogs, Chorus Frogs and salamanders will all be racing (as only an amphibian can race) to the nearest pond to get the egg laying underway.
As I joined a fast moving four-lane stream of traffic I noticed something along the edge of a dun-coloured field. The traffic was reasonably sane so I pulled over, set my four-way flashers going and grabbed my binoculars. As I’d suspected, a male Woodland Turkey was strutting along a hedgerow, fanning his tail to proclaim his dominion. Somewhere in that vicinity he has a harem of lady friends, or at least he’s making plans to. I managed to get my camera out and zoom in on him for this lucky, but hardly award-winning, shot. His impromptu appearance made him my Bird of the Day.
And if you’re wondering what species a Woodland Turkey is, well, I’m on a one man mission to get the so-called Wild Turkey renamed. Here’s a link to my rant on this topic.