Saturday, April 6, 2024

Aurora Waking Up To Singing Birds, Memoir

Seven years ago I knew more about birds than about the community I was living in, and that many years ago I set out on the journey to explore the Town of Aurora community.

Seven years ago I knew more about birds than about the community I was living in, and that many years ago I set out on the journey to explore the Town of Aurora community. Today I am still here photo-blogging, in fact blogging about more town related topics than originally anticipated.

My first blog post on my original blog was about birds (later I transitioned to .com). The post was not just about any birds, but birds photographed here in Aurora. The beginning of that first blog post was spontaneous. Not knowing where to begin then, I began with so called by us, a bird park. An isolated sanctuary around the bend on our street that backs to St. Andrew’s Valley Golf Club, couple minutes away from our home. A place I continue to visit today, going on the seventh year.

The place is a bit different what it was before, being mainly more overgrown now. Different birds species left and new arrived. Perhaps the same applies to the passing golfers on the other side of the pond. Also, some wildlife moved on. Seems like less garbage dumped. The near by trail path which cuts through Hamilton Park became widely used by the dog walkers; unfortunately some continue to let their dogs off the leash. Sadly, some continue to leave unpleasant surprises, surprises visible when snow thaws in the spring.

Through out the years I explored hidden paths out of this place, leading up to new paths and new discoveries. Few years ago a new signage was erected advising that the land belongs to Hydro ONE and presumably this supposed to be hydro maintenance access point.

Now let see what I wrote back then.

Memoir from March 10, 2011: “It was a kind of moody Monday spring morning, yet the second I came out from the house, I heard them. Birds didn’t care about the moody day, they were singing away. It reminded me of the bird park in Singapore which I visited a few years ago. The temperature there and here is a different story. The birds are definitely back despite the little cold temperatures.

“We walked to the little nature spot, or bird sanctuary as I call it, behind the Pinnacle Trail, adjacent to the St. Andrew’s Valley Golf Club. I am not sure to whom this piece of semi-wetland belongs (probably to the golf course), but it is definitely abundant in many birds and has a small water reservoir for nesting. When we (myself and my three-year-old son) got there, we saw Canada goose flying back and forth over the St. Andrew’s Valley Golf Club. A couple of geese were already sitting in the pond, hovering around the nest which was probably built last year or a year before. I have a feeling that they may be pests this year too. I remember last year, they invaded the McKenzie Marsh boardwalk, so I refrained from visiting because of that; and there was no poop scooping there.

St. Andrews Valley Golf Club, 2011

“The Red-winged blackbird are definitely telling us they are here. Chickadees and Juncos are still hanging around – they are usually seen during the winter time. Common starlings are actively searching for food in the dead grass around the wetland. The Northern cardinal is singing away. For the second time in a row, I am seeing a crow attacking a hawk up in the sky. The seagulls are very high in the sky, flying back and forth between ponds. Not to mention the Mourning doves blending in with the ground and trees. At this time of year, they blend perfectly with the spring’s earthly shades. If you enjoy nature, you will definitely enjoy observing new arrivals and listening to those amazing sounds.

“We arrived to photograph birds, but with the light not being good and the birds being far away, I enjoyed looking at them with my eye. Sometimes I used my lens as binoculars. However, at some point, something sparked the geese to take off from the pond. They were screaming at each other very loudly. I guess we are not the only species that argue. While they were flying away, I managed to take some photos, but everything happened so fast, the light wasn’t good, and I was moving my lens with the birds – I wasn’t expecting anything good. When I reviewed these photos, to my surprise, they ended up looking very artistic and worth showing off. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to, but much better.”

Anna Lozyk Romeo
Aurora, ON


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