Walking the Trails, with minnows

The recent warm weather melted most of the snow in the Grand River watershed. This and the rain (up to 2.5 cm) that accompanied it resulted in the worst flooding we have seen in several years. At its height the river flooded over parts of the low-lying flats below the Mansion. The River has since receded (having dropped ~ 1 metre to run within its banks) but several pools remain. I hiked the River Trail/Fox Den Trail/Carolinian Trail loop to see what birds were around. While doing so I came across a small school of minnows in one of these remaining pools. They are doomed – becoming food for watchful animals or succumbing to asphyxiation when the pool runs dry (or freezes). But for now they’re a curiosity – one of many to be encountered along our trails.

It was a dreary overcast day but still relatively mild (~4 degrees) with a light westerly wind. The River is still very high and running very fast so there weren’t many ducks or geese dabbling about in the eddies and pools found when the water is much lower.

Encountered 19 species:
19 Canada Geese
9 Mallards
1 Common Goldeneye
2 Red-tailed Hawks
2 Red-bellied Woodpeckers
1 Hairy Woodpecker
6 Downy Woodpecker
3 Blue Jays
9 Black-capped Chickadees
6 White-breasted Nuthatches
1 Brown Creeper
1 Northern Mockingbird
4 Northern Cardinals
9 American Tree Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
16 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 House Finch
6 Common Redpolls
5 American Goldfinches


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