More Redpolls: Col Sam Smith Park / November 7, 2020

After seeing one yesterday at Marie Curtis Park, there were dozens of Common Redpolls this morning at Col. Sam Smith Park:

Common Redpoll

Redpolls have tiny streaks:

Common Redpoll

a dark face and red crown:

Common Redpoll

and a stubby yellow bill:

Common Redpoll

Redpolls are common but nomadic with numbers varying from year to year:

Common Redpoll

They nest in the boreal forest in clearings, edges and stream corridors with willow and birch trees.

Common Redpoll

In winter they feed on weed seeds and birch catkins.

Common Redpoll

Other birds:

Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal (female)
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Gadwall (female)
Gadwall (female)
Mallards and a Black Duck
Mallard (male)
Mallard (female)
Mallards
Gadwall (male) and Buffleheads (male)
Mourning Doves
Mute Swan
Mute Swans
Red-necked Grebe
White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)
White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)
White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)
White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)
White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)
White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)
White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)
White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)
White-crowned Sparrow (juvenile)
White-winged Scoter (male)
Red-tailed Hawk

Species list: common loon, mute swan, red-necked grebe, Canada goose, mallard, gadwall, American black duck, red-breasted merganser, long-tailed duck, bufflehead, white-winged scoter, ring-billed gull, red-tailed hawk, mourning dove, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, American robin, yellow-rumped warbler, house sparrow, red-winged blackbird, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, European starling, American tree sparrow, dark-eyed junco, white-throated sparrow, white-crowned sparrow.  (27 species)

Park views:

Red and Gray Squirrels
Plumeless Thistle (Carduus acanthoides)

Today’s group:

Recently at Ashbridges Bay, several group members spotted something red in the tree branches overhead. It turned out to be a hatchet:

Thank-you to group member Dave Perkins who did some research on this and sent me the folowing:

Hatchet – Mystery Solved

Well, sort of. It is a shingler’s hatchet, as in cedar shingles and shakes for roofing. From the attached pic you’ll see that the sharp edge which is used to trim the shake to width and the hammer-like head called a peen to drive the nails. The notch on the lower edge of the hatchet is for pulling nails. You will also see the tape measure laid across the hatchet. From the lower point to the top of the handle is 5″ which is the standard distance between courses of shingles. Handy tool to be sure but has largely been replaced by power nailers for speed and efficiency. Q.E.D.
Thus endeth the diatribe for today.

NATURE POETRY

October’s face, benign and mellow,
Turns nuts to brown and leaves to yellow;
But (like the Scorpion, sting in tail)
He ends with frost and scourging hail.           – Jan Struther (1901–53)

Miles Hearn

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