After seeing one yesterday at Marie Curtis Park, there were dozens of Common Redpolls this morning at Col. Sam Smith Park:
Redpolls have tiny streaks:
a dark face and red crown:
and a stubby yellow bill:
Redpolls are common but nomadic with numbers varying from year to year:
They nest in the boreal forest in clearings, edges and stream corridors with willow and birch trees.
In winter they feed on weed seeds and birch catkins.
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)
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 Handy tool to be sure but has largely been replaced by power nailers for speed and efficiency.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.
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)