Mockingbird at the Keffer Marsh: January 2021

The Keffer Marsh on the West Don River in Vaughan is a 2 hectare engineered wetland complex consisting of the marsh and a larger deciduous swamp. It is considered to be the largest constructed area of its kind in Ontario.

I never know what birds I might encounter on any day and was pleased to find a Northern Mockingbird here.

Mockingbirds, though not common, are moving farther north as winters become less harsh.

Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird
Northern Mockingbird

There were also a few starlings:

European Starling

Some botany:

Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
Eastern Cottonwood (Populus balsamifera)
Eastern Cottonwood (Populus balsamifera)
Hawthorn (Crataegus)
Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)
Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)
Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Highbush-cranberry (Viburnum opulus)
Mullein (Verbascum thapsis)
Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)
Phragmites (Phragmites australis)
White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Dog-strangling Vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum)
Curled Dock (Rumex crispus)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
Rose hips
Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
Privet (Ligustrum obtusifolium)
Cat-tails (Typha)
Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago)


Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.      – Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82)

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Mockingbird at the Keffer Marsh: January 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    I’m going to begin being more attentive to the poetry. I don’t know why I haven’t been–I love literature. I guess I just tend to focus on the pictures.
    So where is the snow? Not that I miss it too much–its absence makes my dog walking easier! And speaking of the Northern Mockingbird, this winter has certainly been less harsh–so far.
    I look forward to these posts every day–these wonderful pictures keep me in touch with nature. Such beautiful botany details, like the buds. And beautiful scenery!
    Thanks, Miles!

  2. rosemarie fischer

    Hello Miles……these Nature reports are like travelogues…….showing so many beautiful areas that I never knew existed……how do you KNOW so many places???? as the English would say:I’m gobsmacked!!!!!!!!!!
    Wonderful of you to share all this nature with us!!!!! Thank You……

  3. Patricia Lund

    Its interesting to listen to the bird songs on the Internet after you write about them. In case they come into my area I want to make sure I can recognize their song. I had not heard the Redpoll song before that you mentioned imitating. This morning I listened to the Northern Mockingbird’s song and that is entertaining and not one that a person could easily imitate. I wonder if they sing like that in the winter. Perhaps not.
    Thanks for the interesting bird and flora shots.


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