Limehouse Breeding Bird Survey: June 2021

I started doing Breeding Bird Surveys as a teenager when I assisted my grandfather. Over the years I did many as an assistant and eventually became the “observer.” I have now run well over 100 and look forward to them each June.

Breeding Bird Surveys are run in the month of June each year. They are done on rural or logging roads with little or no traffic. The routes are 40 kilometers in length. We start 30 minutes before sunrise and listen and search for birds during a 3 minute time limit. We then drive 0.8 kilometers and repeat the process. This is done 50 times.

This morning’s survey began near Caledon Village so I awoke at 3 am, was in the car at 3:45 and at the beginning point of the survey just before 5. The temperature was 3 degrees and there was some wind.

It is still dark at that time so a flashlight is necessary to fill in the survey sheets. Eventually the sun appeared over the horizon.

This being a mixture of farming and forested terrain, there are many diverse species. These include Meadowlark, Bobolink, Crow, Mourning Dove, Red-winged Blackbird and Savannah Sparrow near the farms. Great Crested Flycatcher, Wood Thrush, American Redstart, Red-eyed Vireo and Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the woods.


I will identify it at the end of the post.

I don’t have much time for photography during the surveys but did get these Geese families.

Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Canada Geese
Canada Geese

Images along the way:

Autumn-olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytonii)
Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)
Periwnkle (Vinca minor)
Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
Bridal Wreath Spirea
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Common Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)

The survey passes through Limehouse which is named for the limestone that abounded in the area. In the 1850’s kilns were built to produce mortar. In the 1880’s, the Bescoby Lime Works employed more than 100 people in three shifts.

Community Centre


These are the deeply-lobed flowers of Honeysuckle. Extra marks if you knew it was Morrow Honeysuckle because of the white flowers.

Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)
Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)

Miles note: I started everyday posts when the pandemic began last March 2020. To entertain my self while driving, I borrow audio books from the library and have listened to many many. Currently it is Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.


Every honey bee fills with jealousy
When they see you out with me
I don’t blame them, goodness knows
My honeysuckle rose
Flowers droop and sigh when you’re passing by
And I know the reason why
You’re much sweeter, goodness knows
You’re my honeysuckle rose. – Fats Waller

Miles Hearn

4 thoughts on “Limehouse Breeding Bird Survey: June 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Well, I didn’t get the “extra marks” on the Honeysuckle, but I at least I knew it was Honeysuckle, “white” Honeysuckle! Given my limitations, I’ll settle for that!
    You certainly managed to give us great pictures and scenes here, despite being busy with the very worthy endeavor of bird counting. Thanks, Miles!

  2. Gwyn Robson

    Hi Miles, try The Codebreaker (Jennifer Doudna) also by Isaacson, if you haven’t already read/heard it. Scientific explorations in RNA leading directly to mRNA vaccines. Cheers,
    ps Love the Fats Waller reference

  3. Marilyn

    This was a very interesting post. Your dedication to our bird community always amazes me and I am very grateful.
    The poetry at the end is such a welcome treat- today’s especially since it fit in perfectly with your post and I am a Fats Waller fan.
    Thank you, Marilyn


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *