After leaving Deb on Sunday I decided to stop by Monaghan Forest to see if any Trilliums were in bloom yet. This is a good spot for spring ephemerals; last year I had found the forest floor covered in Trilliums, Forget-me-nots, violets, and even some Toothwort during a visit in mid-May. I was a few weeks early this year, and found the Trilliums just beginning to open. Only a few were in full flower, but there were plenty of Coltsfoot and Trout Lilies in bloom, two species that had already finished blossoming by the time of my mid-May visit last year. I was also hoping to find some Bloodroot, a native flower I had found here once before, but wasn’t able to spot any.
Saturday was supposed to be sunny as well, but thick clouds moved in late in the morning and that same cold north wind kept temperatures in the single digits. I started the day off with a walk at Jack Pine Trail where I hoped to photograph the Winter Wren. I didn’t hear him in his usual spot behind the OFNC feeder, but when I heard the chickadees calling excitedly a little further down the path I discovered a juvenile accipiter flying over the marsh. It dove into the cattails but failed to catch anything; it emerged from the vegetation and landed on a tree branch with its back to me. Then he turned his head and saw me, and I saw the yellow eyes of an immature bird. He flew off before I could see any features that would identify him.
Deb and I went to Mud Lake on May 1st with high hopes of seeing some warblers and other migrants. After finding 5 species on Jeff Skevington’s Constance Bay outing (Yellow, Yellow-rumped, Palm, Pine and Black-and-white) I was hopeful that we might find some others in Ottawa’s most beloved birding hotspot. We were off to a promising start as soon as we got out of the car, for we heard a Warbling Vireo singing away in the tree tops. We managed to catch a glimpse of him foraging among the burgeoning leaves, and he became our first year bird of the day. These drab vireos breed here in Ottawa, and we’ll be hearing their song for weeks to come.