Featherless on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

I know it’s not bird-related, but I had to share a photo of our new lambs. Our ram jumped the fence early last year, and bred five of the ewes. The lambs were born this past week, and we have 14 of them from the five ewes. Our normal lambing season should begin at the end of April.

Here’s one of the ewes with her triplets,IMG_0026

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

JG Birds+

Backyard Bird Blog

The Morning Side of Life


A Day in the Life

Birding After Work

I’m sorry for being missing in action for much of this summer on my blog, but my summer job (working for our local agricultural society during the 108th annual Vermilion Fair), and farming, especially looking after my 100 broilers and 100 layers, have kept me very busy. On the up side, I got my driver’s license at the end of June, so I’m enjoying being more mobile.

This past week, I was finally able to get out and do some birding, something I haven’t been able to do for a while. On Wednesday, I brought my camera, binoculars, and scope in work, so when I was finished for the day, I stopped off at the Vermilion Provincial Park to see what was around.

There were lots of gulls flying around the river, mostly non-breeding Franklin’s Gulls, a few Bonapart’s Gulls, Ring-bills, and four Herring Gulls. Double-crested Cormorants were also quite prominent on the river, especially on the dock where many of them were vibrating the muscles and bones in their throats, called gular fluttering, to help them cool down.

On the way back to my truck, I heard a bird “chipping” in the poplars. I was able to see that the bird was an Orange-crowned Warbler.

Here’s my eBird checklist from my bird walk at the park, which included a Ring-billed Gull,


a pair of Herring Gulls — the front one is a juvenile and I believe the back one is a first winter plumage bird (please add a correction in the comments if necessary!),


A juvenile Franklin’s Gull, IMG_5108

Double-crested Cormorant and the juvenile Herring Gull, IMG_5077

After evening chores one night this week, I went out with my scope to our summerfallow field to look at some of the wet areas to see if there were any shorebirds feeding in the low spot. I did find a Semipalmated Plover — a year bird for me as I missed the species this spring, and five not-so-solitary Solitary Sandpipers.

I took a few photos of the plover before the resident Swainson’s Hawk flew over where the shorebirds were feeding and scared off the plover. The hawk landed in a bare tree and was immediately harassed by a pair of American Robins and Eastern Kingbirds.

Here’s my eBird checklist from that day, which included the Swainson’s Hawk and American Robin,


An adult Semipalmated Plover,


On Thursday after work, I went out for another bird walk around our yard. I first headed to the lake behind our house where I was hoping to find more shorebirds feeding along the lakeshore.

When I walking to the lake, a Merlin flew down and landed on a fence post in front of me until it noticed me and abruptly flew off,


A Red Paintbrush,


A juicy wild raspberry,


There weren’t too many birds at the lake, but there were four adult Eared Grebes feeding their chicks on the lake, and also a group of Savannah and Clay-colored Sparrows flitting about in the bushes. A Killdeer, American Goldfinches, Cedar Waxwings, and Red-winged Blackbirds flew above me.

My eBird checklist from the lake.

Cedar Waxwing,




At the slough east of our house I found many more birds than at the lake: a Great Blue Heron, dozens of American Coots, a Black-bellied Plover, common Goldeneyes, Black-capped Chickadees, Red-winged Blackbirds, Redheads, Savannah Sparrows, a male and female Northern Harrier, Spotted Sandpiper, Pied-billed Grebes, and more.

My eBird checklist from the slough.

I spent an hour watching the birds at the slough until I noticed one of my brothers on our deck, barbecuing hamburgers, so I headed home

This Solitary Sandpiper was feeding in a group of five other Solitary Sandpipers and a juvenile Spotted Sandpiper,


June on the Farm

It’s been a while since I’ve posted photos of our farm animals, so here are a few scenes of spring from the farm this year. I hope you’ll enjoy my photos, it’s so much fun to have so much new life around our farm!

In May, I collected eggs from some of our hens and put them in our incubator, the chicks hatched last week. The chicks are a bunch of crosses as the four roosters I had in with the hens are a White Cochin, Ameraucana, Brown Silkie and a Buff Orpington x Red Rock Cross (I hatched this rooster out last year). Six of the hens are ISA Browns and one is a Buff Orpington x Red Rock Cross (I hatched this hen out last year too). The chicks are very cute and I can’t wait to see what they’ll look like with all their feathers.

The father of the chick is the Ameraucana, but I’m not sure of the mother,


I’m not sure of the breed of the chick on the left, but the father of the chick on the right is the White Cochin,


This one’s a Slikie cross,


This year is the first year we’ve had lambs born on our farm — it’s been very exciting to have 11 lambs bouncing around our yard! The lambs are a Southdown cross and Southdowns are also known as Babydoll sheep,


There’s almost nothing cuter than a lamb sleeping,

IMG_2846 IMG_0219


A couple of our Shorthorn cross calves born in May,

IMG_2871 IMG_2874

Mother and baby,


Spring Calves

It isn’t officially spring yet, but once March calves start coming on the farm, spring is just around the corner. Our herd of cattle started this Sunday and we have five calves so far. The calves are all Black Angus cross and as calves are always, very cute! On a birding sidenote: I saw the first Canada Goose yesterday too, another sign of spring!

This bull calf was born yesterday and was quite frisky, jumping and bouncing around, even chasing after our dog.

You can see the calf chasing our dog in this video,

A sleeping calf,


Cow and calf,


On a Cold Winter’s Day

The last week has been very, very cold here, -29C (-20F) with a wind chill of below -40 some days.

Today is just cold, no wind, which is nice. Two days ago it was incredibly windy and bitter cold. The wind is hard on the animals, especially the cattle and horses. We have wind-breaks and bales set out to provide a bit of shelter from the wind for the animals, though the wind seems to blow from every direction. Our laying hens and rabbits are spoiled in comparison, living inside an insulated building that keeps them cozy and warm.

Our hens: the brown ones are Isa Browns and the others are White Leghorns,


We have 49 hens and they lay about 40 eggs a day,


My steer, Marco,


Our dog, Lady,


The redpolls and Black-capped Chickadees are quite puffed up, and the Downy Woodpecker who usually comes to the feeders has been absent for the last couple of days, probably due to the wind. When the wind was at its worst, only five Common Redpolls were at the nyjer feeders, but when the wind died down there were 32 Common Redpolls and 2 Hoary Redpolls at the feeders.

A Hoary Redpoll,


I’m cold too, though I’m not spending the night (or even all day) outdoors like the birds and mammals, so I don’t have too much to complain about, but once the cold snap is over (supposedly tomorrow) it will be easier on the animals and more fun to go birding.

Common Redpolls,


Happy Easter!

I’m having a wonderful Easter and hope you are too! Here are some photos for your Easter.

We even had an Easter baby: our cow Becky gave birth to a healthy heifer calf  named Candy,

A Western Meadowlark,

Our Easter table;  I made the paper mache eggs from a not martha tutorial,

Easter eggs I colored yesterday, chicken eggs on the left and goose eggs on the right,