Walking by the DVP

Hawk, Red, Tailed

My first job in Canada was just off the Don Valley Parkway and some lunchtimes a friend and I would take a stroll around the block, to get a bit of exercise. I always took my camera, although rather more in hope than expectation; on one occasion, this splendid bird decided to put in an appearance…

Cootes Paradise

American, Red, Squirrel

Cootes Paradise (possibly an egregious missing apostrophe there?) is a rather lovely wetland near Hamilton; it is looked after by the Royal Botanical Gardens, although it is a semi-wild landscape. In the not too distant past, the wetlands were badly damaged by pollution, excessive human use and also by the damage caused by the introduced carp from Lake Ontario.

Happily, in more recent years substantial rehabilitation work has been carried out with a view to trying to get Cootes Paradise into something more adjacent to its natural state and it is a great place to visit at almost any time of the year.

These pictures were taken in February 2012, so still in the grip of winter, although nothing like as fierce as the winter of 2013/14. Strictly-speaking one is not really supposed to feed the birds, as it’s a nature reserve, but people still do – one would feel a bit of a cad to not assist them through the cold weather a bit…


Red-Tailed Hawk

Red, Tailed, Hawk

Being from England, the sight of any bird of prey larger than a kestrel is a rare treat (unless one is driving down the M40 where the magnificent Red Kite is making a come-back); we have a deplorable history of killing off anything much scarier than a pigeon.

Happily, Canada still has quite a lot of its more impressive wildlife more or less intact; a nice example is the Red-Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), which is a fairly common sight, even in the urban areas – these chaps may even have benefited from the spread of humans.