sailing through June


Things grow fast in June – especially this June in this corner of this province of Ontario. With an abundance of both rain and sunshine, the reeds in the marsh, the grasses in meadows, and the birds and bugs raced into summer at a gallop.

OK, “gallop” isn’t quite the right word for the march of snails but they too seemed to thrive.

A convocation of snails

Many birds were feeding hungry nestlings and then fledglings by early June, including a Song Sparrow who flittered to and from a nest of insects.

A Song Sparrow’s breakfast

Grackles aren’t particularly known as marsh birds but one seemed quite possessive of this little niche.

Window into the marsh

A Spotted Sandpiper was extracting juicy meals from the soft mud on the shadowed creek bank.

Spotted Sandpiper hunts in the shadows

Several of the month’s many thundershowers blew in right around nightfall.

Storm at dusk

A Great Blue Heron looks resplendent in the early morning sunshine – or any other time of day.


Ducks have seemed scarce – this Mallard hen was ushering the only bunch of ducklings I’ve seen in Bowmanville Marsh this year.

Ten ducks in a row

The few times I’ve seen goslings they have not been on the marsh. Perhaps that’s because there were three pairs of Mute Swans (known for aggressively claiming a lot of territory) nesting here this year, and they may have decided there just wasn’t room for any other dabbling birds.

This pair was teaching young cygnets that good things to eat can be found underwater, but you may need to reach deep into the mud.

Dive deep one

Dive deep two

Dive deep three

It’s a hard trick to master when your neck is still barely longer than your beak – but the cygnets practice by grabbing pieces of vegetation their parents have torn loose.

Do cygnets wear sheepskin?

Do cygnets wear sheepskin? (2)

By the time the crew leaves their nest on a sunny morning, the mud from the previous day’s work has been washed away.

Sailing through June

Photo at top of post: Swans and Stripes