Birding with Friends

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Black capped Chickadee, Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Dark-eyed Junco
Guelph Nature Centre, Guelph, ON

It was a cool, but good afternoon to go out Birding in Guelph.  Our plan was to find the Varied Thrush as the Guelph Conservation Area, as my two companion Birders had not seen her and it would be a Lifer for them.   Our next plan was then to bird the Guelph Rivers as they have had great ducks this past February.

As we arrived at the North end of the Dam, there were several birders present to look for the varied thrush.  Thankfully, they were all respectful of this vagrant and she was left to do her own thing, on her own accord, as we patiently awaited her appearance.    With patience from all of us curious onlookers, she appeared as if she was on schedule for a Broadway Show and she delighted all of us, as she picked on berries before heading back to the underbrush of the thicketed area.   Eventually, the show was disrupted by a cheekie Blue Jay which bugged her enough that she flew off deeper into the wooded area.   Thus, the show was over and we headed off.  A fellow birder had mentioned that at the Guelph Nature Centre, there was a Red-bellied Woodpecker visiting the feeder.  So, in lieu of heading off to the Rivers, we headed up to the Nature Centre and within a minute or so of our arrival, the Red-bellied Woodpecker made his appearance.  There were several birds visiting the feeder that afternoon and it was a delight to watch them.

After the Nature Centre, we did venture to Riverside Park to view some water fowl.  Not as diverse as usual, but then read eBird reports later that night that there was great diversity along the Speed River from Niska Road and also the Hanlon area.

It was a super afternoon for the three of us and another great day birding in Guelph.

Our list for both the Conservation Area & Riverside Park:

Species Name
American Black Duck x Mallard (hybrid)
Common Merganser
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker – new bird for all 3 of us
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Varied Thrush – vagrant to Ontario
American Tree Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal


  1. The red-bellied woodpecker is a ladder back woodpecker correct?? I believe I have had one at my feeder this winter for the first time ever! I was just as excited as you to see this one. Love watching the birds!!!
    Vicki Reinke

    1. Hi Vicki – he was so beautiful and a great find, as he is at his most northern range (not common here). The Ladder-backed woodpecker is a similar species, but not the same as the red-bellied. I love woodpeckers! they are so fun to watch 🙂 Heather

  2. whoops…
    I will look up the red-bellied today. Thanks for the great lists of birds to watch out for! I never thought to make a list of birds that I see when I am out.. blessings!! Vicki

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