Written By Former resident Ms. Florence Hayes
Photos by Ms. Simone Odin (Julie's Mom)
We began our retirement adventures with a two year rental of the Old Mill Manor. We moved from Westboro, Ottawa to the picturesque village of Appleton overlooking the pretty little Mississippi River. This was an amazing change of scenery and lifestyle, but I was also surprised and overjoyed at the variety of birds.
Even without feeders, which we eventually put up, we were visited by longtime favourites: cardinals, chickadees, blue jays, juncos and redpolls (winter), house finches, mourning doves, hairy and downy woodpeckers, crows and ravens, but not so many blackbirds and no pigeons or house sparrows!
We were happy to observe less frequent city residents such as Orioles, warblers, wrens, purple finches, nuthatches, flycatchers, a great variety of the smaller sparrows (white throated, white crowned, song, chipping and on), pine siskins, catbirds, flickers, pileated woodpeckers, and so many hummingbirds. Occasionally a wild turkey or two would wander close. And over two winters there were snowy owls in the area.
We had occasional visits from birds, some of which I had never seen before: indigo buntings, rose breasted grosbeaks, Carolina wrens (whose beautiful song I taped).
With the river in front and a bay along the side, I took interest in water birds. Kingfishers, osprey and great blue herons found good fishing, and for a few weeks we had a large flock of the smaller green herons. There were the usual mallards, Canada geese, seagulls, but ducks I had never seen before, including golden eye and the beautiful wood ducks (some nesting in trees along the lane). Were delighted by occasional loons and heard their haunting cry, especially in the night, along with unseen owls and night herons. Paradise!