Bobolinks don’t wait to land on a fence post to sing; they sing as they fly, pouring music over the green fields. There is a road near Peterborough with grassy fields on both sides where bobolinks nest. It’s a quiet road where I can sit and watch them fluttering over the grass and listen to their splendid songs.
Many of us know that when farmers and conservationists work together, both agriculture and nature benefit. But how many of us have seen this in action? I became one of the fortunate few when I attended the 9th annual Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) farm tour in Norfolk County. Continue reading “ALUS tour highlights”
When I think “bird-watching paradise,” Ontario isn’t exactly what comes to mind. I think more along the lines of Ecuador, Madagascar, Panama, Indonesia, South Africa or Texas. Perhaps I fantasize about those places because they’re so remote and I haven’t been to any of them. I wonder why we find it easier to dream of mythical locales than to explore our immediate surroundings. Often what we’re searching for is closer than we think.
The first time I saw a male bobolink, I was stuck by the bird’s coloring: a sleek black face and shiny bill with a lemony yellow nape and a glistening white back. A rock star of a bird. I watched its undulating flight pattern and delighted every time the bobolink landed on the top of a low bush. The whimsical, bubbling song amused me, even though I couldn’t quite detect a melody. In any event, I was smitten.
During a visit to a Norfolk County farm last spring, I was reminded how the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program helps to bring the farming and conservation communities together to work towards a shared vision: a healthy and productive countryside in Ontario.