Spring 2018, Unusual Sightings


This creature walked from our front door to the back door and then around the house to offer us a good look.  Our daughter from Burlington looked up from her reading and said, “What in the world is THAT? ”  There would be one more and as a couple they strutted towards the edge of the woods and disappeared. 

Wild turkeys, they were. This was early March 2018. These birds are surprisingly big and well fed after a harsh winter. They must know a thing or two to survive and do remarkably well around our area. 

Later in April I saw two wild turkeys flying overhead, crossing the lake towards Kingston Mills. The had a powerful wing beat like Canada geese. Very good flyers. Their red throat flaps were swinging in their bodies’ slipstream.


It’s early spring. The ice still covers our bay at the north-west corner of Colonel By Lake. Our granddaughter from Burlington spotted a river otter near shore. It entered the water through a soft spot in the ice and every few minutes appeared with a small fish in its mouth. A quick thrust with its neck and gobble, gobble the fish was gone. The otter eagerly slipped back in the water, to catch its next snack. It repeated this ritual for at least half an hour. Otters are here during the winter and summer. They have a very interesting breeding habit, and are well adapted to our climatic extremes. They prefer unpolluted bodies of water, so we should be happy to have them as our neighbours.

It was difficult to photograph the animal with the white snowy background and the dark blackish wet furcoat of the otter contrasting so much. We hope you enjoy this photo.

River otters are abundant in areas where the shore of a lake or other body of water offers many natural nooks and crannies under fallen trees or abandoned dens of beavers and muskrat. Colonel By Lake does offer such a natural littoral area especially in the many shallow bays.


Our Mute Swan couple is back on our part of the lake. As soon as the ice was gone in the canal and in other areas of the lake where the current is strong, the water birds were back. It seemed as if they were lingering nearby on Lake Ontario and move inland as soon as they can, to claim possession of their breeding territories.

We assume this is one of the breeding couple, the male most likely, scouting out this part of the lake that was their breeding area a year ago, in 2017.  The open water is nearby. March 2018.

Here they are: the Mute Swan couple that bred last year across form our place along the shore of Edenwood Park. The collection of ducks don’t seem to bother the pair, but the swans do go after geese with a vengeance. We have seen one of the swans pursue a nearby goose across the lake and then back towards Kingston Mills, gradually closing the distance between them. We  imagine that the goose is in a bad spot when the swan catches up with the intruder. April 8, 2018.


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