Saturday, May 12, 2018

Weekend Roundup: S

The prompts for S from Tom the Backroads Traveller are: Starts with S, Favourite, and Silver.

Starts with S
Here is a pair of American goldfinches at my feeder.  

Why, you are probably asking, am I showing a goldfinch, which starts with G?  Well, their scientific name is Spinus tristis, and that starts with S!  The male American goldfinch puts on a beautiful coat of yellow feathers in the spring, and then they go a sort of dull greenish-brown during the winter.  I think their summer coat looks like sunshine!  The female is less bright, but she also puts on more colour in the summer than in the winter.  Obviously, she's the upper bird in the above photo.

This male is nearly finished moulting his winter feathers, but you can still see the remnants of his winter coat on the back of his head and the top of his wing.  The one in the picture above no longer has those brownish feathers.

The Spinus genus of birds includes the goldfinches (but not other finches) and a whole lot of siskin species.  Occasionally I see a pine siskin, but not as often as I'd like!  The name for the Spinus genus of birds comes from the Ancient Green "spinos" which is apparently a name for a bird that is no longer known or identifiable.  Meanwhile, "tristis" is Latin for sorrowful, because apparently some people think their song is mournful, but it doesn't sound that way to me!

Spring really has "sprung" here and my crocuses are in full bloom, so I took this picture this week of a favourite patch.  I love this little group of blossoms because there are purple ones, white ones, and also the white ones with the purple veining.  They are so cheerful and remind me that summer is on the way.  I have a couple of patches of yellow ones also.
I also noticed some tulip buds are forming!  Hooray!

I am trying to go for regular walks these days, at least when it isn't raining.  On my 1-hour walk circuit, I go past the end of a lake.  The lake is called Silver Lake and it is a lovely view as I go by.  As you can see, things are just starting to turn green around here, but none of the leaves are out yet.

At a different part of the lake, during the summer, there is a swimming area set up (with a barrier to keep kids in the safe area) and there is a boat access ramp.  People go trout fishing on the lake as well.  It is very irregularly shaped, as shown in the map picture below.

I enjoy looking for the loons that are sometimes at the spot where I walk by.  Unfortunately, since I don't take the larger camera with the zoom lens on my walks, I don't get good pictures of the loons.  If you look closely at this shot, you'll see a tiny black and white blob in the middle. That's a loon. Really!  Trust me!


Tom said...

...Claire, thanks for the ornithology lesson this week! It's great to see that your spring has finally arrived. Spring seems even nicer after a hard winter. I was up in the Adirondacks last month and ice was on many of the lakes and I never saw or heard a loon, perhaps next time. I love their call of the wilds. Thank for stopping by, enjoy your week.

Michelle said...

To anyone that is familiar with them, that is an unmistakable shape in the water! After living with them in MN, I was surprised to see them on the Pacific Ocean here in Oregon.

Jim said...

I saw your 'loon' swimming in the deep. We have black 'water turkeys" here. Some people think they are black 'ducks'. Very interesting lesson on the goldfinch. I won't remember their scientific name.

Ralph said...

The goldfinch is a lovely avian! I agree, this bird gives us a dollop of sunshine on the landscape...The crocuses add a lovely purple brilliance that also brightens our day!

Reader said...

I really enjoy reading your poss every time I land here! We have a similar species of Spinus here in Greece with yellow/green color that we call "yellowbird" in my village :-)