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PHOTO FEATURE: It’s not whether you wing or lose; it’s how you play the game

Published on

George Mathewson

Although our lives have been turned upside down by the pandemic, many local residents are finding flashes of joy and relief from the news in nature.

Local parks and trails are busy places these days, with families and hikers literally stopping to smell the flowers.

A migratory bird heading north to breed, this yellow-rumped warbler, whose call is a soft, sweetly whistled warble, was perched on a grapevine in Canatara Park.
Ronny D’Haene

There isn’t more wildlife activity going on out there. But with more people at home, there’s time to see the trees blossom and birds build nests.

The magic of the natural world is nothing new for Sarnia photographer Ronny D’Haene, whose work has been gracing the pages of The Journal for years.

This spring, he’s been recording birds, both residents and the small, migratory types dropping in for a quick snack on their way north.

“I give kudos to the Canatara Park workers for doing an incredible job of keeping the paths open and wide, so people can stay six feet apart,” he said.

However, he’s also encountered birders, drawn by a rarity, congregate in large numbers and too close together.

“It disturbed me so much I stopped going for a time,” he said. “Being a nature photographer, it should be easy to socially distance. You should be doing it anyway.”

With one cheeky stowaway hopping aboard for a free ride, a female mallard leads a brood of 11 chicks across Sarnia Bay on May 19.
Ronny D’Haene
A wild turkey takes a drink from Lake Chipican on a hot and sunny day in Canatara Park on May 25.
Ronny D’Haene
This Pacific loon, which showed up in Sarnia for a few days in mid-May, was more than 1,000 kilometres outside its normal breeding range in the high Arctic. It had birders atwitter until scared off by powerboats.
Ronny D’Haene
This yellow warbler, seen at Wawanosh Wetlands on May 19, was passing through after spending the winter in the mangrove forests of Central or South America.
Ronny D’Haene
A catbird perched in a blossoming fruit tree at Canatara Park on May 23. Catbirds are named for their wailing call, which sounds like a cat meowing, but they can also mimic other birds as well as of frogs and mechanical sounds.
Ronny D’Haene









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