A project I have had in the making for quite some time now has finally been launched to the public. This is an eco-friendly gift shop through Etsy.com and is geared toward recycling our throwaways and making them into usable spaces for our backyard wildlife. Products are made from reclaimed wood such as barnboard, driftwood and the sawmills throwaway pile. All woods that are considered garbage and would have been sent to the burn pile. Products to date include birdhouses, bee hotels and bird feeders, along with a variety of hand foraged seeds from my personal wild gardens. The point of it all is to offer stylish looking gifts for the backyard garden to attract wildlife and help refuel the environment with what we considered to be waste. Other products that will be in the shop include home decor items made from recycled woods such as plant hangers and shelving units.
The shop is in the process of growth and will continue to expand with more gifts that are being offered. Please feel free to visit the store and keep it in mind when purchasing your next garden feeder or when looking for small house hold storage units. Follow the link below and take a look at the shop.
All the best
The explanation is they are repairing the forest for certain animal species and no one should be alarmed, so lets take a look at a few scenes that I captured of this landscape.
I have spent countless hours and many years walking straight lines through many sorts of east Canadian forest as a mineral prospector and I know first hand that the forest industry does not make these clear-cut environments re-inhabitable for proper wildlife. Whenever I hear people talk about refacing the ecosystem to make way for select species I'm blown away. I feel we should be too smart for that in this day in age, though I know, we are not getting smarter. A simple viewing of the images I've collected over the years will ensure anyone that humanity has no idea how to recreate what mother earth has supplied. We simply do not make these spaces better.
The bird species mentioned in the article is the American Woodcock and is a bird that has endless opportunity to thrive in many parts on the east coast of Canada. The woodcock is as safe on the island as all other ground dwelling bird species that live their breeding seasons in a province that will not let them breed. They say the woodcock needs new growth forest but the entire island is just that. If we take time and look at the photos above, we can easily see that the forest that has been cut here is very much a newer growth forest and a quick drive down the road offers plenty of the same habitat. Needlesstosay, I have been watching birds for years and this would not be an area I would select to find woodcock. The reason for any woodcock decline is strictly due to humans shooting them and to the forest and agriculture industries who continue to transform the environment while dumping loads of poisons on the soils to grow the vegetables they feed us. The bird species we should be concerned with would be birds like the Pileated Woodpecker, Canadian Warbler, Gray Jay and Eastern Wood-pewee, to name a few, which are all are birds that are in massive decline on the island because of the continuing eradication of old growth forest and forest transformation. What we are seeing is the government organizations built to protect these areas actually cutting them and selling lumber to contractors. How can this make sense? I most certainly try to stay away from the rebuttal against politics because I consistently see people who know nothing about the decisions they are making, and at this point in my life, I can't see it changing. Money wins again.
The bottom line is that wildlife does not need a manager and continues to suffer underneath one. The manager of this business is obviously trying to make more money then the tax payers of this province are already providing him. Humanity needs to step out of the forest and off the oceans and give our mother time to recollect herself for many years down the road, and I can only hope that this could be at very least, optional.
Read the article below
The feeders have been extremely active this winter season on a daily basis and have attracted a few species I haven't seen since my move to the island. Migrating Evening Grosbeaks stuck around for the first part of the season along with a single Red-breasted Grosbeak. American Goldfinch, B.C Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay, Hairy and Downy Woodpecker and Crows were among the daily visitors. A pair of Bald Eagle have made the property a consistent visit as they are paying close attention to the pig farm that has opened up adjacent to the reserve. The smell reaches the backyard to our homestead occasionally but dissipates inside the forest. I am staying positive about the new operation by taking note of the predator animals that may show interest in the habits of such a farming practice.
My plan for setting up multiple bird feeding stations has been successful and the turnout has been note worthy. My experience with finding birds on the island has been much different then life on the mainland mostly due to the amount of agriculture for such a small island. The partial stand of trees that remain seem to be, at best, a 3rd class lifestyle for my sought after avian friends. My aim with the purchase of this property was to give the wildlife remaining on the island, and the seasonal visitors, a protected habitat to freely roam and forage with human interference non-existent. This has proven to be a challenge with everything from ATV operators not respecting private land to a pack of domesticated dogs running wild through the area. As I continue to work on the property these issues are coming closer to a end and the vision gets a bit clearer by the day.
Here is a small gallery of birds photographed at the feeder this year followed by a list of winter birds recorded. Enjoy......
Backyard Bird Gallery
Birds recorded for this winter are as follows;
I wanted to give a brief update on the progress of the reserve and let you know the plans for the seasons ahead. At the moment things have been slow besides brainstorming plans for the spring and summer seasons. This winter has fell a lot of snow, which has been great, but the snow to rain patterns have made it very difficult to pass the entrance to get inside the forest. Every spring a natural pond appears to the left of the entrance beyond the field that has been an important resting area for migrating ducks and waterfowl. During this part of the season the first 200 meters of forest becomes a large mangrove-like environment until the rain stops and water dissipates; this is when I have been beginning spring forest excursions. With the consistent snow, rain and thaw process of this winter season, this particular section of forest has become impassible due to safety reasons. Along with the uncooperative weather making it hard to be consistent with documenting animal tracks (the way I usually spend my winter) my wife has been pregnant with baby number 2, arriving in April, so our energy has been spent preparing our home for another member.
When the snow clears and ground thaws I will erect swallow boxes in the back field that separates our homestead from the forest. This has been a popular spot for migrating Barn Swallows, as well as a safe nesting area for 4 different species of sparrow and a hopeful .area for more ground nesting breeding birds. We will then continue to monitor owl boxes before starting the reserves first breeding bird survey. The spring will also be spent grooming trails and preparing selected areas for setting up surveying hides. We have been back and forth on the idea of guided walks through the forest, so in the meantime it's important to keep up on trail safety.
I have been quiet and very low key through this winter on the website but will be posting again regularly come spring. We are also in the midst of planning upcoming photography trips for the travel season and will be blogging about each one along with consistent photo galleries. I have been non-existent on all other media platforms and will most likely keep it that way , so keep up to date here.
All the best,
Robbie P. Gallant
As a naturalist, I spend a great amount of time in personal study. Discussion and research is key to exploring new and intelligent ideas and furthering our understanding of our natural surroundings.