Sunday, May 8, 2011

THE BIRDERS ARE BACK!

Spring migration is well under way.  Songbirds, including the beautiful, brightly coloured woodland warblers, are turning up in significant numbers.
Birders can be seen every morning prowling the osier dogwoods near last Saturday's planting, the spruce grove along North Creek near the Power House and the north swale.  These are favoured spots for viewing warblers.
Green, natural space along the Lake Ontario north shore, like we have at Sam Smith, is vital to these long distance travelers for feeding and resting up after their nighttime lake crossing on their way from the tropics to the boreal forest to breeds.

Here is a report from Wayne Renaud, a local birder.  He listed on Ontbirds, a subscription bird alert website, the birds he observed yesterday in the park.

Blackburnian Warbler
Jerry Lewchyschyn, Brian Tannahill and I spent 3 hours this morning starting at 7:00 am birding the park and adjacent Humber Lakeshore College campus.  Warblers: Yellow-rumped (45); Palm (17); Black-and-white (12); Black-throated Blue (10); Magnolia (8); Black-throated Green (5); Nashville (3); Yellow (3);  Chestnut-sided (2); singles of Cape May, Blackburnian, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart and Ovenbird.  Other notables: 1 Eastern Towhee; 3 Field Sparrows; 1 Swainson's Thrush; 1 Veery; 5 Hermit Thrush; 3 White-crowned Sparrows; 8 Chimney Swifts; 2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks; 2 Great-crested Flycatchers; 1 Least Flycatcher; 1 Blue-headed Vireo; 1 Warbling Vireo.  On and off the Peninsula: 2 Spotted Sandpipers, 4 Lesser Scaup; 4 Greater Scaup; 10 Long-tailed Duck; 7 Red-necked Grebe; 1 Horned Grebe; 1 White-winged Scoter. 18 Red-breasted Merganser; 4 Gadwall; 7 Mallard; 1 Blue-winged Teal. 

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