Sunday, December 28, 2014

OWLS IN THE PARK

SNOWY OWL ON DOCK - Photograph by Julie Hyde
It looks like the predicted "snowstorm" has started.  There have been many reports of a first year male Snowy Owl (or Owls) being seen in the park in recent weeks.  Three different birds were supposedly seen today.  This night-hunting bird(s) is usually seen safely roosting by day on the yacht club dock.  Occasionally Snowy Owls can be found on the rocky headlands, but, with the sharp increase in unleashed dog traffic, that happens rarely now.

"DIGISCOPING"
Here are a few photographs we have recently received from park visitors. One was taken with a cell phone camera through a telescope that a birder let them use.  This technique is called "digiscoping" and can sometimes yield results ..... not always, but worth a shot if you are prepared to ask politely.


The Northern Saw-Whet Owl below was also photographed this morning in the park.  They are very small owls with large, rounded heads that lack ear tufts.  They are about 8 inches tall and weigh around 3 ounces.  By contrast, the Snowy Owl is about 25 inches long and weighs around 5 pounds.

NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL - Photograph by Terry Smith

Thursday, December 4, 2014

SUMMARY: MINUTES FOSS STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING NOVEMBER 25TH, 2014



Summary: Minutes of the FOSS Steering Committee Meeting
November 25, 2014
   7:00 PM LAMP, ROOM 302, 185 5th Street, Etobicoke


  • Milkweed seeds have been planted in three areas of Colonel Samuel Smith Park to attract and provide food for the dwindling Monarch Butterfly population. Special thanks to staff and students from Humber College who seeded “Swallow Field”. Milkweed is no longer considered a “noxious weed” in most jurisdictions, including Ontario. For more information: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/info_milkweed.htm
  • On November 27th, several individuals from the FOSS Steering Committee (accompanied by members of CCFEW) attended a meeting at the Etobicoke Civic Centre to support the city’s draft plan designating CSSP as an Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) and to lobby for an enlargement of the areas of the park coming under protection. The Lakeshore Planning Council (LPC) also supports this initiative.
  • FOSS is satisfied with and commends Humber College for the “bird friendly” design of its new Welcome Centre building
  • FOSS advocates re-planting of trees and/or moving of existing trees that will be disturbed during construction of the Welcome Centre. FOSS also suggests the remediation of North Creek (especially the zone south of the Power House).
  • FOSS advocates that the proposed Catholic elementary school (to be located on CSSP Drive) will also be bird friendly and will provide for the salvation of the existing historic apple orchard.