The Cattle Egret that has been entertaining birders and photographers in recent weeks appears to have finally left the park, heading for warmer climes we hope. It had been making itself at home on the outer headlands happily gobbling up grasshoppers in the grasses and becoming more and more habituated to the constant flow of passers-by and dogs. There had been quite a lot of concern for its welfare with people worried that it might leave it too late to head south and it might need to be rescued from the cold.
Yesterday, a Mute Swan was killed in the park either by a coyote or, more ominously, possibly by an off-leash dog. Most of the headless carcass was left and not consumed - unusual for a coyote. The swan must have put up a hard fight but eventually it succumbed to its gruesome death. The swan was banded and a report was made to Environment Canada. The band information showed that the swan was hatched in 2010, was a male and it was banded on February 22nd, 2012 in La Salle Park, Burlington, Ontario. The Park Supervisor has also been notified with a clean up of the site expected soon. If anyone has any information on this matter, please contact Friends of Sam Smith Park.
If anyone comes across a dead bird that is banded or has a coloured marker on it, here's where to report it.