Tuesday, January 23, 2018

PROTECTNATURETO - A NEW UMBRELLA ORGANIZATION ADVOCATING FOR THE PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE AND NATURAL AREAS ACROSS THE CITY OF TORONTO

Friends of Sam Smith Park is proud to be one of a number of groups affiliated to a new organization committed to the protection of Toronto's natural heritage.



ProtectNatureTO's excellent website, as well as having research papers, their own publications, links to government documents, calls for action etc. outlines a vision statement that mirrors FOSS's own .....

"Our vision is for a green sustainable city where natural areas, including the plants and animals that depend on these habitats, are celebrated, respected, protected and managed responsibly for the long term. This will be a city where biodiversity thrives and endures. The people who live in this city will be able to experience ecologically healthy green spaces for their own mental and physical well-being, and to maintain and cultivate a personal connection with nature."

Please check it out and spread the word among groups that share similar views.  The more groups affiliated under this umbrella organization there are, the stronger all our voices become.

Below is an example of a brochure ProtectNatureTO produced on the impact of off-leash dogs in natural environments - "You and your dogs: keeping natural areas safe for wildlife."



SAM SMITH CHRISTMAS BIRD COUNT RESULTS



The following birds were reported by members of FOSS during the Christmas Week Bird Count. 
December 26-31, 2017

REDHEAD DUCK
Water Birds
Canada Goose
Mallard
Mute Swan
American Black Duck
Redhead
Greater Scaup
GOLDFINCH
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Long-tailed Duck
Red-breasted Merganser
DARK-EYED JUNCO

Ring-billed Gull
Gadwall
*Tufted Duck – first record for the park
*Purple Sandpiper – occasionally seen in winter in Ontario (the only record for the province this winter)

Land birds
Mourning Dove
Black-capped Chickadee
Northern Cardinal
LONG-EARED OWL
Dark-eyed Junco
House Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
Song Sparrow
American Robin
Downy Woodpecker
European Starling
American Crow
American Goldfinch
Raptors
Long-eared Owl

A total of 28 species

If you were at Colonel Sam Smith Park Christmas Week and we missed a bird you saw, please contact me.

Brian Keaveney
President FOSS

Monday, January 22, 2018

JEREMY'S "BIG BIRDING YEAR" - 346 SPECIES - A PROVINCIAL RECORD

Jeremy Bensette, a young birder known to many birders in Sam Smith Park, has broken the provincial record for seeing more bird species in one year.  He recorded 346 species in 2017.  The previous record was 343.
Jeremy was a frequent visitor to Sam Smith during that year and, in fact, was there at the very end of the December searching for the elusive Purple Sandpiper to top up his list (as reported in a previous FOSS post.)
Jeremy at Sam Smith Park leading birders in search for the Purple Sandpiper
The Toronto Star has published an excellent article on Jeremy's "big year" that can be seen here.

Congratulations, Jeremy!


Friday, January 19, 2018

FOSS WINTER BIRD FEEDER PROJECT



Our “FOSS Winter Bird Feeder Project” is well under way, for the third year! 
   
Volunteers have set up 6 “feeding stations” around the Skating Trail at Col. Sam Smith Park- each consisting of a seed feeder and a suet feeder.  Different FOSS volunteers check and fill the feeders each day. 
   
We are getting an interesting variety of birds, a lot of squirrels, and a fair amount of attention and inquiries from skaters.  People are also stopping to thank us for our efforts!


The Urban Nature Store, on North Queen by the East Mall, is generously subsidizing our seed purchases again this year, which is greatly appreciated.
  
The next time you are by the Skating Trail, check out our feeders and see what is happening there.


Thank you to all of our faithful volunteers!


This photo of a goldfinch on one of our feeders was taken by Sandra Hawkins.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

REQUEST FOR CHRISTMAS WEEK BIRD COUNT NUMBERS



The Christmas Week Bird Count is over at Col.Sam. It is time to send me a list of all the birds you have seen from Christmas Day up to and including December 31.
The names are important. If you have numbers great as well. Also send a photo with or without birds of the park if possible.
Thank you and Happy New Year for 2018 from FOSS.

Brian Keaveney