Blue-Faced Honeyeater escapes Toronto Zoo exhibit

Toronto Zoo: Blue-Faced Honeyeater

The highlight of the week was a visit to the Toronto Zoo on Saturday.  We viewed the exhibits with an eye on the wild birds populating the zoo grounds.  The usual suspects, sparrows, chickadees, gulls, American robins and an American goldfinch were flitting about.  Suddenly, in an otherwise dull landscape, we spotted a flash of colour.   This blue-faced honeyeater, an Australian species, had escaped from an indoor exhibit.  On reporting the sighting, zoo staff confirmed personnel had been dispatched.  That was no comfort to us as we had seen the bird twice an hour earlier and on one occasion we saw it in a tree near the white lion exhibit.

Blue-Faced Honeyeater escapes from the Toronto Zoo

Blue-Faced Honeyeater in a tree at the Caribou exhibit

Click to view at a larger size.

Burlington Parks: birding

Kerncliff Park: Northern Flicker

I made first of what I expect to be many visits to Kerncliff Park.  What sets this park apart from the others is that it is a re-purposed abandoned quarry.  Kencliff also forms part of the mighty Bruce Trail.  I spotted a northern flicker here.

Northern Flicker at Kerncliff Park, Burlington, ON

Northern Flicker

Paletta Lakefront Park

Paletta Lakefront Park is perfect for those days when you’re not up to a long trek. The house finch was heard and observed at Paletta park as were the ruby-crowned kinglet and brown creeper.

House Finch in tree

House Finch

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet at Paletta Park, Burlington, ON

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

Brown Creeper at Paletta Park, Burlington, ON

Brown Creeper

Spencer Smith Park: Bonaparte’s gull

From the pier at Spencer Smith Park a Bonaparte’s gull was observed enjoying a meal churned up by the rough waters.   I made a huge mistake of arriving at the pier with a half-eaten slice of pizza and a chai latte.  I put both down on a bench praying the wind wouldn’t tip over the latte.  That turned out to be the least of my concerns.  What I originally thought was a cloud blocking the sun turned out to be a ring-billed gull hovering over my head as I tried to photograph the Bonaparte’s gull. Imagine trying to photograph a gull with one eye on your lunch, the other on the Bonaparte’s gull and the third on the ring-billed gull overhead whilst steadying yourself and a camera on a blustery, windy pier.  It was utterly hilarious.  I prayed the entire time that the gull would not (1) relieve himself on me and more importantly, (2) relieve me of my lunch.  I was beyond hungry.

Bonaparte's Gull at Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, ON

Bonaparte’s Gull

The previous week a pair of long-tailed ducks were basking in the sun.  This week another pair of long-tail ducks were riding the waves.  Note the difference in plumage.

Long-Tailed Duck (Male) at Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, Ontario

Long-Tailed Duck (Male Winter plumage)

Long-Tailed Duck (Female) at Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, Ontario

Long-Tailed Duck (Female Winter plumage)

Long Tailed Ducks (Summer plumage)

Long-Tailed Ducks (Summer plumage)

Long Tailed Duck (Male Summer plumage)

Long-Tailed Duck (Male Summer plumage)

Canada Centre for Inland Waters and North Shore Islands: Double-Crested Cormorants

The Canada Centre for Inland Waters and North Shore Islands should be renamed gulls paradise.  Having been blessed with an overactive imagination I realized I was outnumbered by the gulls and double crested cormorants.  What a horror movie it would be if they turned on me. Obviously, PTSD secondary to watching Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’. The invasion/arrival of the double-crested cormorants gives me the shivers.  They remind me of pterodactyls.

Double-Crested Cormorants flying above

Double-Crested Cormorants

Double-Crested Cormorant at Hendrie Park, Burlington, Ontario

Double-Crested Cormorant

Double-Crested Cormorant at Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, Ontario

Double-Crested Cormorant

Hendrie Park: Caspian tern

This caspian tern was searching for lunch at Hendrie Park.

Caspian Tern at Hendrie Park, Burlington, Ontario

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern at Hendrie Park, Burlington, ON

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern, Hendrie Park, Burlington, Ontario

Caspian Tern

The garter snake and painted turtle, on the other hand, sought a little warmth from the sun.

Garter Snake close up

Garter Snake

Painted Turtle at Hendrie Park, Burlington, ON

Painted Turtle

All in all, it was a marvelous week.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s