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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hendrie Park: Caspian tern
This caspian tern was searching for lunch at Hendrie Park.
The garter snake and painted turtle, on the other hand, sought a little warmth from the sun.
All in all, it was a marvelous week.