Birding with a Dash of Danger

Spring has never been so exciting! We’re taking every opportunity to head out birding.

City View & Kerncliff Parks

I don’t know how we can possibly prevent the toll on raccoon and other wildlife populations. It was a refreshing balm to the eyes to enter City View and Kerncliff Parks after witnessing the carnage on the highway.

It’s amusing the myriad of ways birds capture your attention. The more immodest ones flit in front of you or pull a Pavarotti while others test your ocular faculties and/or the stamina of your cervical spine.

Colour and song group: American goldfinch, Baltimore oriole, gray catbird, Nashville warbler, and yellow warbler;

American Goldfinch (Male) at City View Park Burlington, Ontario

American Goldfinch (Male)

Baltimore Oriole at City View Park Burlington, Ontario

Baltimore Oriole

Gray Catbird City View Park Burlington, Ontario

Gray Catbird

Yellow Warbler calling City View Park Burlington, Ontario

Yellow Warbler

Colour and size: eastern kingbird;

Sight only: field sparrow, vesper sparrow, and white-crowned sparrow.

Field Sparrow at Kerncliff Park Burlington, ON

Field Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow City View Park Burlington, Ontario

Vesper Sparrow

White-Crowned Sparrow City View Park Burlington, Ontario

White-Crowned Sparrow

Then there’s this Eastern Towhee who, but for the ruckus made searching for dinner, would never have caught my attention.

Eastern Towhee at City View Park Burlington, Ontario

Eastern Towhee (with a grub)

Eastern Towhee, City View Park Burlington, Ontario

Eastern Towhee (eating a grub)

We spent about three hours exploring the parks that evening. Certain portions of the park were lined with the national flower of Ontario – the trillium.  The trillium is protected by Bill 184, Ontario Trillium Protection Act, 2009.  Breaching the Act nets violators a fine of up to $500.00.

Trillium Flowers City View Park Burlington, Ontario

Trillium Flowers

We met an experienced birder at City View on the hunt for an indigo bunting. We wished him well.

Prior to leaving the park we bid adieu to a red admiral butterfly.

Red Admiral Butterfly City View Park Burlington, Ontario

Red Admiral Butterfly

Paletta Mansion: Shoreacres Park

Word was out that a cerulean warbler, an Acadian flycatcher and a good number of warblers had arrived at Shoreacres. I could hard wait to leave work for the day.

We spotted the Acadian flycatcher sitting in the open, untroubled by our presence.

Acadian Flycatcher at Shoreacres/Paletta Park Burlington, ON

Acadian Flycatcher

We headed to the east end of the park where we encountered and chatted at length with a lady harvesting fiddleheads.  We then came upon three birders focusing intently on activity in a tree. Within less than five minutes 14 of us stood focused by combination of naked eye, binoculars and camera lens on that very tree. The excitement was palpable. There he was, the star – a cerulean warbler – in all his glory.

Cerulean Warbler at Shoreacres/Paletta Park Burlington, ON

Cerulean Warbler

The black-throated green warbler sharing the same tree attracted second billing.

Black-Throated Green Warbler at Shoreacres/Paletta Park Burlington, ON

Black-Throated Green Warbler

The birder we met at City View Park was present in the throng. We exchanged greetings and congratulations.

Our plan to spend a couple hours at the park was upended when a chap walking his dog informed the group that he just encountered a coyote on the path in our immediate vicinity.  It was then that the sign posted on the barricade at the park entrance flashed before my eyes.

Shoreacres Park Coyote Warning at Shoreacres/Paletta Park Burlington, ON

Coyote Warning

We left shortly thereafter counting ourselves fortunate to have photographed these birds.

P.S.  We made another trip to Shoreacres yesterday. The main trail was cordoned off at both ends. We ran into the birder from City View. We inquired whether he had seen the indigo bunting.  Sadly, he had not.  We wished him well.  We went a few feet ahead and spotted one female and four male scarlet tanagers along with a number of warblers. On our return to the car we stopped and chatted with our fellow birder. Suddenly an indigo bunting appeared! There was much rejoicing and congratulations.

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