On May 2nd I headed out on the Ontario Field Ornithologist’s Durham waterfront birding trip. The only hiccup – the leader forgot about the event. Fear not, all was not lost.
Am not sure who eventually lead the group but with his family’s consent I joined two experienced birders in knighting 15 year old Henrique as our leader. Don’t let his youth fool you. This lad was an exemplary leader. He knew all the bird calls, species, habitat, was articulate, modest, very generous with his knowledge and time and just a joy to be with.
In a nutshell. We had a fabulous outing. We made brief visits Thickson’s Woods, Ghost Woods, Second Marsh, Sobey’s Pond, Lynde Shores Conservation Area and Cranberry Marsh. The species tally was 51. New species for me were the Purple Martin, Chimney Swift, and the Glossy Ibis. It was quite lovely to view and hear warblers!
After the Ghost Woods we made a brief stop at a local Tim Horton’s. We decided to stop in at Sobey’s Pond to check if the ibis was there. The last update we had was that it had left the area. We weren’t even out of the car when a birder approached advising the bird was indeed present. This is a rare bird. The rejoicing was palpable! After busily foraging on the east end of the pond the bird flew to the west end to continue foraging there. E-bird was updated and before we left birders from all over were trickling in.
As it was too early for me to head home I took a brief trip to Hendrie Valley in Burlington. So, the back story is my children are home for the summer. They were relaxing after their exams. I asked, “Guys why don’t you go to Hendrie?” They headed out on Wednesday and found the following:
Wouldn’t you know it, my luck differed from theirs. Whereas they had the adult, I had the juvenile snapping turtle. It was found along a heavily travelled foot path. I picked it up, climbed through a wooden fence and placed it near the stream. It was quite a feisty little turtle. Very strong.
I chanced upon these three species nest building. The Blue Jay gave away its position by accosting me on the path. I figured something was up. I waited for a while and noticed it headed to a nearby nest. When I passed by later on it popped up again. I noticed the second jay moving around below.
This Downy Woodpecker conducted its excavation quietly.
I watched this American Robin go back and forth.
Here are some of the other species I observed.
May is prime time for birding as the warblers and other spring migrants descend upon us. To keep abreast of the locations of these and other species including rarities, please see these websites:
Hamilton Birders: 25 mile radius of Hamilton (Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, etc.)
Ontario Field Ornithologists (always uncheck “Notable Only”)
I also this site for Toronto birding