Colonel Sam’s Kentucky Warbler, etc. + Toronto Islands

Took a vacation day on Friday to spend time at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Perfect weather, great company, lovely birds.

Park history

Park history

Warbling Vireo

Warbling Vireo

Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

Baltimore Oriole gathering nesting material

Baltimore Oriole gathering nesting material

Baltimore Oriole attending to nest

Baltimore Oriole attending to nest

Nest building Blue-gray Gnatcatchers

Nest building Blue-gray Gnatcatchers

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on nest

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on nest

Swainson's Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

Northern Flicker (yellow shafted)

Northern Flicker (yellow shafted)

Blue-headed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo

Bobolink

Bobolink

Male and female Long-tailed Ducks (summer plumage)

Male and female Long-tailed Ducks (summer plumage)

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

On Saturday I enjoyed OFO’s outing to the Toronto Islands.  As most of the birds were very high in the tree canopy I developed a temporary case of warbler neck. Early during the trek we received word that a Kentucky Warbler was present at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. A few members abandoned the trip to see the warbler. Some of our group headed over at the end of our trip. I was too tired to join them. Here are a few birds I was able to see.

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

House Wren singing

House Wren singing

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler

American Redstart

American Redstart

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I swore to myself that in honour of Mother’s Day I was going to stay home today. Well, that was until I read, “For those interested or who may have missed it yesterday, the Kentucky Warbler is still present and showing well this morning at Col. Sam Smith Park in Etobicoke. The bird continues to work the creek bank south of the bridge and just east of the pumphouse“.  One benefit of familiarizing yourself with a hotspot is once word of a rarity or notable species gets out, you know exactly where to see the bird. Within five minutes of arriving at the park we were observing the Kentucky Warbler. My daughter accompanied me on the trip. Had a fab time birding with her.

Kentucky Warbler

Kentucky Warbler

Kentucky Warbler singing

Kentucky Warbler singing

During our short walkabout we observed the following:

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Black and White Warbler

Black and White Warbler

Northern Parula

Northern Parula

Racoon

Racoon

Mink

Mink

Mink shake

Mink shake

Dunlin

Dunlin

Least Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Northern Waterthrush

Northern Waterthrush

Don’t forget the spring bird festival will be held at Colonel Sam on May 23, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Hourly bird walks will start at 9:00 a.m. The whimbrel watch will also be well underway. Great outing for the entire family. Click here for more details:  If you can’t make it then, the Toronto Ornithological Club will host a bird walk the following day, May 24, 2015 from 7:30 a.m. until noon.

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