Wood Duck, Caspian Terns and a Thunderbird

High Park, Toronto

I recently waltzed into High Park. Save for a few House Finches the bird sanctuary was quiet. While sipping coffee on the restaurant patio I noticed these two active Barn Swallow nests.

Family of four

Family of four

Two of three nestlings begging

Two of three nestlings begging

Family of five Barn Swallows

Family of five Barn Swallows

After breakfast I found the Hawk Hill. Can’t wait for the hawk watch to begin in the fall.

Hawk Hill

Hawk Hill

Again, the ponds near the children’s playground is the best spot to get up close and personal with Wood Ducks.

Female Wood Duck

Female Wood Duck

Mum flew up onto the concrete wall to spend some time with me while her eight ducklings fended for themselves below.

Oiye, I was not expecting this

Oiye, I was not expecting this

Beautiful profile

Beautiful profile

Notice the beak

Notice the beak

Simply gorgeous

Simply gorgeous

CCIW Islands, Burlington

I snuck away while everyone was asleep, looking forward to a spot of breakfast but my bakery of choice would remain shuttered until 8:00 a.m. As I walked along, resigning myself to nipping into my number 18 breakfast spot, I heard tick, tick, tick overhead. I was pleasantly surprised to see 12 Chimney Swifts in flight over Brant Street. Devil to photograph but I snapped this one then ordered a coffee to go.

Chimney Swift

Chimney Swift

That I was still in a fog was evident as my first stop was Windermere Basin. I asked myself why I was here. I don’t have a scope. Sigh. I hopped and skipped over to the Lift Bridge to offer Barry C. support with the fledgling peregrine falcon watch. As he just arrived and I had excess energy to burn, I promised to return after checking in on the terns at CCIW.

At CCIW, from my preferred vantage point, the picnic bench, I witnessed juvenile Ring-billed Gulls trying out their wings. Nice to see a few juvenile Herring Gulls and their young.

Adult and juvenile Herring Gulls

Adult and juvenile Herring Gulls

My attention was particularly focused on the Caspian Terns and their juveniles.

Caspian chick waiting to be fed

Caspian chick waiting to be fed

Caspian Terns and their young

Caspian Terns and their young

These two terns got into a bit of a scrap.

Caspian Tern dispute

Caspian Tern dispute

Beaks locked

Beaks locked

Suddenly, my Spidey sense tingled. When I looked back four photographers appeared. They ultimately positioned themselves a bit north of me, camouflaging themselves in the shrubbery. I stayed for another 30 minutes or so practicing in flight shots.

Caspian Tern in flight

Caspian Tern in flight

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

Touchdown!

Touchdown!

Black-crowned Night-Herons and their young occupy the tree on the island closest to the parking lot. As with Tommy Thompson Park, they have to make do with what little they are allotted by the cormorants.

Lift Bridge, Burlington

I returned to the Lift Bridge. In the hour and a half or so I spent with Barry I learned much about the falcons. For instance, dad will raid the pigeons’ nests. When he does a squab transfer he drops it for the young to catch whereas mum prefers a direct transfer. Ultimately Lucifer made an appearance. How he cried to be fed. As both parents were uncharacteristically absent, Barry surmised they were forcing Lucifer to fend for himself.

Lucifer begging to be fed

Lucifer begging to be fed

Anyway, delicate flower that I am I was melting in a most unladylike manner in the heat. Hunger was also gnawing at me. Knowing my limit, I thanked Barry and bid adieu.

Downtown Toronto

Got a glimpse of the Pan Am torch last Friday from my  window.

Pan Am torch

Pan Am torch

From Wednesday to Friday I’d been popping to Nathan Phillips Square during my lunch hour to get an unobstructed photograph this sign. First day, construction workers were present. On Thursday, the coast wasn’t clear and Friday there were even more people milling about. I tried!

Pan Am preparation at City Hall, Toronto

Pan Am preparation at City Hall, Toronto

Brant Street, Burlington

If you missed the July 11, 2015 Burlington Car Show, here are some of the cars on display.

TVR

TVR

IMG_1555 IMG_1529 IMG_1518

Sweet

Sweet

Studebaker

Studebaker

McLaren

McLaren

Needing a boost

Needing a boost

Thunderbird

Love the license plate!

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