Sunday 29 May 2011

OFO trip to Leslie Street Spit

On Saturday Mira and I joined the Ontario Field Ornithologists for a day walk along my favourite local park. We had an impressive number and diversity of warblers and other migrants especially considering the proximity to downtown Toronto. In some respects it may have been better than many of the days I spent at Point Pelee during the 3 previous weeks! The birds are much more concentrated in the small patches of woods.

Earlier in the week I caught up with my first Common Moorhen of the year, there are birds here that aren't guaranteed out there!

During the OFO walk we had great looks at several migrants. The flycatchers were even singing allowing us to identify them much more easily! Such as this Willow Flycatcher:

A large flock of Chimney Swifts feasted on the flies, this photo doesn't do the flock justice:

We also had a Common Nighthawk roosting fairly low and close to the trail:

2 Solitary Sandpipers were nice to see in what's dubbed the 'shorebird cell'. It's a tiny body of muddy water and these might be the first shorebirds I've ever seen there besides Killdeer!

But as many know, Toronto can be good for another type of shorebird. The Whimbrels! The main migration route of these birds passes through Toronto area and we managed to locate some. In fact we were about to give up our search for them when Mira said: "hey, check this out!"

And there it was, a Whimbrel, ominously perched on a pile of cement. A very natural setting for such a superb bird!

My dog has been keeping a close eye on the hens at home:

On Sunday we helped out with the Carden Alvar blitz. We woke up at 3am for that so I'm eager to get some sleep now, I'll share some photos tomorrow!

Check out this awesome bird: