The Redwings are back / Humber Bay / April 2, 2019

After a long winter, I am always eager to see and hear the first spring arrival of migrant birds. The first two are usually Red-winged Blackbird and Song Sparrow. We had plenty of both at Humber Bay on this 2 degree, partly cloudy morning.

Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

We also heard lots of “squeaking” from Common Grackles:

Common Grackle

Starlings and both dove species were present:

European Starling
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove

A Horned Grebe in winter plumage is on its way north:

Horned Grebe

A few duck species which spend the winter with us are still here:

Long-tailed Ducks
White-winged Scoter

Red-necked Grebes were singing their unique songs:

Red-necked Grebes

Here are some of the year-round residents:

Mute Swan
Canada Geese
Ring-billed Gull

Many nesting boxes have been put out for Tree Swallows. Unfortunately, the swallows are not back yet and House Sparrows have taken over some of the boxes:

House Sparrow (male)

Alder catkins are very colourful:

Speckled Alder (Alnus incana)

This morning’s group:

Some views of the park:


I’m bright as an angel, and light as a feather,
But heavy and dark, when you squeeze me together.
Though candor and truth in my aspect I bear,
Yet many poor creatures I help to insnare.
Though so much of Heaven appears in my make,
The foulest impressions I easily take.
My parent and I produce one another,
The mother the daughter, the daughter the mother.   – Jonathan Swift, “On Snow” (1667–1745)

Miles Hearn

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