Fiddleheads and White-throated Sparrow at Sunnybrook Park / May 1, 2019

After a night and early morning of steady rain, the showers stopped about 15 minutes before the commencement of our walk in 7 degree, overcast and windy conditions. More like March than the first of May.

Unlike the month of March however, the woods are full of emerging wildflowers and other growths. Here are some of them:

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
Cut-leaved Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata)
Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)
Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
Periwinkle (Vinca minor)
Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)
Red Trillium (Trillium sessile)
Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria)
Scilla (Scilla forbesii)
Wild Leek (Ramps) Allium tricoccum
Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
Horsetail (male flower)
Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

Certain areas have lots of Fiddleheads. Fiddleheads are the furled fronds of young ferns, These are Ostrich Ferns:

This morning’s group:

Rain and wind kept our bird list down:

Species list: double-crested cormorant, mallard, turkey vulture, ring-billed gull, belted kingfisher, pileated woodpecker, downy woodpecker, tree swallow, blue jay, American crow, red-breasted nuthatch, black-capped chickadee, American robin, ruby-crowned kinglet, European starling, yellow-rumped warbler, red-winged blackbird, brown-headed cowbird, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, white-throated sparrow, song sparrow.  (22 species)

White-throated Sparrow (tan-striped adult)
Mallard (male)
Brown-headed Cowbird (male)
American Robin

Some park scenes:


The Merry Cuckoo, Messenger of Spring
By Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
 THE MERRY Cuckoo, messenger of Spring,
His trumpet shrill hath thrice already sounded;
That warns all lovers wait upon their king,
Who now is coming forth with garland crownèd.
With noise whereof the quire of birds resounded
Their anthems sweet devisèd of Love’s praise;
That all the woods their echoes back rebounded,
As if they knew the meaning of their lays
But ’mongst them all which did Love’s honour raise,
No word was heard of her that most it ought:        
But she his precept idly disobeys,
And doth his idle message set at nought.
Therefore, O Love, unless she turn to thee
Ere Cuckoo end, let her a rebel be! 

Miles Hearn

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