White-striped and Tan-striped White-throated Sparrows at Sunnybrook Park / May 3, 2019

The weather gods were with us this morning as rain stopped just as we began and recommenced as we finished on this 9 degree, overcast morning.

Some park views:

This morning’s group:

I always go quite early to walk locations in order to take my time photographing. Because of the rain today, I went straight to the bird feeder area, put some feed in the feeders, sat in my car and snapped away.

For some reason the feed does not always last a long time here:

Squirrel

Spring birdfeeder regulars:

Blue Jay
Blue Jay
Blue Jay
Brown-headed Cowbird
Brown-headed Cowbird

Male and female Cardinals always seem to be together and display great affection to each other:

Northern Cardinals

I was very fortunate in having about a dozen White-throated Sparrows looking for feed under the feeders.

There are two distinct forms or “morphs” of the White-throated Sparrow.

The White-striped adult:

White-striped White-throated Sparrow
White-striped White-throated Sparrow
White-striped White-throated Sparrow
White-striped White-throated Sparrow

The Tan-striped adult:

Tan-striped White-throated Sparrow
Tan-striped White-throated Sparrow
Tan-striped White-throated Sparrow

I had several bird species for the first time this spring including Great Crested Flycatcher and Northern Waterthrush.

Species list: double-crested cormorant, mallard, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, belted kingfisher, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, northern flicker, pileated woodpecker, great crested flycatcher, barn swallow, blue jay,  black-capped chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, Swainson’s thrush, American robin, blue-gray gnatcatcher, ruby-crowned kinglet, northern parula warbler, northern waterthrush, red-winged blackbird, brown-headed cowbird, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, white-throated sparrow, chipping sparrow, swamp sparrow, song sparrow.  (28 species)

As you can see, we had four sparrow species; all of which were singing.

At the end of the walk a warbler was spotted high in the trees but identification is difficult in overcast conditions. I took several photos and the bird is a Northern Parula Warbler:

Northern Parula Warbler
Northern Parula Warbler
Northern Parula Warbler
Northern Parula Warbler

Also tiny and at the top a a tree:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Other birds:

Mallard (male)
Double-crested Cormorant
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Some botany:

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Poisin Ivy (Toxicodendrom rydbergii)

NATURE POETRY

There Is A Garden In Her Face

BY THOMAS CAMPION

There is a garden in her face 
Where roses and white lilies grow; 
A heav’nly paradise is that place 
Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow. 
There cherries grow which none may buy, 
Till “Cherry ripe” themselves do cry. 

Those cherries fairly do enclose 
Of orient pearl a double row, 
Which when her lovely laughter shows, 
They look like rose-buds fill’d with snow; 
Yet them nor peer nor prince can buy, 
Till “Cherry ripe” themselves do cry. 

Her eyes like angels watch them still, 
Her brows like bended bows do stand, 
Threat’ning with piercing frowns to kill 
All that attempt with eye or hand 
Those sacred cherries to come nigh, 
Till “Cherry ripe” themselves do cry. 

Miles Hearn

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