Catbirds, Gnatcatchers, Vireos, Kingbirds, Warblers and Orioles at Beechwood / Don Valley: May 6, 2019

The next 3 weeks or so is the time when the maximum number of bird species can be seen in the Toronto area. With the leaves still not out on the trees, it is much easier to see who that is serenading us in song from above.

This morning I had all of the birds mentioned above for the first time this spring. In fact there were dozens of Yellow Warblers; some of whom will nest in the area:

Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler

Gnatcatchers are usually found high in trees but this morning a pair let us have a good, close look at them:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Here you can see the black and white tail:

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

This Baltimore Oriole nibbling on Aspen flowers was very high in the tree:

Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Baltimore Oriole

Species list: double-crested cormorant, Canada goose, mallard, wood duck, turkey vulture, spotted sandpiper, downy woodpecker, eastern kingbird, tree swallow, rough-winged swallow, cliff swallow, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, Carolina wren, gray catbird, American robin, blue-gray gnatcatcher, warbling vireo, yellow warbler, red-winged blackbird, Baltimore oriole, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, song sparrow.  (24 species)

Blue Jay
Double-crested Cormorant
Wood Ducks (male)
Black-capped Chickadee
Gray Catbird
Eastern Kingbird
Mallards (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Song Sparrow

Some looks at the area on this 14 degree, sunny morning:

Other creatures:

American Toad
Red Admiral

I went early to take photos in the woods. As a result the Trillium and Trout-lily flowers are not as open as when the group saw them a few hours later:

White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
White Trilliums (Trillium grandiflorum)
Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum)
Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum)

Other botany:

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)
Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianaum)
May-apple (Podophyllum peltatum)
May-apple (Podophyllum peltatum)
Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis)
Canada Fly Honeysuckle (Lonicera canadensis)
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Zigzag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)
Early Meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)
Bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera)
Wild Sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis)
Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)
Pennsylvania Sedge

This morning’s group:


Now the soft rain comes over the blue hill,

And the red-shouldered blackbird sounds his  flute

Along the meadows of the Silvermine.

Between its willow banks the winding stream

Is tinged with violet dusk, as the great moon

Rises in splendour on the Eastern ridge,

And through the twilight all the marshy ground

Rings with the silver chorus of the frogs.

In rocky groves the shy hepaticas

Awake to don their softest blue once more,

And troops of golden adder’s-tongue return.

In cool damp woods Jack-in-the-pulpit stands.

And the dark trillium for a mystic sign;

That all the old earth magic is renewed.

Bliss Carman (1861 – 1929)

Miles Hearn

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