Belted Kingfisher and Great Egrets at High Park (10 am & 1 pm groups) / October 1, 2019

I hear that the 31 degree temperature reached today was the highest October temperature on record for the Toronto area. The morning saw bright sunshine but rain was threatening by mid-afternoon.

Once again, we were rewarded with long looks at Wood Ducks and Great Egrets. For both morning and afternoon, a Belted Kingfisher was also present at the duck pond.

Belted Kingfisher (male)
Belted Kingfisher (male)
Belted Kingfisher (male)
Wood Ducks (male)
Wood Duck (female)
Wood Duck (juvenile male)
Wood Duck (juvenile male)
Great Egret
Great Egret
Great Egret
Great Egret
Great Egret

Species list:mallard, wood duck. ring-billed gull, belted kingfisher, downy woodpecker, northern flicker, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, house sparrow, northern cardinal, American goldfinch.  (11 species)

Mallard (male)
Downy Woodpecker (male)
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow (male)

Park scenes:

Sugar Maple
Sassafras

Other wildlife:

Hornet’s nest
Painted Lady
Painted Turtle

10 a.m. Group:

1 p.m. group:

BIRDWATCHING ANECDOTE

Years ago, Ashbridge’s Bay attracted thousands of shorebirds each fall. At lunch time, you could park your car right at the edge of the marsh, eat your lunch in the car and add two or three good species to your year’s list. A railway spur line ran along the southern edge of the marsh. One lunch hour in the days when steam locomotives were still in use, Alf Bunker (a railway engineer) and I were there with binoculars looking over the Bay. When our time was up, I got into my car to drive away. Alf climbed into a mammoth, panting steam engine, parked on the rail siding, and drove off. (Gerry Bennett)

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