Orchard Oriole at Col. Sam Smith Park: May 2020

I headed out to Col. Sam Smith Park at dawn on this day:

English Garden Snail

As they often are by the lake, midges were everywhere:

Midges
Midges

So were birdwatchers. Every year, around this time, flocks of Whimbrels fly past. I hoped to see them but, no luck. Here is a photo I took in the past of a Whimbrel:

Whimbrel

Even at dawn, keen photographers were hopeful and ready.

While there were no Whimbrels, I was able to photograph many birds:

Double-crested Cormorants
Double-crested Cormorants
American Robin with chicks
American Robin
Killdeer
Brown-headed Cowbird (female)
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Red-necked Grebe nesting platform
Red-necked Grebes
Red-necked Grebes singing in duet
Red-necked Grebes singing in duet
Mute Swan
Canada Goose
Common Grackle
Common Grackle
House Sparrow (male) nesting in swallow box
Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallows
Mallard (female)
Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird showing chestnut colour undertail
Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird
European Starling with chick
European Starling with chicks
European Starling chicks
European Starling chick
Yellow Warbler
Scarlet Tanager (male)
Baltimore Oriole (male)
Northern Cardinal (male)

The Orchard Oriole is becoming more common in Southern Ontario. Previously, Point Peele was about as far north as they came. Even further south in their habitat of scrubby woods and hedgegrows with isolated tall trees especially near water, they are uncommon. Their diet consists of insects, larvae, fruit and nectar. I was fortunate to see (and hear) several on this day.

Orchard Oriole (male)
Orchard Oriole (male)
Orchard Oriole (male)
Orchard Oriole (male)
Orchard Oriole (male)
Orchard Oriole (male)
Orchard Oriole (male)

NATURE POETRY

Then came fair May, the fairest maid on ground,
Decked all with dainties of her season’s pride,
And throwing flowers out of her lap around:
Upon two brethrens’ shoulders she did ride,
The twins of Leda, which on either side
Supported her like to their sovereign Queen.        – Edmund Spenser (1522–99)

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Orchard Oriole at Col. Sam Smith Park: May 2020

  1. George

    I gather that this year is not good for Whimbrels at this location. Are they going somewhere different? Or? I was out at Whimbrel Point on Sunday (not at dawn!) and a small flock had been seen at about 5:30 am. I didn’t see any in the short time I was present. What have you heard, Miles?

    Reply
  2. Rosemarie Fischer

    great pictures….whimbrel? never heard about it b4….funny looking bird, look at those BIG FEET….also, long beak. Orchard Oriole? also a new term for me, thanks Miles, very educational!!!!
    Rosemarie Fischer

    Reply
  3. Lisa Volkov

    Again, one of my favorite places. And yes–the Whimbrels (so that’s how they are spelled!) Never mind–you included a picture, and you got so many wonderful pictures of wonderful birds–though I know you would have liked to see the Whimbrels, too.

    And yes, a dog in a boat! Once again, so many thanks for this, Miles. Those birds! If I could remember how to spell them without looking up again, I would single some more out for special mention–though of course, ALL of them were special! Thanks!

    Reply

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