Kingfisher and Wood Ducks at High Park: October 17, 2020

We discovered this morning that High Park is now closed to vehicles on weekends in order to prevent overcrowding and potential virus spread.

This meant that those of us who drove had to park on nearby streets and walk into the Grenadier Restaurant parking lot. Result was a good long walk this morning for all:

I’m told that the park will be open to automobiles for this week’s walks on Wednesday and Friday.

We were rewarded with a long look at a Belted Kingfisher:

Belted Kingfisher (female)
Belted Kingfisher (female)

Belted Kingfishers are found throughout Ontario, wherever there are small fish to catch and sand banks to tunnel into for nesting purposes.

Belted Kingfisher (female)
Belted Kingfisher (female)

They winter as far south as Panama and Trinidad

Belted Kingfisher (female)
Belted Kingfisher (female)

Some will winter in Ontario if there is open water.

Belted Kingfisher (female)

Their rattling cry is a familiar sound along streams and lake borders.

Belted Kingfisher (female)
Belted Kingfisher (female)

The rusty side of this individual shows that it is a female.

Belted Kingfisher (female)

Both sexes are generally blue above and white below and have ragged crests.

Belted Kingfisher (female)

The huge bills distinguish them from Blue Jays.

Belted Kingfisher (female)
Belted Kingfisher (female)

Other birds:

Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (female)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (female)
Wood Ducks
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Ducks
Wood Ducks and Mallards
Wood Ducks
Hooded Mergansers (female) and Wood Duck (male)
Hooded Mergansers (female) and Wood Duck (male)
Hooded Mergansers (female)
Hooded Merganser (male)
Mallards
Mallard (male)
Mallard (female)
Mallard (male)
Mallard (male)
Mute Swans
Wood Ducks and Mallards
American Black Duck
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Species list: great blue heron, American black duck, mallard, wood duck, hooded merganser, red-tailed hawk, ring-billed gull, belted kingfisher, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, American robin, house sparrow, northern cardinal, American goldfinch. (17 species)

Parks views:

Squirrel
Ginkgo Tree

NATURE POETRY

The sun’s away,  
And the bird estranged;
The wind has dropped,
And the sky’s deranged;
Summer has stopped.                   – Robert Browning (1812–89) 

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Kingfisher and Wood Ducks at High Park: October 17, 2020

  1. Gloria James

    The photos of the wood ducks look like beautiful oil paintings. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mergansers before. I liked the expression on the face of the blue heron. It reminds me of someone who has just woke up and doesn’t want to be disturbed.

    My daughter was going to drive over to High Park on Saturday but decided to go elsewhere with her sons.
    Covid has certainly changed plans for Torontonians.

    Reply

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