Fox Sparrows are great scratchers, and the first evidence of their presence is often hearing dead leaves being showered aside by their vigorous activity.
In Ontario they breed chiefly in the dryer parts of the Hudson Bay lowlands and most go south to the southern United States or northern Mexico to winter so we see them rather briefly during the spring and fall migrations.
Species list: red-necked grebe, great blue heron, mute swan, Canada goose, mallard, gadwall, American black duck, red-breasted merganser, ring-billed gull, mourning dove, black-capped chickadee, white-breasted nuthatch, ruby-crowned kinglet, American robin, European starling, yellow-rumped warbler, house sparrow, northern cardinal, American goldfinch, fox sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, white-throated sparrow, song sparrow. (23 species)
There was quite a crowd of birdwatchers in the park this morning as news got out that 4 interesting fall bird species were seen here yesterday: Snow Bunting, American Pipit, Purple Sandpiper and Lapland Longspur. Unfortunately we did not see any of them this morning.
Through golden noons and purple eves, and shadows cool and tender,
From scenes of tranquil happiness and dreams of deep delight,
October like a princess in her oriental splendor
Comes down the valley singing with her retinue of light. – Katharine Brownlee Sherwood (1841–1914)