Many Purple Martins: July 2021

Purple Martins seemed to be much more common in my childhood and I have never forgotten the rich sounds that they make. Most nest in multi-chamber houses on tall poles.

photo: shopalwaysreview.com

I was surprised to hear this sound clearly today at Col. Sam Smith Park. I say surprised because I was here many times in May and didn’t see any Purple Martins. I suspect that the 2 dozen or so here were born elsewhere (there is no martin house at Col Sam) and have drifted this way to feast on the many insects to be easily found near the lake. They don’t come from the martin house in High Park either because this was taken over by House Sparrows years ago.

Purple Martin (female or juvenile)
Purple Martin (female or juvenile)
Purple Martin (female or juvenile)
Purple Martin (female or juvenile)
Purple Martin (female or juvenile)
Purple Martin (female or juvenile)
Purple Martin (female or juvenile)
Purple Martin (female or juvenile)
Purple Martin (female or juvenile)

MYSTERY BIRD

I will identify it at the end of the post.

Other birds:

Red-necked Grebe
Eastern Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Red-necked Grebes
Red-necked Grebe (juvenile)
Canada Goose
Red-necked Grebe
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Common Tern
Common Tern
Mallards (female)
Mallard (female)
Mallard (female)
Common Tern
Gray Catbird
House Finch (male)
Tree Swallow (juvenile)
Gray Catbird
House Finch (male)
Tree Swallow (juvenile)
Double-crested Cormorant
House Finch (male)

Wading into the underbrush to get these Catbird photos cost me about 10 painful Red Ant bites.

Gray Catbird
Red-winged Blackbird (female)
House Finch (male)
Eastern Kingbird
Song Sparrow
American Goldfinch (male)
Common Terns
Barn Swallows
Eastern Kingbird
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Eastern Kingbird

Other flyers:

Black Swallowtail
Black Swallowtail
Black Swallowtail
Bumblebee
Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly

MYSTERY BIRD

Looking like a loon with a slight up-pointing bill identifies a Double-crested Cormorant.

Double-crested Cormorant.

MAILBOX

I was very intrigued when I saw your post on the Whitevale school.  I saw the pictures and was fairly certain I had been there as a teenager visiting friends of my family who lived there.  After some searching I confirmed that was indeed the same building.  And I came upon this document and thought you might find it interesting.

Cultural Heritage Property Evaluation Report: (pickering.ca)

NATURE POETRY

How sweet the music of the purling rill, 
Trickling adown the grassy hill! 
While dreamy fancies come to give repose
When the first star of evening glows.                         – Henrietta Cordelia Ray (1848–1916)

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Many Purple Martins: July 2021

  1. Susan Berry

    I don’t know about this year, but last year there was a very active Martin house at the south end of Grenadier Pond (by the Queensway) between the pedestrian path and the pond. This is close to the lake and the martins could easily get to Col. Sam from there.

    Reply
  2. Lisa Volkov

    I was fooled. I thought it WAS a Loon!
    I’m sorry about your red ant bites–I know how painful those are! But you took wonderful pictures!
    Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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