Wood Ducks and Shovelers at High Park: Mar. 29, 2022

High Park is the best place in the city to see the magnificent Wood Duck up close:

Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (female)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (female)
Wood Ducks
Wood Duck (female)

Northern Shovelers are essentially a prairie duck so it is always a pleasure to see them here. The oversize “Donald Duck” bill is the best field mark:

Northern Shoveler (male)
Northern Shovelers
Northern Shovelers
Northern Shovelers
Northern Shoveler (male)

We saw some interesting activity today at High Park:

Portuguese Water Dog chasing geese
Mallard mating
Mallard mating
after mating
after mating

and several Muskrats:

Muskrat
Muskrat
Muskrat

Other birds:

American Goldfinch (male)
American Black Duck (female)
Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Turkey Vulture
Mute Swan
Mallard showing blue head instead of green due to lighting
House Sparrow (male)
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Hooded Mergansers
Northern Cardinal (juvenile male)
Downy Woodpecker (female)
American Robin
Northern Cardinal (male)

Today’s group’s: 10 am

1 pm

MAILBOX

I received this about the disk golf course which was recently installed at Ashbridge’s Bay without much consultation:

Hello fellow nature lovers,
 If you haven’t heard, thanks to many many long hours and with the support of many individuals as well as all our nature groups in Toronto the City of Toronto has decided to “pause” the use of the disc golf course on the dune habitat during the breeding and nesting season. There will be further monitoring by City staff. The possibility of relocation is being very much considered. Hopefully this will lead to public consultation, that we have been asking for but still to this day is not happening. I have been communicating with Brock Rochus the Park Supervisor.

 There is still much work to be done on our part and questions yet be answered from 4 months ago. This is not a done deal. We must remain vigilante and organize. 

Clyde E. Robinson

NATURE POETRY

Attracting lovely colorful winter birds
my winsome friends
seed eaters
small singing kindred spirts…
tempted by seeds pods
of the Staghorn Sumac     – Cherie Nolan

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Wood Ducks and Shovelers at High Park: Mar. 29, 2022

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Great close-ups. And–I’ve never seen ducks mating before. I certainly don’t mean to be prurient–I mean, it’s just interesting to see how it’s done!

    Reply
  2. Anne Cumbo

    Miles, thanks so much for posting these spectacular photos. As a neophyte, I am glad to have the opportunity to review the walk close up and recall all that I learned. I am so impressed by the beautiful lines and colours of the male wood duck but somehow completely missed the muscat! And what a treat to smell the Sassafras! The wonders of nature do buoy the spirit.

    Reply
  3. Judith magney

    Miles,
    I used to belong to the Toronto Field Naturalists many years ago to increase my knowledge of trees but became more of a birder instead. Your posts are great and accessible now that I’m not hiking.

    Reply

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