American Redstarts in the Don Valley: May 16, 2022

For many years, I taught at the Toronto District School Board Music Camp for ten days in June. My accommodation was a cabin in the woods which always had American Redstarts nearby. Needless to say, I became very familiar with their singing. They have several songs but the most distinctive is a buzzing with an emphatic last note. We heard this version many times this morning during a rainy walk at Beechwood / Don Valley.

American Redstart (male)
American Redstart (male)
American Redstart

Other birds:

Song Sparrow
American Robin
Mallard (male)
Rough-winged Swallow

Some botany:

Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Wood Sedge (Carex blanda)
Starry False Solomon-seal (Maianthemum stellatum)
Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
Dryad’s Saddle
Black Currant (Ribes nigrum)
Ground-ivy (Glechoma hederecia)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Red Raspberry (Rubus strigosus)
Celandine (Chelidonium majus)
Bitter Dock (Rumex obtusifolius)
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus inserta)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Alternate-leaved Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

Valley views:

Today’s group:

The camera lens I use is excellent for bird and wildlife photography but also works well for sports.

I took these at my grandson’s baseball game:


May is a green as no other,
May is much sun through small leaves,
May is soft earth,
And apple-blossoms,
And windows open to a South wind.     – Amy Lowell (1874–1925)

Miles Hearn

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