High park is famous for its "Hawk Hill" raptor watch-point - we were expecting to see people there but no-one was there at first. The wind had shifted westerly which brought we had a few Red-tailed Hawks (along with the residents) and quite a few Turkey Vultures passing (total of 45 in 90 minutes). A couple of Cooper's Hawks showed well and then I picked up a large raptor low over the trees which wasn't a TV - immature Golden Eagle!
A wander back along Grenadier Pond gave us several Wood Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Hooded Mergansers and an interesting exhibition of synchronised feeding by 20+ Shovelers.
Today, I met up with Owen Yates for some birding along the 'coast' east of Toronto. We started at Thickson Woods at dawn where we heard a Great Horned Owl but try as we might, we couldn't find one in the pines. There were plenty of Golden-crowned Kinglets as well as the ubiquitous Black-capped Chickadees on the edges of the woods.
Next was a quick visit to a farm field to twitch a Cattle Egret - we found two! Funny to think that these are still very rare here but increasing, just like at home. The area was full of Greater Canada Goose flocks and a few Cackling Geese were in amongst them.
We visited Cranberry Marsh next, one of my favourite places. Lots of ducks and herons on the water including American Wigeon, Pintail, Green-winged Teal, 12 Great Blue Herons and three Great Egrets. On the lake, a HUGE flock of mergansers were feeding - easily in excess of a thousand birds, mostly Red-breasted but a hundred or so Common (Goosander). There were also Bufflehead, Surf and Black Scoter and Bonaparte's Gulls.
Back on the paths, we got 'attacked' by Chickadees coming for food and some unexpected Red-winged Blackbirds.
|Mourning Dove - one several very approachable birds|