Monday 12 November 2018

The East and the West

Last week two rarities were found in the province. One was a Common Eider in Toronto, and the other a Black-throated Grey Warbler in Burlington. Common Eiders, although they breed in far northern Ontario along the Hudson Bay coast, are quite rare in the south. They winter in the Maritimes (the east) but seldom make their way to the Great Lakes. Black-throated Grey Warblers are warblers from western North America (the west). Although they are the most common western warbler vagrant, they are still quite a treat to come across. Lucky for me, those two rarities stuck around until this past Saturday, when I planned to go and try to see them.

The first stop of the day was Humber Bay park in Toronto. We got there early (with my friend Ethan in tow), as the eider was known to head out further into the lake as the day progressed, It did not take us long to see her.

Some other waterfowl present included Long-tailed Ducks, Red-breasted Mergansers, and White-winged Scoters.

Long-tailed Duck

There was a lingering Yellow-rumped Warbler.

I don't get to see too many mockingbirds down where I live, or any for that matter, so seeing one was a treat (despite my Toronto friends laughing when I told them that)

We went to quickly check out Colonel Sam Park afterwards. Nothing really of note was found, but Red-necked Grebe and another mockingbird were highlights (I don't see many Red-necked Grebes either!)

Northern Mockingbird

Red-breasted Merganser

Red-necked Grebe

I saw a bunch of this plant, Oriental Bittersweet, on this day.

We went down to Burlington in hopes of spotting the Black-throated Grey Warbler. As soon as we arrived we saw a group of 25 people all looking in the same direction. We figured that was a good sign.

Within a couple minutes we saw our target bird.

After enjoying the warbler, we went out to see what other birds we could find. There was a lot of waterfowl on the bay.


Ring-billed Gull

Common Goldeneye



Carolina Wren

All three species of swans could be found.

Trumpeter Swans

Mute Swans

Tundra Swan

With all the bird feeders, there were plenty of fat squirrels.

We decided to try and see if we could get any better photos of the warbler before we left. Everyone else had left by that point, so when we found him again we had him to ourselves pretty much, there were a couple other people just arriving to enjoy it as well. It took some patience, and many failed photos due to the warbler hiding behind leaf (so many perfect shots ruined!), but we left with some photos we were very happy with!

Nothing like the feeling of seeing some good birds!

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