A Northern Parula Warbler in a Backyard Oasis

A Northern Parula Warbler in a Backyard Oasis

Northern parula sitting on a tree limb in Toronto, Ontario

It was this past spring that Bob and I finally visited the Long Point area of Ontario during the peak period of songbird migration.  We had a long wish list of new birds that we would like to see, and on this list was a Northern Parula.  We failed to spot any when in that area of the province but did have one spend the afternoon in our Toronto backyard soon thereafter.  What a pleasant surprise! Read more

Whimbrels at Toronto’s Lake Ontario Shoreline

Whimbrels at Toronto’s Lake Ontario Shoreline
whimbrels along lake ontario, scarborough, ontario 1

It was late spring when Bob and I undertook our second notable bike ride of the season, May 28, and because of the warm temperature, we opted to cycle from Scarborough to the Lake Ontario shoreline.  At the first rocky breakwater east of Highland Creek Trail, we spotted 5 Whimbrels grouped on some large flat slabs of concrete. Read more

A Great Blue Heron plays to the camera at Milliken Park

A Great Blue Heron plays to the camera at Milliken Park

great blue heron, milliken park, toronto, ontario, pic 12

Patience is a virtue, and often when Bob and I are birdwatching, time is of the essence so patience goes out the window.  On one “quick” visit to Milliken Park in Toronto, to check the progress of the recently-hatched Trumpeter Swan cygnets, what actually stole my attention was this Great Blue Heron.  Bob left me to my stakeout while he enjoyed the company of the 2-week old cygnets. Read more

Dog-day Cicadas mating in the heat of summer

Dog-day Cicadas Mating in the heat of summer
mating cicadas in toronto, ontario

On a recent sultry summer day here in Toronto, Ontario, I went out to the garden to tend to some chores.  Imagine my surprise, as I bent to the task of deadheading my Gaillardia, when something clipped the side of my head.  Seconds later, I noticed a pair of Dog-Day Cicadas mating where they lay on the pavement of the street. Read more

7 Trumpeter Swan Cygnets at Milliken Park, Toronto

7 Trumpeter Swan Cygnets at Milliken Park
Trumpeter swans with seven cygnets at Milliken Park in Toronto, Ontario

For the second year in a row, the mated pair of Trumpeter Swans that have taken up residence at Milliken Park in Toronto gave birth to a new set of cygnets…7 in all this past spring!  Within a couple of days, Ashton and Tango, as they are fondly known, lost one cygnet to unknown causes, but the other six are thriving. Read more

A Black-throated Blue Warbler in our Garden

A Black-throated Blue Warbler in our Garden
black-throated blue warbler, male, toronto, pic 1

One day in early May, as I returned home from doing some errands, I found Bob tied up on the telephone.  He no sooner hung up the receiver but what he declared, “there’s a new bird in our back apple tree!”  It turned out to be a male Black-throated Blue Warbler. Read more

A Question Mark Butterfly at Rouge National Park

A Question Mark Butterfly at Rouge National Park

Question mark butterfly along the Cedar Trail at Rouge National Park, Toronto, Ontario

Bob and I had not entertained our youngest son and his wife for quite some time, so in early August, we got together to catch up on all the news.  Not being ones to sit around and visit ad infinitum, after passing a couple of hours on our backyard deck, I suggested a bit of a walk to work up an appetite for dinner.  Cedar Trail at Rouge National Urban Park is close by, and we promised that we would not stand around for hours photographing birds, but the chance sighting of a Question Mark Butterfly did hold us up for several minutes with no complaints from our company. Read more

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