Black-Crowned Night Herons At Toronto’s Tommy Thompson Park

black crowned night heron - closeup two in nest - toronto - ontario - may 2013

Black-crowned Night Heron in its nest at Tommy Thompson Park, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

For my Mother’s Day outing one spring, our family decided to go for a hike at Tommy Thompson Park here in Toronto.  It is reputed as a birdwatchers’ paradise, and I would have to agree with whomever made that proclamation.  One of the most thrilling sightings we made that day was a nesting colony of Black-crowned Night Herons.  We saw at least 12 pairs of these magnificent birds, some on their nests, others perched in the trees. Read more

A White and Grey Rabbit in Toronto’s Milliken Park

A White and Grey Rabbit in Toronto’s Milliken Park

White and grey rabbit - looks at me - Milliken Park - Toronto - Ontario

On a recent walkabout in Milliken Park, in Toronto,  Bob and I were surprised to see, hopping about the lawns and gardens, an unusual looking rabbit.  Unlike our common Cottontail Rabbit, this rabbit was white with a smokey grey snout and a grey wash on its hind quarters.  Could it be that someone’s pet escaped and is now making the park its home?  Or is it possible that someone released their pet for no longer wanting to care for it? Read more

Common Terns At Toronto’s Tommy Thompson Park

Common Terns At Toronto’s Tommy Thompson Park

Common Tern, tommy thompson park, toronto

For a Mother’s Day outing one spring, my family suggested a visit to Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto.  Well known for fabulous birdwatching opportunities, it sounded like the perfect place to go for my special day.  Little did I know just how much success we would have at spotting birds.  A large number of Common Terns (Sterna hirundo) caught our eye in a bay on the west side of the Leslie Street Spit. Read more

Northern Flickers in Whitby’s Thickson’s Woods

Northern Flicker on a tree in Thicksons Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Bob and I were on one of our regular visits to Thickson’s Woods Nature Reserve, in Whitby, Ontario, to check out the development of the Great Horned Owl babies.  As we turned to leave, Bob noticed a large woodpecker zipping through the tree tops.  A Northern Flicker landed near the top of a snag. Read more

Glendalough, One Of The Most Beautiful Places In Ireland

wicklow mountains -   glendalough valley

Glendalough --- Wicklow Mountains - Ireland

Bob and I had wanted to visit Ireland and visit the Valley of the two lakes at Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland, for many a long year.  So finally, we booked a flight and made for Dublin, and Glendalough.  We were excited about exploring the land of Bob’s ancestors.  The Emerald Isle, as Ireland is fondly called, had me envisioning rolling hills burgeoning with lush green vegetation, and sprawling masses of shamrocks in shady glens. Read more

Driving the backroads of Wicklow In The Shadow of Sugar Loaf Mountain

Jean takes a picture of Sugar Loaf Mountain - - Wicklow - Ireland

green country road - near Oonagh Bridge - Enniskerry - Wicklow - Ireland

After leaving Powerscourt House, our drive became very interesting because Bob and I avoided using the main thoroughfares.  Instead, we took to driving the back roads in County Wicklow in the Shadow of Sugar Loaf Mountain.  We were on a search for adventure.  Bob and I loved the canopy of trees that spanned the carriageway from one side of the road to the other, creating a living, green tunnel.  It was reminiscent of our drives on the country roads in England. Read more

A Baltimore Oriole Enjoys Spring In Whitby’s Thickson’s Woods

A Baltimore Oriole Enjoys Spring In Whitby’s Thickson’s Woods

baltimore oriole looks ahead - thicksons woods - whitby - ontario

On a warm sunny spring day, Bob and I visited Thickson’s Woods Nature Reserve in Whitby, Ontario.  We most often explore the trails of the forest, hoping to find some migrating birds, but on this visit, we opted for a walkabout the meadow adjacent to the woodlot.  What a perfect habitat for the many species of songbirds that we saw that day, amongst them a beautiful Baltimore Oriole. Read more

Great Horned Owl Babies Out Of Their Thickson’s Woods Nest

Great Horned Owl, baby 1, Thicksons Woods, Whitby, Ontario

It had been almost three weeks since Bob and I visited Thickson’s Woods Nature Reserve one spring in Whitby, Ontario.  We were long overdue for monitoring the baby  owls’ next stage of development.  When last at the forest, the Great Horned Owl babies had remained safe in the nest, but on this visit, the nest sat empty.  It took some serious searching in the canopy of pine trees before Bob’s keen eye detected 3 owls perched near the top of one of them…one adult and the two owlets. Read more

Tree swallows at Thickson’s Woods in Whitby

Tree swallows at Thickson’s Woods in Whitby

tree swallow - - - thicksons woods meadow - whitby - ontario

One spring, in the meadow that is part of Thickson’s Woods Land Trust in Whitby, Ontario, many species of birds were making their homes.  The proliferation of long grass, low shrubs, dense thickets, evergreen trees and the remains of an old orchard made it the perfect habitat for many different songbirds.  On our visit, Bob and I saw numerous Tree Swallows. Read more

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