Guest Post - Toronto Urban Birding!

Toronto!  Concrete jungle, home to 6 million people and by 2020 could have largest number of condominiums in the world! Doesn’t sound promising, but being situated on Lake Ontario and having more than 1,600 public parks sounds like there could be a lot out there to see.

May aim was to complete a 2 hour run alongside the lake and through a couple of the largest parks in Toronto to check out the local birdlife. Despite the fact that most of the spring migrants have now left, I was advised that quite a few species should still be around, to raise their young. No binoculars today though, just a pocket camera and a keen eye!

On arrival at the lake there was a lot of activity both in the air, on the water and in the trees. Very large numbers of swallows and swifts were feeding over the water and equally large numbers of house sparrows were feeding at the waters edge. In addition, there was a healthy population of a new species for me, the red-winged blackbird, which I must admit are a very “dashing” bird, quite unlike their “plain” European cousins.

Red-Winged Blackbird

45 minutes later, I arrived at the largest park in Toronto – High Park. Sadly for me though I didn’t check the weather so an hour of torrential rain ensued – however, whilst sheltering from the rain I noticed the following, which was lovely to watch despite the fact that they look very unhappy!!

Swallow Chicks

Despite the rain, the park was fantastic and a number of new species were found – the american robin, dark eyed junko, common grackle, american rosefinch and the wood duck. I even managed to photograph some of these between the rain storms !!

American Robin
American Rosefinch
Female Wood Duck with chicks
A Toronto Squirrel

Soon, the rain became just too much for me so I made a very soggy exit and headed back to my Hotel – unlike this frog, who was just coming out to enjoy the rain.

Eastern American Toad

All in all, a wet, tiring but exhilarating day. Thank you for reading.

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