About 20 people joined Lynne Freeman and Monika Croydon on a Birding Basics
walk at Toronto's Evergreen Brickworks on Sunday, June 20th. For some, it
was their first birding experience. We all shared a keen interest in
learning more about birds, and how to identify them by sight and by sound.
It was a beautiful morning, but the birds were scarce, with mainly common
breeding birds showing themselves. We started by practicing our binocular
skills on the Barn Swallows and House Sparrows nesting in the market
buildings. Moving onto the ponds and surrounding shrubs, trees and
grasslands, we learned how to identify male, female, and fledgling
Red-Winged Blackbirds, Yellow Warblers, and other bird species.
Focussing on song, we learned the American Goldfinch’s "potato chip" song
and the "sweet, sweet, sweet, I'm so sweet" song of the Yellow Warbler.
Participants were urged to make up their own mnemonics for bird songs.
young man who was there with his family figured out that Warbling Vireos
sing "I don't know what I'm doing, but I can fly up!".
Highlights for the group included watching fledgling Red-Winged Blackbirds
and Yellow Warblers being fed by their parents, a female Mallard on its
nest, a teetering Turkey Vulture and a distant Red-Tailed Hawk. Other birds
included a Purple Martin guarding its nest and an elusive Eastern Phoebe
who was seen by some of the group. The lovely morning was rounded out by a
curious Snapping Turtle who swam over to look at us, and Midland Painted
Turtles basking in the sun.
Lynne and Monika
Lynne Freeman (she/her/hers)
"Be bold, be brave, be amazing"
Simon de Pury - Work of Art