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Birds,  Nature Trips,  Toronto

Rouge National Urban Park August 19 2020

I returned to Rouge Park five days after my last visit when I had a rare free weekday morning. Once into the park, I noticed quite soon that the Eastern Bluebirds appear to have left. I walked around for about 90 minutes and didn’t see them. More often than not, I am successful at “pishing” them into view. Three separate attempts were to no avail. I believe that they have migrated south within the last four days.

Rouge was fairly quiet this morning, except for several dozen American Goldfinches that were very active. Otherwise, there was a window of about fifteen minutes where the sun first broke over the tree line at around 8am where those fleeting moments were filled with most of the observations I made.

I saw around four House Wrens scolding away – possibly at me. A pair of Baltimore Orioles watched from adjacent trees. They will also be migrating south anytime now. There were around four Field Sparrows hanging around with Song Sparrows. The Field Sparrow was heard before it was seen – the rhythm of their song is said to sound like a bouncing ping-pong ball.

Field Sparrow
Baltimore Oriole

A few birds flew overhead: Half-a-dozen Canada Geese, three Ring-billed Gulls, and over the valley a Great Blue Heron flew north. A group of around four Eastern Kingbirds called to each other. I heard several Gray Catbirds and a couple of Northern Cardinals. A Downy Woodpecker gently tap-tapped on a narrow tree trunk. As I walked past some shrubs, a female Common Yellowthroat began scolding me. She hopped back and forth along a branch continuously chipping at me until she got bored with my photo taking shenanigans.

Common Yellowthroat
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A few Barn Swallows flew around the trail head. The Tree Swallows appear to have migrated in the last week or so. A dozen European Starlings chirped and chittered on a telegraph pole. The parking was beginning to fill as I left the park and joined the late-rush-hour traffic.

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