06 September 2009

OFO bird walk: Toronto Islands

Started at 07h30 Saturday morning at the ferry docks, and ended up at 16h30 leaving from Hanlan's Point to go back to the ferry docks.

Ian Cannell ably lead a rather large group along the arc of the islands; personal highlights include the kingfisher (excellent view of repeated foraging flights), the great egret flying low past the north shore beach, the tercel kestrel chasing northern flickers away from the fence, and being asked what the field marks were for an F22 Raptor.

The Ex is on -- the Canadian National Exhibition -- and the associated air show gave an amazing demonstration of thrust-to-noise ratio.

A Blue Angels F-18C has 2 GE 404 turbofans, generating 48.9 kN of thrust; 79.2 kN with full burner. I'm going to assume that airshow performances don't involve afterburner stunts, so roughly 100 kN per F-18C.

An F-22 has 2 Pratt and Whitney F119 engines, in the "160 kN class", so 320 kN per aircraft. Which makes the "four F-18C approximately as loud as one F-22" qualitative impression at least reasonably plausible. Very different tone to the roar, though; I presume this is the different generations of thrust vectoring affecting the nozzel shape.

I saw 43 species of birds:

American robin
baltimore oriole
bay-breasted warbler
belted kingfisher
black and white warbler
blackburnian warbler
black-crowned night heron (sitting juvenile; flying group of 3 w. 2 juveniles)
black-throated blue warbler
blue jay (flock of 10+, many calling individuals throughout the day)
brown-headed cowbird
Canada geese
Canada warbler
canvasback duck (single juvenile diving along the edges of a mixed feeding aggregation of mallards and Canada geese)
cedar waxwing
chestnut-sided warbler
double-crested cormorant
downy woodpecker
eastern wood peewee
eastern wood pheobe
European starling
great blue heron
great crested flycatcher (5 sightings over the course of the day)
great egret
grey catbird
house sparrow
kestrel (pair; tercel displaying along the airport fence and chasing flickers)
least flycatcher
magnolia warbler
mute swan
northern flicker
olive-sided flycatcher
red-eyed vireo
redstart (many over the course of the day; noted as being surprising frequent)
scarlet tanager (non-breeding plumage; very green with black wings, so male)
sharp-shinned hawk
Swainson's thrush
Tennessee warbler
warbling vireo
Wilson's warbler
yellow-bellied flycatcher

Fall warblers are tough; one of the truly beneficial things about these walks is having some very experienced birders around to assist with identification.

I'm not counting the gulls; it is a moral certainty that I saw a ringbilled gull, but I didn't actually try to identify any, so it doesn't count.

[When I published this initially, the Google ad was for "gas turbine overhauls".]

No comments: