12 September 2009

TOC Bird Walk–High Park Fall Migration

Starting at a civilized (meaning I can get there on the subway) 8h00, the walk took place on a gorgeous sunny day with a high of 24 C and no wind to speak of.

Steven Favier lead the walk; he's impressively familiar with the park, and provided a good cluster-finding rule ("find the chickadees") for migrants, particularly migrant warblers.

I saw 40 birds; since the official list count was 43, I'm feeling pleased.

I saw:

American crow
American robin
black-and-white warbler
blackburnian warbler
black-crowned night heron
blackpoll warbler
blue-headed vireo
blue jay
Canada geese
chestnut-sided warbler
chipping sparrow
coopers hawk
double-crested cormorant
downy woodpecker (clouds of downy woodpeckers)
great blue heron
great egret
house sparrow
magnolia warbler
mallard duck
mute swan
Nashville warbler
northern flicker (posing, on a bare, horizontal trunk against bright sky and calling)
pine warbler
red-breasted nuthatch
red-eyed vireo
red-tailed hawk
rose-breasted grossbeak
ruby-throated hummingbird (3!)
Swainson's thrush
warbling vireo
white-breasted nuthatch
wood duck
yellow-bellied flycatcher

Personal highlights include being the first to spot the blue-headed vireo and one of the Coopers Hawks; seeing my first-ever male wood duck in breeding plumage (very fresh and glowy breeding plumage); and the cloud of downy woodpeckers, who for a while there were markedly outnumbering the house sparrows.

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