Let’s Go For A Walk

American GoldfinchAs the dark gloomy clouds of middle-age approach me, I have really started to enjoy going for walks, particularly when I am offered the opportunity for a spot of ornithology. This is despite my complete ignorance when it comes to bird identification, particularly in North America. I especially like the big ones. The ones that go CAWWWWWW. Those ones. You know the ones! With the faces!

I’m quite excited to get the most out of this spring and summer, now that storm season is out of the way. Since I also like photography, the idea of getting some pictures of birds is one that fills me with glee. Last summer, I was in England. This sounds like even more of a delightful concept, until you study the map of where I was staying. Behold! Rushden! The bum cleft of Northamptonshire. Seriously, try to find a complementary photograph of Rushden that doesn’t feature the church or the war memorial that faces it. Most photographs of Rushden seem to date from the 1950s and are in black and white (but otherwise, nothing has changed there except for the cars and the fashion). Stuck in Rushden, there were only so many times that I could stomach walking along the shopping cart strewn stream besides the Tesco Grocery Store.

I have already paid a visit to a few of the parks dotted around the East of Toronto, as well as the cemetery near my home. I even saw a red deer in a nearby park back in, perhaps, March. Earlier in the year, I went on the prowl for a Snowy Owl that makes The Leslie Street Spit his home during winter. I turned up blank on that one, but did receive a stern word from a passing snake. On the way home, I also spotted a Mocking Bird. You can’t see the bird in this video that I took, but you can hear it (until cars arrive and scare it). Initially it is mimicking a Northern Cardinal, followed by an American Robin.

My most recent walk was most of the way along The Taylor Massey Creek, which was positively rampant with bird-like activity. Some pictures follow… Note that my lens is really not cut out for this kind of photography, and I’m just doing it for fun!

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal - Looking confused because I played a recording of another Cardinal

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Sparrow (of some kind)

Sparrow (of some kind)

Unknown bird!

Unknown bird!

If anyone knows what bird this last one is, please let me know!  It looks a little like a Blue Tit, common in Europe, but (I think) not native in North America… and the bill isn’t right. It was nesting (or the chicks were nesting) inside the tree.

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