Friday, April 23, 2010


A male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Yes, they do exist!

I work across from Queens Park, right in the heart of Toronto, not really a place one would expect to come across a variety of birds. But after hearing about a few sightings, and finding out that a lot of migratory birds pass through in April and May, I decided to go have a look.

I spent my lunch break there yesterday and probably will now every nice day until the end of May, I was amazed at the variety of birds hanging about. Some of them will stay until fall, and others are just stopping in for a rest on their way further north.

All pictures in this blog post are of birds I saw yesterday and images are from Google images. If you live in downtown Toronto why not head over to Queens Park and see what you can spot!

A Chipping Sparrow, they have a beautiful song and spend a lot of time on the ground.

A Ruby-crowned Kinglet. They will head further north for the summer.

A Northern Flicker. They love to eat ants!

A Golden-crowned Kinglet. Like the Ruby-crowned, they are just having a rest here before heading further north.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


A chickadee feeds from my hand at the Humber Arboretum this past Saturday.

Spring is the best time of year for us "bird nerds". Around the middle of April the migratory birds start to return, some species stay, nest and raise their families and others just stop in to feed and rest before moving on further north to do the same.

Last weekend Rob and I were up and out of the house early to visit a few parks to see what we could see. The middle of April until about the end of May is the best time for birding. The trees aren't in full bloom yet, making it easier to see and the mosquitoes aren't out yet, making it more enjoyable for us humans.

Our first stop on Saturday was "Riverwood Conservancy" in Mississauga. We visit this park throughout the year, and it is one of our favorites. We take part in the bird watching walks a few times a year, and also plan on getting more involved with the park as members and volunteers.

A male Brown-headed Cowbird, one of the many birds back for the summer.

After a nice two hour walk, with many bird sightings we decided we needed to "refuel" before going to our next location. We enjoyed brunch at Cora's before heading to the "Humber Arboretum".

It was my first time there, Rob's second. It is beautiful! I highly recommend a trip there whether you're into birding or not. We roamed the grounds for another two hours and were delighted to see a few Northern Flickers and White-throated Sparrows, along with many other different types of birds.

This groundhog greeted us as we entered the Humber Arboretum.

Our first bird sighting at the Humber Arboretum, a Northern Mockingbird.

Having a half dozen or so Chickadees land in our hands to feed was how we ended our bird outing on Saturday, the perfect way to end the day!

Sunday we decided to visit a park closer to home that we enjoy, "High Park". We got there nice and early before it got too busy.

We were happy to see that the female Red-winged Blackbirds have arrived to nest with the males. The males arrive a few weeks earlier to establish nesting territory.

Female Red-winged Blackbird at High Park.

You couldn't help but notice the forest of beautiful Cherry trees in High Park. They were getting lots of attention.

Cherry trees at High Park.

The highlight of our outing on Sunday was seeing a pair of Wood Ducks. More timid then Mallards, we were thrilled when we were able to feed them some duck food that they even got out of the water for. We fed and watched them for quite a while before their beauty started to attract some attention from others. Not one for crowds, they gracefully swam away to the middle of the lake to meet another pair.

Male Wood Duck at High Park

Monday, April 19, 2010

GREASE is the word.

I still remember the excitement that summer day back in 1978 when my mother took 9 year old me, and few of the other kids from the street to see "Grease", and so began my love affair with this movie.

As a nine year old, most of the movie and all the sexual references went right over my head, but I loved the songs, the dancing, and of course hoping for a happy ending for all!

I remember my friend getting a pair of "Bad Sandy" shoes, as Grease started a whole fashion, I think it's when I first wanted a leather jacket! My favorite character was Rizzo, and I've followed Stockard Channing's career since.

I got the double album for Christmas that year, and have since replaced it with a cd, and I also own the dvd. I've seen this movie countless times and know the words to all the songs performed by the cast.

I've seen the play performed by a couple different production companies, most recently this past Friday night at the Canon theatre. The play is a little different then the movie, and every company puts their own spin on it.

I enjoyed it very much, even if the movie was playing in the back of my mind the whole time. I wouldn't be surprised if I watch the movie again soon.

American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks played the role of "Teen Angel" and did a good job in his role, though there was too much mention of AI for me. I was there because I loved the movie and would of went regardless if Taylor was in it or not.

Monday, April 5, 2010


My long Easter weekend started on Wednesday at noon, as my Mother was flying in that afternoon. She was on her way home to Nova Scotia after spending a week visiting my brother and his family in Alberta. She stopped in Toronto to spend five days, four nights with Rob and I on her way back home.

Good Friday had us going over to spend time with Rob's best friend, Chris and some of his family for fish & chips. We've been going over on Good Friday for about five years now and always look forward to it. Always a huge feast and a lot of laughs.

Marilyn and I enjoying a jello shooter, it's a Good Friday tradition now!

Saturday we had our Easter dinner with Rob's parents and his younger brother Mark. We decided to have an afternoon BBQ instead of the big traditional feast because the weather was so nice. So, it was bbq'd steaks, potato salad, oven-roasted asparagus and garden salad for us this year instead of turkey and all the fixins. No complaints though, it was a great afternoon to be outside.

Saturday evening, Mom, Rob and I watched a movie, "Old Dogs", starring John Travolta and Robin Williams, something light and funny to end the day.

Sunday morning we woke up to discover the Easter Bunny had found us all!

Meadow checking out what the Easter Bunny left for us.

I made a big Easter lunch of baked ham, scalloped potatoes and steamed green beans, as Mom's flight was leaving later in the afternoon and she wouldn't be with us for dinner.

Mom and I enjoying the Sunday afternoon sun before heading to the airport.

All in all it was a great extra long weekend for me, the weather was great, we had loads of fun, and having my Mother here made it extra special!