Thursday, May 13, 2010


A male Scarlet Tanager, I've finally seen one!

May is absolutely the best month of the year for birders. With all the migratory bird action going on, no pesty mosquitoes, and the trees not yet in full leaf bloom, making it easier to spot the birds. The opportunities to see many different species of birds are abundant.

Warblers are one of the species of birds that Rob and I have been trying to see this spring. They don't make it easy, these feathered beauties are small, like to hang around the tops of the trees, and they don't stay still! We've been lucky this year, we've actually seen a couple different Warblers last Sunday at High Park, but are hoping to see many more before the end of the month.

Yesterday I had plans to meet up with a girlfriend and go for a walk in a park close to her home. With my binoculars in hand we started off on our walk. The birds in the park were plentiful, and I actually had three firsts yesterday!! Meaning I saw 3 different birds yesterday for the first time! Lucky for me, my friend didn't mind me "birding" during our walk, and was enjoying seeing all the different birds too. I gladly shared my binoculars with her so she could get a better look too. A walk that usually takes her one hour, took us two, but it was time well spent.

A Yellow Warbler. There were many of these in the park yesterday.

A Black and White Warbler. I saw a few for the first time yesterday.

A Yellow-rumped Warbler. Again, another first for me yesterday.

A Black-throated Blue Warbler. I saw one of these for the first time on Sunday at High Park in Toronto.

Almost at the end of our walk, a brilliant flash of red startled us both, and then I went into complete shock as it hit me as to what I was looking at, a male Scarlet Tanager!

When you get into birding there are some birds that you really hope to see one day, and this gorgeous bird is one that Rob and I have been wanting to see for YEARS! I couldn't believe I was seeing one. Usually high in the trees and secretive, he was just above eye level and so close we didn't need binoculars to watch him. Though not a Warbler, he was the absolute highlight of my outing yesterday. I felt a little guilty that Rob wasn't there to see him with me, but we're going back on Saturday morning with fingers crossed.

All pictures in this post were "Googled" from Google Images.


MonicaH said...

Such beautiful colours. Incredible. Lucky you Angie to get to see all these birds.

Larry said...

Always great birds to see.

dwaynejava said...

Amazing Photos!

ecanarensis said...

Really great pix!! I have to ask, when you saw the y-rumped warbler, were you able to see any yellow other than that in front of the wing wrists? I just saw an LBB under my suet & thistle feeders that I've never seen before. It looks very similar to the y-rumped warbler pix I've seen & in my field guide, but I couldn't see yellow anywhere but in front of the wings.
That is really a breathtaking pic of the scarlet tanager...just about my only vivid childhood memory is of seeing one of those in Kentucky when I was in 2nd grade...a LONG time ago (as in the 60s!!).
thanks for the pix!

Angie in T.O. said...

They have yellow on their butts, giving them the nickname "Butter Butts".

I did not take any of the photos, you can thank "Google" Images for them, as it states at the bottom of the blog posting.

Antoinette said...

Beautiful birds! I know just how you feel, spotting them for the first time.
I'm a birder from Berlin (Germany) and have been on the look-out for the Eurasian Bullfinch for a long time.
Strangely, I finally saw a whole flock of them in the center of Minsk (Belarus) where I was on a business trip last Friday.
Temperatures were freezing, I went for a short walk, looked up at a couple of bare trees - and there they were: all fluffed up and shockingly red!
Greetings from Berlin to Toronto