|Singing Eastern Meadowlark - Carden Alvar
But that's what we do. We're up and out early, on our feet for hours at a time, quick nap in the afternoon, and then we sometimes go out again at dusk, it can be exhausting, but we love it. So many of the species we see during the month of May, we only see during migration, and we try to see as many species as we can.
Our first week of vacation kept us pretty close to home, visiting local parks and enjoying all the excitement going on in our own backyard. More on that in a bit.
Our first lifer of vacation was at Colonel Samuel Smith Park. We really don't expect to get lifers (first time seeing a species) in Toronto anymore, unless it's a rare bird, so this little guy came as a pleasant surprise, thanks to a birding group that was at the park that day. I'm using a friends pic as he was with us that morning. We all had great looks at the Le Conte's Sparrow.
|Le Conte's Sparrow - Pic by Dave Iluck
|Male Eastern Bluebird - Carden Alvar
|Female Eastern Bluebird on the next bush beside the male.
|Singing Brown Thrasher - Carden Alvar
|Tree Swallow - Carden Alvar
|Singing Eastern Phoebe - Carden Alvar
|Singing Savannah Sparrow - Carden Alvar
We also had our very first visit to The Cheesecake Factory. Last May when we tried to go, the wait was over 3 hours, as it hadn't been open long. We chose not to wait at that time. This year the wait was only 20 minutes. The menu is over 20 pages long! The food was good, huge portions, we both brought half our meals home, along with 2 pieces of cheesecake to share. We'll go back. It won't be a regular place for us to go, but maybe a May vacation tradition, if only for cheesecake.
I think I speak for Rob as well, when I say the highlight of our first week off, was the many new yard birds we had!
|New yard bird - Brown Thrasher - May 4
|New yard bird - Eastern Towhee - May 5
|New yard bird - Yellow Warbler - May 6
|New yard bird - Black-throated Blue Warbler - May 7th
|Not a new yard bird, but this Nashville Warbler spent three days enjoying our backyard.
|The bird magnet.
Our Baltimore Orioles also returned for another season on May 3rd, and the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds on May 4th. I believe we have 4 pairs of Baltimore Orioles and we see them all day long. The hummingbirds are a little more sporadic and Rob hasn't got a picture yet.
|Two Baltimore Orioles enjoying the buffet we provide for them.
|A banded Baltimore Oriole, Rob's working hard with the camera to try to get his band number.