Saturday, September 14, 2013

G Ross Lord Park

Well!   So much for writing once a week and trying to keep up to date!  That seems to be almost impossible, especially now since I have begun volunteering also Saturdays...when I am home...Geez the couch looks amazing!

But!  I am excited to say that I recently bought a new camera. It's nothing too fancy but it is a beautiful Canon Rebel T3i. I have never before owned a SLR, so it is really a huge treat, and also a huge learning curve.

I brought it out last week to G. Ross Lord Park, which is located in North York off of Dufferin St, during my lunch hour. Although it is known to be one of the "hot spots" in Toronto for birding, it was all so very silent, except for the vast number of dragonflies flying around!  I have to say, with the zoom and macro on this, I know that I will be taking a many photos. The most recent addition to my little photo obsession...is dragonflies!   During my walk around I was able to see three species (probably not new to me, but new in the sense that I was able to realize they were separate species and ID them later).  The first was the White-faced Meadowhawk (see photo on the lefthand side).  This cute guy has a very red body and then two adorable little white cheeks! The second species was a Green Darner Dragonfly (see photo to the right). There was a third species I wasn't able to actually grab a shot of unfortunately, I believe that it was some sort of a bluet!
Green Darner
White-faced Meadowhawk










I then wandered around the forested area of the park to find not much more than, unfortunately, litter.  Walking towards the south, I eventually came up to a spot where I often go.  It is somewhat of a lake that often is flooded, although in drier times it will become a mud flat offering a lot to different shorebirds!  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see too, too many, although two were able to make an appearance.
Mud Flats

Solitary Sandpiper
 The first shorebird that I was able to see was a solitary sandpiper!  There were two of them in one of the little deeper areas scouting for some delicious bugs. In and around them floating were also a few mallards.
Mallards with two Solitary Sandpipers
Over towards the middle of the pond there wasn't too much exciting.  I was able to get a photo of some killdeer that were running around together.  They have always been a bird I have a love/hate relationship with.  While in farmer's fields last summer I would hear them constantly screaming at me "Kill!  Kill! Kill!"  and it..well...became rather frustrating!  "I know you are there!!! I would yell back!"  But at the same time, they are also one of the coolest birds I know of.  They have these amazing blood red eyes, and two bands around their necks.  When a predator (or in my case a human..me) goes towards where their nest it, the killdeer will drop one wing and drag it while screaming and running to resemble an injured bird.  This is such a fantastic response as it distracts predators from its nest and instead ends up going towards an "injured" bird that then can fly to safety at the last moment.  Spectacular!
Killdeer
Here's a few more shots and to hoping that birding picks up a little bit! =)

Happy outdoorsing!

Mallard on the water


Mud Flats