Toronto region 23rd Aug

Having spent a few days in Chicago with our daughter we are now in Toronto for the week and visiting some of the places I've come to enjoy over the years.

Arriving on Monday afternoon, we picked up a hire car at the airport and headed for the pools along Reesor Road before getting to our final destination. The water was pretty high which was not surprising following the downpour that the area received a couple of days ago. A single Trumpeter Swan was chasing Canada Geese around the place and a Great Egret with a green wing-tag stood motionless; unfortunately it was very windy and we were looking into the sun so I didn't get to read what was on the tag - a task for another day perhaps. Checking through the rafts of eclipse Mallard, I picked out a drake Black Duck.

The only waders were several Lesser Yellowlegs and a few Greaters. Ring-billed Gulls and a couple of Caspian Terns circled the edges of the pool and several hirundines were over the water - the North American versions of Swallows and Sand Martins.
Ring-billed Gull
A little further down the road there is a marshy pool that played host to a couple of noisy Kingbird families, Pied-billed Grebes and American Goldfinches.

I set off early this morning to Cranberry Marsh between Whitby and Ajax. This is a place that I really enjoy - the whole area is good for birds but it takes some working at times. I called in inadvertently to Whitby Harbour where the flotillas of Double-crested Cormorants were flying around and a Great Norther Diver (Loon!) flew overhead. A Belted Kingfisher perched on the breakwater and flocks of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets came in from their roosts.

At Cranberry Marsh I was immediately surrounded by Black-capped Chickadees looking for food from the regulars. There were plenty of Red-winged Blackbirds in the reed beds as well as Swamp Sparrows whilst Cardinals 'ticked' in the surrounding trees.
Red-winged Blackbird
Cardinal

On the marsh, a small patch of water was visible. There were Moorhen, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Wood Duck (all in eclipse plumage) along with Spotted Sandpiper, several Black-crowned Night Herons, Great Egret and Great Blue Herons. A Northern Harrier gave several fly past views and flushed up three Wilson's Snipes from the marsh.

Meanwhile, the trees were livening up with Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Mockingbird, Baltimore Oriole, Least Flycatcher and Ruby Throated Hummingbird. A late Yellow Warbler fed low down whilst other interesting but unidentifed birds darted around the leafy canopy.

I think I'll be back here tomorrow as rain is forecast!
Blue-grey Gnatcatcher

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