Having resigned myself to domestic chore-doing on Saturday, I tried not to think about birds. But when I turned my lawnmower off, I heard the unmistakable sound of a Blackpoll Warbler singing from a tree across the street from me! Luckily, I know the lady who lives there so got her permission to stand on the lawn and gawk up at her maple tree. Sure enough, in all its black-capped glory, there it was in the middle of suburbia, doing its late-May migration thing.
Taking this as a sign from Roger Tory Peterson, I postponed my weed-whacking and drove over to the Cawthra Mulock reserve in NW Newmarket. There are Clay-coloured Sparrows singing from at least three different locations there now, as well as two different Black-billed Cuckoos and, in the hilly meadow that runs north and east from the marsh marigolds (just south of the reserve's northern property line) four Grasshopper Sparrows singing now. There is also a Winter Wren in the main creek valley, at least two Alder Flycatchers near the hydro cut, a pair of Eastern Bluebirds by the old maple lane, at least two resident Mourning Warblers, and a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers that roams around. Throw in the resident Meadowlarks, Bobolinks, Field and Savannah Sparrows and you've got a pretty nice selection of birds on territory. Sunday afternoon I had two Purple Martins at the western boundary of the property (Dufferin Street).
My dog and I spent the dusk hours north of Bradford today. We had at least 15 Black Terns at the end of Line 13 (which meets the south end of Cook Bay) plus a Willow Flycatcher. At the dead end (well, almost the dead end — the road becomes impassable after awhile) of Line 10 we had two American Bitterns calling and one Least Bittern doing its "coocoocoo" call. Also had about five Marsh Wrens, two more Willow Flycatchers, and a Harrier. On the same road just east of the RR tracks, I had one Mourning Warbler and a few Veerys singing.
In Richmond Hill, Frank Pinilla continues to see and hear Common Ravens (including a sighting today). The bird flew over the Oak Ridges trail / conservation land by Phillips Lake, a small kettle lake north of Jefferson Sideroad between Yonge and Bathurst streets in north Richmond Hill.
In closing, if you did not have an opportunity to sponsor anyone on this year's Baillie Birdathon, I could use a few more sponsors to reach my goal...(hint, hint)! Kevin Shackleton, John Watson, Art Needles and I did our Birdathon in Simcoe County (Barrie and west) on May 21 and had a marvellous day, tallying 142 species for our best outing ever!