April 27, 2014

You Mess with the Nonsense,You Get the Horneds

Possibly the worst title yet—ed.

The weekends have been busy for me lately so, with the Easter long weekend helping me out, last Monday was the first time in a while that other obligations didn't trump the totally normal urge to get up at 6am and put on long underwear in April to go look for birds.

Look at those horns!
I went down to Col. Sam Smith Park, one of my favourite bird spots in Toronto, where although I only spent two short hours, I got to see dozens of Red-necked Grebes in the lake, walk among twenty or thirty Tree Swallows eating breakfast gnats and setting up in nesting boxes, a small handful of Barn Swallows, and the highlight: my first ever looks at breeding-plumage Horned Grebes.

See more photos after the jump and click on any photo to enlarge.

A bronzy Grackle poses near the parking lot
A pair of Tree Swallows taking a break
While I sat waiting for the Horned Grebe to surface from a dive, this female Robin foraged nearby
Those are some jowls Richard Nixon would be proud of

A Red-necked Grebe (perhaps one that will breed right here at Col. Sam's) with a pair of Horned Grebes in the background

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