Bird Walk with Miles Hearn

On Sunday 24th May naturalist Miles Hearn led us on a “bird walk” in Cedarvale. The weather was almost perfect, although the time of day (2 pm) was not ideal for seeing birds. Actually, the walk included a lot more than just birds. I am always amazed by Miles’ ability to name every plant, bush and tree in sight (and whether they are native or non-native), plus seemingly every butterfly, insect and bird flying by. Below you can see Miles at left with back to camera and the assembled group just down the path from the Heath St subway entrance:

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Here he is again a little further along the path. Note we had a woman with child strapped to her chest! There were 20-30 people (it was hard to keep track as people came and went), many of whom had questions or observations for Miles.

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Here is the group, having ascended the slope beside the dog park. Miles is pointing at some of the mature trees at the top, which survived the construction of the subway in the early 1970s. We then bushwhacked our way along the edge of the dog park and circled around and back to Heath St. Miles named plants on the east side on the way out and on the west side on the way back.

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In total, we observed or heard 15 bird species during the walk. Some of the notable ones were: Baltimore oriole, cat bird, chimney swift, Eastern wood pewee, red-eyed and warbling vireos, red-winged blackbird, rose-breasted grosbeak, ruby-throated hummingbird and song sparrow. I think I learned the song of the warbling vireo. I jotted down 19 plant, bush and tree names, but these were only some of the many identified.

Once again, a big thanks to Miles for fitting us into his busy schedule. Later in the year he is off to the Antarctic again as resident naturalist on a cruise ship.

Next up will be a posting about our tree mulching day with Jessica Beare of Parks, Forestry and Recreation on Sunday 7th June.

John Cummings

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