Miles Hearn leads nature walk in Cedarvale

30th March 2016: On this day, well-known naturalist Miles Hearn led a Toronto Field Naturalists nature walk through Cedarvale. Members of Friends of Cedarvale also came along. We were extremely lucky with the weather, which was sunny and quite warm, unlike the rest of the week. I counted 18 of us: here are most of them assembled under the Bathurst St Bridge:

Cedarvale Miles Hern March 2016 016

Near the start at 10 am at the Heath St subway entrance, Miles is second from the left: note the interesting light effect!

Cedarvale Miles Hern March 2016 011

Miles has an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural world; he is seemingly able to name every bird, plant or tree that he sees. Here he points across the cat-tail wetland to the willows on the east side:

Cedarvale Miles Hern March 2016 012

I was trying to take photographs, write notes and look at birds through binoculars all at the same time, so my notes are somewhat fragmentary. I noted 18 of the many plants Miles pointed out (see list below).  One of them was about the only flower we saw (under the Bathurst St Bridge): coltsfoot (tussilaga farfara).

Cedarvale Miles Hern March 2016 019

We clambered up the steep slope to the dog park and around its edge:

Cedarvale Miles Hern March 2016 017

Bob Cortright, former president of TFN, was along for the ride and offered additional comments:

Cedarvale Miles Hern March 2016 021

It was a good day for bird-watching: we saw some 20 species, including both golden-crowned and ruby-crowned kinglets, many song sparrows and a Cooper’s hawk (see list below).

This was a most interesting walk in almost perfect conditions. Thanks to Miles for putting names to many of the familiar sights in our ravine!

Miles has written up an account of the walk on his web site:

If you want to join the TFN, their web site is:

Miles will be leading a nature walk for us on Sunday 10th July, so if you missed this one, you could join us then.

APPENDIX: lists of birds and plants

Birds seen/heard on Miles Hearn walk

Blackbird, red-winged

Brown creeper

Cardinal, northern

Chickadee, black capped



Gull, ring-billed

Hawk, red-tailed, sharp-shinned and Cooper’s

Junco, dark-eyed

Kinglet, golden-crowned and ruby-crowned

Nuthatch, white-breasted

Robin, American

Sparrow, house, song and chipping

Woodpecker, downy and hairy

20 species

Here is my partial list of plants:

Partial list of plants seen on Miles Hearn walk


Burdock, great and common

Cherry, choke, Japanese


Dame’s rocket

Dogwood, alternate leaf, gray osier, red osier


Fragrant sumac

Indian hemp


Raspberry, red and black

Sweet viburnum (nannyberry)

Winter creeper