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:
Near the start at 10 am at the Heath St subway entrance, Miles is second from the left: note the interesting light effect!
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:
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).
We clambered up the steep slope to the dog park and around its edge:
Bob Cortright, former president of TFN, was along for the ride and offered additional comments:
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: http://www.mileshearn.com
If you want to join the TFN, their web site is: http://www.torontofieldnaturalists.org
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
Chickadee, black capped
Hawk, red-tailed, sharp-shinned and Cooper’s
Kinglet, golden-crowned and ruby-crowned
Sparrow, house, song and chipping
Woodpecker, downy and hairy
Here is my partial list of plants:
Partial list of plants seen on Miles Hearn walk
Burdock, great and common
Cherry, choke, Japanese
Dogwood, alternate leaf, gray osier, red osier
Raspberry, red and black
Sweet viburnum (nannyberry)