14th May: Our sakuras (Japanese cherry trees) were out before those in High Park, but few people know about them so they are not much visited. In the background you can see the bright mural on the shed at the Community Garden:
Here are the ones along the path, several of them recently mulched by our Adopt-a-Park-Tree adopters, including our young Beaver troop:
Unfortunately, one sakura has had a branch broken:
Earlier, I had observed these bloodroots (sanguinaria canadensis). I tried to find them a week later and could not: apparently they bloom for an extremely short time. The red root (hence Latin name) was apparently used for medicinal purposes by the indigenous peoples:
Another spring ephemeral is trout lily. These flowers seem to last a little longer than bloodroot but only about two weeks. These examples are already past their prime:
This year they were much more widespread than I remembered from previous years. Even so, garlic mustard is much more prevalent and is everywhere.
A few flowers have already emerged in the Pollinator Garden, where many more will be added in a planting on 27th May (see below):
Our “bird man”, Ken Morin, sends this report:
8th May: Did a long overdue walk through the ravine today. I have been busy birding elsewhere. It started slow, just the usual denizens of Cedarvale until I came upon some sparrows – a pair of White-throated Sparrows:
and later in a branch pile a Swamp Sparrow:
Nothing else as I walked along the length of the park until the walk was nearly finished.
I heard a song note in the wetlands and traced it to its source: Baltimore Oriole. Not a song, just one lovely note repeated. Even the school children remarked on it.
At the very north end of the woods a bird popped up along the fences, a member of the thrush family- the Veery:
Faint markings and light colouration. At the final bend a silhouette caught my eye and it turned out to be a warbler, a Black-throated blue Warbler:
showing its white ‘handkerchief’ on the wing. As I stood observing a Rose breasted Grosbeak landed on a branch:
These final appearances made me feel spring has arrived in Cedarvale.
9th May: Today’s walk yielded all the sightings of yesterday, with the Veery singing. Today was better; more migrants have found the ravine.
I came down the Glen Cedar footbridge stairs and within a few steps found a lovely Blackburnian Warbler:
In the field above the dog park, a pair of Chipping Sparrows. Into the woods next, and at the start of the path along the creek a Gray Catbird.
Returning back along the walk found a Blue-headed Vireo:
just south of the off-leash area and later a Flycatcher (Least?). The Empidonax flycatchers:
are virtually identical and are distinguished by song. This bird wasn’t singing, but Least have been reported in the GTA.
So with the four previously seen, it was a good outing.
Our next event will be a planting in the Pollinator Garden (next to the Community Garden and across from the tennis courts) on Monday 27th May at 7 pm. Please join us to help planting!