Lakeside Birdwatching

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #7! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

1. Link-Up News

Last weekend, we had a new high: 42 participants at Weekend Coffee Share #6 (41 in InLinkz and 1 did a ping back to my blog but didn’t enter the InLinkz party). Thank you, everyone, for your participation.

We have new participants and some returned from a blogging break at each link-up. So, a gentle reminder of my guidelines to join the Weekend Coffee Share link-up:

  1. Link one post.
  2. Read the host’s post and two posts from other Coffee Share participants and leave a comment so they know you’ve dropped by.
  3. Spread the Weekend Coffee Share word and link back. The hashtag is #WeekendCoffeeShare.

The guidelines are also posted in the InLinkz dashboard.

2. This Past Week

I had a good week, enjoyed many activities, and chatted with my family and friends more than normal. Downtown Toronto got some snow overnight on Monday and part of Tuesday, a lot less than other areas in Ontario. During the week, my brisk and long walks boosted my mood and the birds by the lake kept me entertained.

3. Birdwatching

I got into birdwatching about two years ago. When my sister and I went to Ecuador, the biodiversity there, including species of birds were amazing and noticeable. We spent time watching colourful birds and had a memorable overnight stay in the Amazon rainforest.

After that trip, I pay more attention to birds. Lucky me, Toronto is the home of the Blue Jays and over 350 other incredible species of birds. Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto. They won the World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.

When I walk by Lake Ontario, I enjoy watching birds in the harbour. They make my walk more fun and interesting. In this post, I focus on birds by the lake even though I’ve seen many more bird species in land. Let me show you in photos.

Common Birds

Common birds that are at the lake year-round include gulls, ducks, geese, rock pigeons, and swans. The ring-billed gulls have a black band encircling the yellow bill that distinguish them from other gulls.

A ring-billed gull.
A ring-billed gull.

Canada geese have the signature white chinstrap on their black necks. There are many of them along the lake shore, both on land and in the water.

2 Canada geese.
2 Canada geese.
Winter Birds

In the winter, attractive bufflehead ducks, long-tailed ducks, and common mergansers arrive here and stay for a few months. The cormorants with aquamarine eyes show up in the Spring.

Bufflehead ducks: The male duck has a large white patch on the head, the female duck has a small white patch on the cheek.

2 Bufflehead ducks.
2 Bufflehead ducks.

Long-tailed ducks: The males have mostly white, rich brown, black and grey on the face and long, slender tail feathers. Females are smudgy brown and white without the long tail.

4 male and 1 female long-tailed ducks.
4 male and 1 female long-tailed ducks.

Common Mergansers: They are large ducks with long, slender bills. The males are striking with clean white bodies, dark green heads, and a slender, serrated red bill. The gray-bodied females have rich, cinnamon heads with a short crest.

3 female mergansers.
3 female mergansers.
Summer Birds

Last summer, I was thrilled to see many birds when I went paddling in the wetlands on Toronto Islands. My favourites were the great egrets and grey herons.

Great egret.
Great egret.
Grey heron.
Grey heron.

I refer to the Birds of Toronto guide to identify these birds.

What birds are common in your neighbourhood?

Linking with Sunday Stills, Life This Week, The Weekly Smile.

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127 thoughts on “Lakeside Birdwatching

  1. A. February 22, 2021 / 1:08 am

    Hi Natalie! These are some great pictures! I love bird watching, especially in the spring. I’m not very knowledgeable on birds, however so I couldn’t identify them right away, but they’re still beautiful to look at. 🙂 I haven’t seen many birds in my area lately as last week we had a terrible freeze, but I think they’ll all start to come out soon! I hope you have a great week. 😀

    Like

    • Natalie February 22, 2021 / 9:21 am

      Hi Angie, I’m glad you like my photos. I took them with my phone camera so they’re not as sharp as I’d like. I’m a beginner and a casual bird watcher. I watch birds, take photos, look them up on my local bird guidebook or web sites to identify them. It’s fun like solving a puzzle kind of fun. I hope the weather improves in your area and the birds return. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. endardoo February 22, 2021 / 7:30 am

    That egret means business — but my favourite is the brave ring-billed gull. Tough little cookie. #WeekendCoffeeShare

    Like

  3. Jennifer Jones February 23, 2021 / 3:08 am

    Hi Natalie I love your bird photos. We have a huge variety of bird life on our property. I was looking forward to this prompt in #sundaystills but ran out of time last week. If I get organised I’ll do it anyway in a future post

    Like

    • Natalie February 23, 2021 / 8:31 am

      Hi Jennifer, I hear you about running out of time. I look forward to seeing some of the birds on your property when you do a post about them.

      Like

  4. Chicken Librarian February 23, 2021 / 7:12 am

    I love birds! Once upon a time I used to keep a journal of the birds and their Latin names. I don’t go into all that detail now, but I do have my favorite birds and I just love watching them. I love seeing new birds and trying to ID them. My favorite birds are: eagles, rose breasted grosbeaks, and indigo buntings!

    We have tons of birds where we live. All kinds of song birds, hawks, ducks, geese, herons, eagles, pheasants, woodcock, grouse, and on and on. There’s nothing like seeing birds in the wild!

    Like

    • Natalie February 23, 2021 / 8:40 am

      Kristin, With the name “Chicken Librarian”, I figure you’d be interested in birds. So cool you used to keep a journal with their Latin names. Seeing birds or animals in their natural habitat is a thrill.

      Like

  5. Marsha February 23, 2021 / 3:42 pm

    We saw a gray heron a couple of days ago, Natalie. I’m not sure what else is here besides lots of different kinds of ducks. 🙂 Beautiful shots. Would you be interested in doing an interview on my blog about your coffee share>? It sounds interesting. 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie February 23, 2021 / 6:28 pm

      Marsha, Gray herons are great to see. I just started hosting the weekly Weekend Coffee Share link-up in January. I picked up the baton from another host. Do you have minimum hosting experience requirements for your interview? If you have a set of questions for the interview, please let me know. Thank you for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Natalie February 24, 2021 / 8:38 am

          Marsha, Your “I don’t have a minimum of anything” statement made me smile. Thank you for your contact info. Look forward to connecting with you.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marsha February 24, 2021 / 11:32 am

            Yay, I look forward to it too! 🙂

            Like

  6. Denyse Whelan Blogs February 24, 2021 / 2:56 am

    Thank you for linking up your blog post for #lifethisweek on Monday 22 Feb 2021. Next week, it’s the first optional prompt of Taking Stock where I am using my own prompts for the first time. Hope to see you there, on or off prompt. Take care, Denyse #lifethisweek #linkup #Australia

    Like

    • Natalie February 24, 2021 / 8:33 am

      Thank you, Denyse. See you at the link-up.

      Like

  7. victoriarose002 February 24, 2021 / 3:11 am

    Interesting post, it’s always nice to be able to distinguish💜

    Like

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