Check out the fantastic coyote photos at the Friends of Sam Smith Park blog. Our dog walker has seen them twice recently while out with the partners. She noted that one of them had a tracking collar as well.

Stormwater Study Completed

I just read at the Friends of Sam Smith Park blog that the Etobicoke Waterfront Stormwater Management study has been completed. I don’t know all the issues here yet, but the blog post is very critical of the study for ignoring community feedback.

Community Gardens in Sam Smith Park

Check out the Community Garden Proposal for Colonel Sam Smith Park. Interesting idea. Can the park sustain one more use? Is this the right place for a community garden?  I need to go have a look at the proposed site. In general I like the idea of more gardens


There’s a barge over at the Yacht Club at Sam Smith Park. I wondered what that was all about but Friends of Sam Smith Park provided the answer:

We heard via the grapevine that the old dock ramp is being replaced by a new ramp as it is obsolete. Also the club is installing 5 new extensions to the existing docks presumably to accommodate more boats. The barge is a drilling barge. They need to install anchors to the harbour bed to hold chains which attach to the dock.

Sam Smith Spring Bird Festival

For the bird enthusiasts in the crowd, see the post over at Friends of Sam Smith Park. Last year we went on a bird walk and it was great fun. The leader of our walk knew a fantastic variety of birds, both by their looks and by their sounds. I’m hoping to learn more about birds this year.

On a related note, I thought it might be a fun idea to do a photo series, not of birds, but of birders. Look, there’s a rare one with a really long lens….

Photos from the bird festival

Thanks to Finny’s Friend for sending these photos he took at the bird festival yesterday at Sam Smith Park.

It was a great day around Sam Smith park as the area bird enthusiasts and other naturalists met with the public for fun and to share some of their passion. The first annual Sam Smith bird festival was a great success and a good opportunity to “shoot” some interesting local birds up close. Thanks to our friend Jem and all of The Friends of Sam Smith Park for organizing such a fine event.”

American Kestril

Red-tailed hawk and Great horned owl
Turkey vulture

Bird is the word

We walked over to Sam Smith Park this morning to take part in a bird walk. Although most of the migratory birds have passed, the leader of the walk was able to identify quite a few species. I may not have recorded all of them, but here is my list:

Red-necked Grebes
Mute Swans
Canada Geese
Ring-necked Gull
Mourning Dove
Hairy Woodpecker
Tree Swallows
Barn Swallows
Blue Jays
American Robins
Gray Catbirds (heard several times but not seen)
Warbling Vireo
Yellow Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbirds
Common Grackles
Baltimore Orioles (males and females)
American Goldfinch

Goats Beard

We had a very good time, we learned about birds and we learned more about the park. Our guide was a fellow named Bob who was very knowledgeable. I would barely catch a glimpse of a bird as he casually identified it. I’d like to do more bird walks this year and increase my knowledge more. I can identify all kinds of mayflies, loads of fish, plenty of mushrooms, and I’m getting better at trees, but I confess my bird knowledge is not great -yet.

What's this?

I wonder what the strange yellow item is in the photo above. Does anyone know? It’s in the rotted out trunk of a large maple that remarkably is still standing.

male Baltimore Oriole

I bet the folks who were hauling around two-foot long camera lenses got some excellent shots of this male Baltimore Oriole. It’s the yellow-orange splotch in the middle of the photo above. The female was also flying around the same tree.

Mute Swans and Mallards

Mute swans are nesting around this pond. There are plenty of them in the lake as well. The ducks there are mostly mallards, but one Gadwall was spotted as well.

Tree Swallow

There are loads of Tree Swallows in the park, including this one, perched into one of the houses recently installed just for them. There are also plenty of barn swallows, which are nesting under the viewing platform at the pond.