Doug, John and I headed off to Glen Major Forest on Thursday morning, as I was in need of a Daily Lifer fix, and also had yet to visit this rich area for the year.
We began the day on Westney Road in pursuit of a Hooded Warbler that John knew resided in the North Walker Woods area. We spent quite a while on the roadside hearing him sing, but it was Doug that finally spied him for us. Once I got him in my binos I was blinded by his yellow brilliance which was offset by his black hood, what a thrill, he was my first Lifer for the day.
A White Admiral was sunning itself by the roadside after a long and heavy rainfall a few hours earlier:
We continued over to the parking lot on the east side of Glen Major Forest, hoping to catch a glimpse of a Clay-coloured Sparrow:
We heard the Clay-coloured Sparrow but were unable to locate him for a visual, but found the usual Song and Field Sparrows in the meadows. Continuing on to the Westney Road parking lot entrance to the forest, we were greeted by a pair of Eastern Bluebirds:
A singing House Wren also greeted us, my first visual for the year. We headed off with Doug leading the way here:
Song Sparrows were everywhere:
A pair of Northern Flickers entertained us with their antics, this female graciously posed for us, showing off her red nape :
A pair of either Red-shouldered or Broad-winged Hawks (yet to be determined) soared overhead in the blustery winds, as well as Turkey Vultures, but for the most part it was a quiet day on the birding front. We had to be content with a European Skipper....
...as well as a glorious Red-spotted Purple on the path:
We stopped off for lunch and then arrived next at Corner Marsh in Pickering, a first for me but all was quiet on the birding front there as well, other than serious assorted Swallow action.
Hall's Road/Cranberry Marsh in Whitby was also quiet, other than a few Cedar Waxwings, a Common Loon out on Lake Ontario, a family of Pied-bill Grebes, and an agressive Blue Jay that pursued us for food, as well as a brazen Raccoon that rambled towards us at the south platform, leaving in disgust as we had nothing to offer it- in broad daylight, no less!
An added bonus, and unexpected LIFER presented itself at our final stop at the west side of the Whitby Marina, several Purple Martins flew into the birdhouse there, what a sight!
For the record, the "bird" on the roof of the birdhouse on the left-hand side is a fake. I was warned about that, but not about a matching one on the far side, which I was totally fooled by :-(
In any case, these others are the Real Deal, two in flight with a third on the upper balcony on the right-hand side:
The "fake" one is in the background:
So by the end of the day, two new species (Hooded Warbler and Purple Martin) had been added to my Life List, and three (Clay-coloured Sparrow, even if it was only audio) to my Year List!