Spring is here and flowers are coming into bud wildly. The scillas have gone, but redbuds are just appearing and yesterday I saw cherry blossoms and their devotees in Trinity Bellwoods Park–a downtown west end park. Spring also means the return of birds and their songs. I hear cardinals, robins and sparrows daily. Last week I heard a chickadee and the other day–mourning doves. On the weekend, I also saw a tern with a bright orange beak at the Brickworks in Toronto.
Last month, I found a list I’d made in an old journal from May 1988. The list was of some of the birds I had seen on a trip to the countryside in Massachusetts and Virginia in the U.S. I don’t keep lists of birds, but I was so thrilled at the large variety that I saw during that spring migration, that I wrote them all down. The list also brings me some sadness because I hear less birdsong on my trips to the Ontario countryside than I used to. And in the city, I am aware of losses from previous years when I used to hear more bluejays and nighthawks that have all but disappeared.
Above is a linocut I made in the 1980s.
And here is my list from almost 30 years ago–May 12, 1988:
- Mallards, male and female
- 2 killdeer
- tree swallow
- male downy or hairy woodpecker
- another woodpecker with red brown crest drooping downward as it cling to tree–brownish body from afar
- white-breasted nuthatch
- brown creeper
- yellow warbler
- hood warblers–male and female
- common yellowthroat
- yellow throated warbler
- chestnut-sided warbler
- gold-winged warbler
- northern oriole–male and female
- rufous -sided towhee
- blackburnian warbler
- rose-breasted grosbeak
- purple finch
- house finch
- scarlet tanagers
- gray catbird
- black-capped chickadee
- solitary vireo–unafraid!
- gray-cheeked thrush
- swainson’s thrush
- worm-eating warblers
- brown-headed cowbird–possibly female
- whited throated sparrow
- song sparrows
- black and white warbler
- red winged blackbirds
Alas, this bluejay had recently died, but I was struck by his beauty and took a photo of his feathers.
4 thoughts on “The Birds of 1988”
Wow! That blue Jay is magnificent. Never seen anything like it.
Yes, the bird is truly gorgeous. I got a chance to be close to him without a fancy lens because he was lying in a wooded garden.
That’s quite an amazing list of birds from your trip in the late 80s. I wish I recognized birdsong! (Maybe it’s time to get out and do some birdwatching:-))
Seeing so many birds was incredible. I only know a handful of their songs, but love being able to picture who’s flying about when I can’t see him or her.