Nature Photography, Printmaking

The Birds of 1988

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.

Cherry blossoms 2018

Cherry blossoms 2018 2

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.

2 birds

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
  • robins
  • rufous -sided towhee
  • blackburnian warbler
  • cardinal
  • rose-breasted grosbeak
  • purple finch
  • house finch
  • scarlet tanagers
  • mockingbirds
  • gray catbird
  • kingbirds
  • black-capped chickadee
  • titmouse
  • bluejays
  • solitary vireo–unafraid!
  • doves
  • gray-cheeked thrush
  • swainson’s thrush
  • ovenbird
  • worm-eating warblers
  • brown-headed cowbird–possibly female
  • whited throated sparrow
  • song sparrows
  • black and white warbler
  • starlings
  • red winged blackbirds

bluejay feathers

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”

    1. 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.

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