On my back from a rather uneventful morning walk at my patch in Mississauga this morning, I was shocked to see a bright yellow bird fly across the trail in front of me. I had suspicions about its identity, and sure enough it was a stunning male Hooded Warbler!
This is one of my favourite warblers, as well as a new bird for both my patch and for the year. Hooded Warbler is quite rare this far north, and this is only the second I've seen away from Lake Erie. Luckily, he was sticking to a small area next to the path, so I was able to watch him for as long as I wanted, and indeed several others were able to see him in exactly the same spot later in the afternoon.
Hoodeds have awesome white outer tail feathers.
Although he was skulky, he was unconcerned about my presence, and several times gave excellent close views.
He was spending most of his time in a dense tangle of vines and fallen logs.
I've taken a rest on this stump many times, but never expected to get a photo of a Hooded Warbler in the same spot! Also note the Trout Lily leaves in the background. In the last week I've noticed Trout Lily, Hepatica, Skunk Cabbage, Coltsfoot, Bloodroot and Violets in bloom.
Now, in no particular order, here are a few of the other things I've been seeing recently:
Firefly on the front wall of my house
We had a few days of snow and freezing temperatures, and insectivorous birds like this Tree Swallow were struggling.
Greater Yellowlegs on ice.
Spotted Salamander. We missed the main wave of salamander migration but still found a few.
Red-eared Slider - not native to Ontario, but unwanted pets have been released widely.
A few butterflies are around. Expected are Mourning Cloaks and this Eastern Comma.
Somewhat less expected was this Red Admiral today in Mississauga, although quite a few have been seen further along Lake Erie with a few further north since we had strong southwest winds a while back.