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Thursday, 13 August 2015

Cool Walk at Toronto's Rouge Park!

Last weekend, we decided to hit Rouge Park again! Last time, we enjoyed the first ever sighting of a Pileated Woodpecker!

There were clear warning signs near the odd patch of giant hog weed or cow parsnip plants we saw, but most of these plants had been already dead and were a bit in from the paths, some very far in.

Upon entering the park, we heard what sounded like a bird of prey in distress or upset about something, continuously calling. Soon enough, looking up, there was an adult red tailed hawk circling and circling the large same area radius. This went on as we got out of ear shot and it was a bit upsetting as we couldn't really do anything for the bird, which was quite far away and looked to be over an unreachable area up an incline. The bird seemed physically fine through my lens but it was continuously calling and in a high pitched drastic sort of distressed way. Our assumption, uneducated I must add, was that possibly its juvenile was missing, injured or its mate was missing. Later on, on our way out 3+ hours later, we came close to the area again, could still hear it, then suddenly there were 4 hawks, 2 in pursuit of each other, so we figured it was some sort of  not welcomed stranger thing or territory argument, which in a way did help to alleviate most of the upset it caused us to feel, thinking some horrible imaginings.

There were lots of butterflies around and a few awesome dragonflies. We saw red admirals, an Aphrodite frittilery, and lots of white butterflies. We saw dusky brown coloured butterflies too, the name of those I forget.

As for birds, we saw red breasted gros beaks, cedar wax wings, black capped chickadees, cat birds, song sparrows, the pileated woodpecker,

The most exciting plant we saw, and it has to be real cool for me to get all worked up about a plant, was the globe thistle. They were actually in bloom with little purple flowers! First time we've ever seen that, The butterflies and bees just Love them it seems.

The Rouge Park also has a camp ground, which is a municipal camp ground, owned by the city of Toronto. I've never camped there, considering I lived in Ajax which is next door practically, and now live only 20 mins away in Scarborough, but it is always full, fire wood smoke smells are often detectable as one passes it on the 401 Highway lol! Many of the campers though were out on the trails along with the crop in hikers like us. It is a lovely conservation and hiking trail park, with a mix of a bit of short rugged inclines in spots of the paths, which are excellent for exercise if one wants to go those directions. There are a couple more advanced hiker paths, steep inclines, lots of rugged uneven gravel ground, but there are lots of stretches of mainly flat path trails too. We encountered no mosquitoes the late afternoon/evening walk we did, although part of the trails go along the river.

We do enjoy this park and its trails and will be going back in the fall again for the autumn leaves and raptors hopefully.

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