Then came the last days of May (2015), and I was standing in the parking lot of the Driftwood Community Centre (4401 Jane Street), trusty camera in hand. My goal was simple: I had come to Edgeley Park to photograph a red winged blackbird.
Here’s a little background on Edgeley Park. As you can see in the image below, the park seems to be shaped like a really sloppily drawn letter “T.” At least that how it looks to me.
The Driftwood Community Centre is located in the big green square facing Jane Street. This satellite photograph (right), shows how the building and parking lot take up a fair bit of that square.
The base of the “T” goes south, ending on Driftwood Avenue. If you cross Driftwood, you enter Driftwood Park. I was most interested in that thin strip of green. A few years ago, I joined a Jane’s Walk that went through the park. Our guide mentioned that this particular strip was a local nesting ground for red winged blackbirds. A few years prior, volunteers worked to make the area more pleasing for the birds.
I suppose the blackbirds were a bit shy of such a large group, as I didn’t see any. I vowed to return one day. This was the day. And now I had to set out from the parking lot.
Directly south of the parking lot is a paved path. You can’t see it in the photograph because of all the trees.
I took these photographs (left and below) as I stood on the path and looked south.
I walked along the path until I came to the fork which put me on the strip. Seeing how it was early afternoon on a Friday, the path was surprisingly clear of people.
It also seemed devoid of feathered life. However as I walked towards Driftwood, I could hear all kinds of bird chirping. No doubt they were all perched within the trees, mocking me.
As part of the effort to make the area more appealing to avian types, nesting boxes had been set up.
I got to Driftwood Avenue without seeing a single bird, much less getting any photographs. That’s not to say I didn’t find anything worth snapping. This is the culvert that goes under Driftwood. The area was surprising green, considering we had been under a bit of a dry spell.
At this point, I turned around and got on the path that would lead me back to the Community Centre and my car (I took a photograph, too. I bet there were birds up in that big tree).
The birds were even more noisy, and just as stealthily hidden from my sight.
I walked a bit, and then stopped. In this photograph, you can see that to my left, the ground looks especially lush.
I stepped off the path, and took various shots to try and capture how this section looked like a plush green carpet. If I was a bird, I’d want to hang around here.
I got back on the path, and that’s when I saw movement.
Blackbirds were suddenly flying into these trees. And they would actually stay still just long enough for me to snap off a few shots.
It pays to be patient.
If you have any photographs or stories you’d like to share about Edgeley Park, please contact us atJane-Finch On The Move.