Establishing Shot

What is a film buff, avid birder, and nature lover going to do in Toronto during TIFF, torn between so many attractions?

Well, one has to stay grounded first. So here’s the establishing shot. Indeed, it’s Toronto. And a memorable date it was when I took this photo of the early morning cityscape. My computer told me it was Sept. 11, 2016, at 6:38 am:


I was fortunate to be able to shoot these pics from a high-rise building with magnificent views. Here let me call this one Urban Canadian Sunrise. Yes, see the flag in the foreground? Can’t say it’s just another city:


And from the balcony above looking down, my birding instinct was gratified as I made my first sighting of a Mute Swan taking in the early morning air:


A stone-throw away was a park where I made this other first-time encounter. I had no clue what it was until I looked it up in a bird book after I’d come back home:

Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron

Know what it is? A Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron.

Several other first time sightings awaited me as I went on the ‘Marshwalk’ at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, 57 km (35 mi) southwest of Toronto a few days later. The Great Egret and some juvenile (brownish colour) mute swans:



Yes, TIFF16 was a cinephile fantasy. And the people there were overflowing with enthusiasm to make your visit memorable:


More posts coming up on that main event.

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

20 thoughts on “Establishing Shot”

  1. Your photos of the city skyline make me want to go there! I’ve never been to that city, but I know there would be so much to see. Glad you made a good start with city and wildlife, and I’ll look forward to more views. I love your little heron 🙂


    1. GretchenJoanna,

      Thanks. Yes, Toronto, and actually the province Ontario is a great place to explore. I was happy to make some first time bird sightings in this supposedly a TIFF trip.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you not only saw a lot of movies (hopefully good ones) but got your nature fix in, too. Your hotel view is terrific and how wonderful to visit the gardens. I’m so looking forward to your upcoming posts!


    1. Jeanie,

      Not hotel, but private homes of friends and family. Anyway, I was surprised to see a swan as I looked down a 30th story condo! Movie reviews coming up next.


    1. Hi Stefanie,

      Didn’t like the wait time, standing in line for at least an hour to wait to get in so I could get a good seat. Anyway, it’s an experience. Will stop by to see how the Dashwoods are doing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice picture of the juvenile black-crowned night heron! We had an adult visiting our salt pond for a season many years ago and then never saw it again. I’ve never seen a young one before – what a treat!


    1. Barbara,

      That was a strange encounter as I didn’t know what bird it was. It was so close, perching on the rail and looking straight at me. Quite big too. I was a bit afraid it would attack me. 😉


  4. I’m so glad you saw the great egret, and the juvenile heron’s a special treat. I wish you were here. I could take you right over to a tree where another juvenile’s been hanging out. I’ve never seen a mute swan — that would be a first for me.

    Your photo of the skyline with the Canadian flag in the foreground is just splendid. The flag really does shine — a beautiful composition. Like the others, I’m looking forward to your observations about the films, and the general goings-on. There have been interesting reports in the news here that made it sound as though there had been some conflicts of various sorts, but there’s nothing new about that, eh? 🙂


    1. Linda,

      Yes, I thought of you right away when I saw the Egret. So glad to make several first time sightings in one day. But then again, of course, I was in a totally different locale thousands of miles away. Too bad though I didn’t have a chance to see just a ‘common’ cardinal. Have never seen one with my own eyes. I suppose they must have started migrating south already.


  5. How great to find new birds. That’s a lovely picture of the night heron. Oh no, but you missed the cardinals! Do you not get those in Alberta? I saw lots in Texas a few years ago.


    1. Louise,

      No, we don’t get to see Cardinals. I think they are mainly an Eastern bird, and we’re in the wild west by the Rockies. That Night Heron was a shock. Didn’t know what it was and it was so close to me, like wanting to attack. 😉


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