[Ontbirds] Le Conte's Sparrow, Connecticut Warbler, etc. on the Toronto Islands

Norm Murr normurr at sympatico.ca
Tue May 23 18:53:07 EDT 2006

Good evening.

 Today despite the fall like weather I went down to The Islands in hopes of few good birds and I wasn't disappointed. It started at the Toronto Ferry docks when I bumped into Margaret Liubavicius and I tagged along with her to Centre Island where we parted and I continued on to Hanlans Point.

 Among the 18 Warbler species we found were Orange-crowned (on Wards beside the boardwalk opposite Snake Island), Cape May, Blackburnian, Palm, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Connecticut (SE corner of Wards beside the Eastern Gap, Mourning (same place) and Wilson's.

 Also found was a Red-necked Grebe off Gibralter Point, Great Egret, Canvasback, E. Wood-Pewee, Least and Great Crested Flycatchers, E. Kingbirds, Purple Martin, Cliff Swallow, Carolina, House and Winter Wrens, Gnatcatchers, Swainson's and Wood Thrushes, Brown Thrashers, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos, 6 Scarlet Tanagers, Chipping, Savannah, White-crowned and Lincoln's Sparrows, Bobolinks, Orchard Oriole, and OH ! Le Conte's Sparrow.

 I found the Le Conte's at 3:10 pm on Hanlans Point along the east side of the airfield fence about 500 yards or 450m from the ferry near some ornamental (Austrian) Pine Trees. This is the same area that I found the Chat 10 days ago. It was in the grassy area but each time I approached it, it would fly into the base of one of the Pine Trees. It took awhile to nail it down but the frustration level was worth it. The Orchard Oriole (female) was in the same general area.

TORONTO ISLANDS (Wards Island to Hanlans Point - without side trips is 5 km)

To get to the Toronto Islands from Queen and Yonge Streets on the TTC. If your on the subway southbound stay on it and get off at Union Station, walk south about 1 km to the ferry docks at the foot of Bay Street at Queens Quay and you are there. If in an auto on the Gardener Expressway or on Lakeshore Blvd, then exit at Bay Street and drive south to Queens Quay, there are lots of parking lots nearby (fee).

There is a fee for using the island ferries ($6.00 adult / $3.50 for seniors & students) and to find out the sailing times you can phone (416) 392-8193. There are washrooms on the islands as well as the city side at the ferry docks and you can pick up a schedule at the docks or check on line.

The 1st boat to Wards Island (my preferred starting point) is 6:35 am and the 2nd is 7:00 am Monday to Friday. 

The 1st is at 6:35 am and the 2nd boat is at 7:15 am on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.

The 1st boat to Hanlans Point is 8:00 am and the 2nd boat is at 8:30 am Monday to Friday.

The 1st is at 8:15 am and the 2nd boat is at 9:15 am on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.

If arriving in early am you must obtain your ticket from a machine just inside the gate so be sure to have $1.00 and $2.00 and/or 25 cent coins before you arrive at the docks as there is no place to get change and the machine does not make change. (There is a change machine there if you want to chance it).

There are coffee shops across from the ferry docks in the building on the northwest corner and they are open early. food and beverages on The Islands when open are very expensive i.e. soft drink $3.00 plus.

For a detailed ferry schedule check the following web site. 



There is a map of the Islands at each of the Island side ferry docks and the City side.

Another PS

If you have access to PDF then I can send an Island map if you contact me in private.

Norm Murr

Richmond Hill, ON

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