[Ontbirds] Migration on the Leslie Street Spit (Connecticut Warbler, etc.)

Norm Murr normurr at sympatico.ca
Sat Aug 12 18:32:26 EDT 2006

Good evening people.

 Today Alfred Adamo, Naish McHugh and I birded The Spit and Fall migration has begun.

 It started in the morning with 3 Chimney swifts over the base that swiftly  :-)  became 75+ Swifts circling overhead and passing through as well as about 50+ each of Barn and Bank Swallows swirling and hunting the base. It went up hill from here (so to speak on a flat spit).

 During the day keeping to the inside or city side of The Spit we found Pied-billed Grebe, Great Egrets, Hooded Mergansers, Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks, Bonaparte's Gull, Caspian Terns, 3 Belted Kingfishers, Willow and Least Flycatchers, Eastern Phoebes,  15 Eastern Kingbirds, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos, 12 Warbler species that included Nashville, 26 Yellows, Magnolia, Yellow-rumped, Black-throated Green, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Black-and-white, American Redstart, Ovenbird, 1 first winter Connecticut, 6 Canada, and we missed the reported Blackburnians at the banding station. We also found Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Lincoln's Sparrows, and 1 first year Dark-eyed Junco (my personal earliest by 11 days).

 Other things of note were the many American Goldfinches with several collecting nesting material, Gray Catbirds still feeding fledged young and the almost complete lack of Common Terns, down from hundreds that breed on The Spit to 1 lone sighting, juvenile Cedar Waxwings mixed in with the adult birds and 62 Mute Swans. The numbers of Ring-billed Gulls have also bottomed out and the D-C Cormorant numbers overhead have dropped off even though there are still large numbers in the breeding colonies, some still feeding young on the nest.

 There were also plenty of the usual suspects down there today (birds that is).

 I mentioned it on earlier posts but the foliage growth, especially Sweet Clover is fantastic this year with many, many wildflowers through out and we also noted 100+ Monarch Butterflies (could be a great year for them down there later on)."Well worth a trip to Acton"


To get to "The Spit" from Queen & Yonge Sts. Take the Queen Street Car #501 east to Leslie St. and walk south (about 2 km) or as far as you can go on Leslie St. at Unwin Ave. and you will see the gate and signage. You may also catch the Jones Bus #83 at the Donlands Subway Station or transfer to it at Queen St. and Jones Ave. and take it to Leslie St. And Commissioner St. (on Saturday only). By automobile you may drive to Lakeshore Blvd and Leslie St. then south to The Spit.

If before 9 am you can park either on Leslie St. or Unwin Ave., after 9 am the parking lot inside the gate is open, be sure to note the closing time as your car will be locked in at that time. – 6 pm at present.

Norm Murr

Richmond Hill, ON

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