[Ontbirds] Toronto Islands - LeConte's Sparrow, N. Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Orange-crowned warblers, etc

Norman Murr normurr at sympatico.ca
Mon Oct 2 21:19:01 EDT 2006

Good evening folks.

 Well today was another one of those days on the Toronto Islands, no birders (their loss) but plenty of birds and beautiful weather. Rather be working, Nah !

 I arrived at Hanlans Point shortly after 8 am and started birding close to the ferry dock and as I was walking around Margaret Liubavicius got off of the next ferry boat and joined me for a very nice day of birding.
 The LeConte's Sparrow was at the southwest corner of the airfield fence on Hanlans in the morning and to end the day we found a Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow behind the houses (in The Meadow) on Wards Islands, A nice pair of bookends, so to speak.

 The LeConte's gave a stellar view as it sat on the chain link fence for up to 2 minutes at a time. Nice little bird.

Some of the other Birds seen on The Islands were Cooper's Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, 54 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, N. Flickers, 39 Eastern Phoebes, 6 Blue-headed Vireos, Red-eyed Vireo, Gray-cheeked Thrushes, Swainson's Thrushes, 31 Hermit Thrushes, Brown Creeper, 13 Winter Wrens, American Pipits, 6 Orange-crowned Warblers, Pine Warbler, Palm Warblers, A. Redstarts, 10 Sparrow Species including Song, 14 Lincoln's, 16 Swamp, Juncos, Sharp-tailed, LeConte's, and Field Sparrows.

 Of course both Kinglets and White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows were common.

 A great day. 

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. 

Norm Murr

Richmond Hill, ON

Sils mordent, mords les

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