[Ontbirds]Toronto Islands - Mourning Warblers and Flycatchers

Norman Murr normurr at sympatico.ca
Fri May 25 15:14:43 EDT 2007

Good afternoon

 This morning I thought I would try the Toronto Islands once more despite the forecast. I moved right along hoping I wouldn't get caught in the predicted showers, I didn't and hopefully get to a ferry dock before the thunderstorms, I did. If I had of known that the showers wouldn't happen and that the rain would hold off I would have walked a lot slower and tarried at some spots.
 I did stop and look long enough to find 12 warbler species including 5 Mourning, Canada, Blackpoll and Wilson's. I also came up with 7 Flycatcher species including Yellow-bellied, Willow, Alder and my first Wood Pewees on The Islands this year. All of the Flycatchers were calling so it was easy to identify them for once. It was nice to hear the Pewees.
 The surprise for the day was 2 Northern Mockingbirds. As far as I know they do not breed on The Islands and with that in mind they are late migrants, at least my latest down there.
 Just before catching the ferry back to the city from Hanlans an adult male Peregrine Falcon decided to harass all the birds feeding on or near the Island Airfield.

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 (up to a $10 bill) 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 around $2.50 ( now $3.00). If you are birding from Wards the soft drink machine beside the fire station sells juice, iced tea, etc. for $1.00.

For a detailed ferry schedule check the following web site. 


Norm Murr
Richmond Hill, ON

"Sils mordent, mords les"

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