[Ontbirds]Toronto Islands - Late Indigo Bunting plus other migrants

Norman Murr normurr at sympatico.ca
Sun Oct 7 19:53:44 EDT 2007

Good Day.

 Today I joined Gunner Bessell to bird the Toronto Islands. WE started at the Hanlans Point end and this was where the bulk of the birds were as well as another large group on Gibralter point opposite the Trout Pond. 
  Our best bird of the day in our opinion was way along on Wards Island in the allotment garden beside the seniors building about 200 yards southeast of the Wards Island ferry docks. Here we found a late male Indigo Bunting that was fading into winter plumage but still had plenty of blue feathers. A nice surprise to end our day.
 Some of the other birds that we encountered on our walk were Pied-billed Grebe, Wood Ducks, A. Black Ducks, Canvasbacks, Greater Scaup, 27 Hooded Mergansers together, Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks hunting, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, N. Flickers, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers, E. Phoebes, 50+ Black-capped Chickadees, White-breasted Nuthatches, Brown Creepers, Winter Wrens, both Kinglets, Gray-cheeked, Swainson's and Hermit Thrushes, Gray Catbirds, A. Pipit, Nashville Warblers, many Yellow-rumped Warblers, Palm Warblers, Eastern Towhees, Chipping, Savannah, Swamp and Lincoln's Sparrows, many White-throated, White-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos. Eastern Meadowlarks and Rusty Blackbirds.
 Another birdie day on the under birded Islands.

TORONTO ISLANDS (Wards Island to Hanlans Point - without side trips is 5 km) - Now on the Fall Schedule.

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 and 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 drinks $3.00. If you are birding from Wards the soft drink machine beside the fire station sells juice, iced tea, etc. for $1.00.and $1.25.

For a detailed ferry schedule check the following web site. 


NOTE:- Next week the fery schedulle switches to the winter schedule - check site above.

Norm Murr
Richmond Hill, ON

"Sils mordent, mords les"

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