[Ontbirds] Leslie Street Spit - Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Orange- crowned Warbler & Waterfowl

Norman Murr normurr at sympatico.ca
Sat Oct 11 15:57:46 EDT 2008

Good Day folks

  Today the team of Ian Cannell, Ed O'Conner, Alfred Adamo, Margaret Liubavicius and myself spent some time birding The Spit and though it was a not a busy day bird wise we did see some nice birds including Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Orange-crowned, and N. Parula Warblers, Blue-headed Vireo, Winter Wren, a good number of Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, as well as Hermit Thrushes, Chipping, White-crowned, White-throated, Song, Field, Fox, and Swamp Sparrows.

  In the shore bird department we found 2 Killdeer on The Spit and Alfred emailed me and said he had 17 Killdeer flying south after we parted.

  Waterfowl seen were 100+ Lesser Scaup, A. Wigeons, N. Pintails, 50+ Green-winged Teal, Black Ducks, 100+ Gadwall, 35+ Redheads, 24 N. Shovelers, Hooded and Red-breasted Mergansers.

  While walking along on this beautiful sunny (summer) afternoon we also spied a Merlin and 3 Cooper's Hawks migrating west and overhead were A. Pipits, Red-winged Blackbirds, Rusty Blackbirds, Black-crowned night-Herons, and Great Blue Herons and of course as usual both species of Kinglets in fair numbers were seen in the trees, bushes and Goldenrod.

  For those into Butterflies we did see about 20 Monarchs and at least 50 Sulphurs, Some Painted Ladies, and along the causeway on the way back I saw what I believe to be a Checkered White. 

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.


NOTE:- The official hours for The Spit are 9 am to 6 pm (weekends and holidays only of course) but the unofficial hours are sunup to sundown. To date no one has questioned any birder, jogger, cyclist, etc. about the use of The Spit from sunup to sundown.

The spit is only open on the weekends and on holidays, at other times you will not be able to access the area. This area is extensive, 7 km to the tip, but be prepared to walk more than that. There is a van available after 9 am from Victoria Day weekend to Thanksgiving Day weekend that will take you out or back. The Spit is only open on the weekends and holidays because they are still building it.

Norm Murr
Richmond Hill, ON

"Sils mordent, mords les"

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