[Ontbirds] Whimbrels at Col. Samuel Smith Park, Etobicoke

Wayne Renaud waynerenaud1951 at aol.com
Sat May 23 18:30:36 EDT 2009

Today the TOC Whimbrel watch was much slower than yesterday, in spite  
of the fact that the weather seemed favourable for a sizable migration  
with light winds from the southeast.   Observations started at 5:30 am  
and stopped at 4:00 pm with the primary observers: Don Barnett, Jean  
Iron and I.   Another 40 to 50 keen birders, many of which were with  
scheduled formal tours, added to a day with great coverage.

The Whimbrel with a total of 67 birds in four groups all in the early  
to mid morning period.   Bruce Wilkinson added another large group  
last night after both of had left to bring the total Whimbrel count  
for yesterday to approx. 524.  The Whimbrel watch continues until 28  

The highest day counts for the coastline of western Lake Ontario from  
Col. Sam Smith Park west to Rattray Marsh was of 3273, most of which  
were seen at CSSP and for CSSP only: 2643 on 23 May 2005 and 2000 on  
24 May 1994.  Significant high counts that been taken elsewhere in the  
Great Lakes basin: 3000 at Manitowac/Bailey's Harbour, L. Michigan, WI  
on 22 May 1980; 2220 at Port Stanley, Lake Erie, ON on 21 May 1996;  
2000 at Long Point, Wiarton, L. Huron, ON on 25 May 1983; 1200 at  
Rondeau, L. Erie on 23 May 1984 and 1000 at Long Point, L. Erie on 21  
May 2005 and near Rondeau, L. Erie on 25 May 2003.

Traditionally the 24th of May has been the peak day of passage through  
the park and adjacent areas.  The highest counts on this date for this  
location have been: 3000 on 24 May 1980 and 1931 on 24 May 2007.  Past  
counts on later dates of 2114 on 26 May 2007; 952 on 25 May 2005; 912  
on 25 May 2007 and 825 on 28 May 2005 suggest the large numbers may  
continue to move through this in large numbers for several days later  
in some years.

The park is locate south of the intersection of Kipling and  
Lakeshore ... the parking lot a very end of Col. Samuel Smith drive.  
The is an exit off the QEW but if you miss it go to Islington then  
down to Lakeshore and turn right.

Wayne Renaud

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