[Ontbirds] Winter Birds on Wards and Algonquin Islands

Norm Murr normurr at sympatico.ca
Mon Jan 31 15:48:21 EST 2011

I birded Wards and Algonquin Islands today and following are 4 of the birds that some may still want for their winter list.

1 Hermit Thrush on Wards along the boardwalk at the Rectory Cafe 
1 Carolina Wren singing on Algonquin
2 adult Iceland Gulls and 2 adult Glaucous Gulls off Cherry Beach – I observed these Gulls flying in with Ring-billed Gulls as I stood at the Eastern gap on Wards Island.
There are a thousand plus gulls off Cherry beach with more arriving every day and may be worth checking out with a scope from cherry beach.

Also seen on Wards Island beside the Eastern Gap were about 50 Cedar Waxwings in 2 flocks and about the same number of Common Redpolls mixed in with A. Goldfinches.

It started out a bit cool but turned into a very nice Winter day down there.

Norm Murr

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). Some just north of the docks at Bay and Front Streets.
There is a fee for using the island ferries ($6.50 adult / $4.00 for seniors and students) and to find out the sailing times you can phone (416) 392-8193. There are only 3 washrooms open on the islands ( opposite the Wards dock, Centre Island and beside the Hanlans dock ) 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, the 2nd boat is at 7:00 am and the 3rd is at 7:30 am and then every ½ hour on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays.
If arriving in early am ( before 7:30 ) you must obtain your ticket from a machine just outside 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 machines do not make change but will accept credit cards ( BE SURE TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY ). But - There is a change machine ($5, $10 and $20 dollar bills) there if you want to chance it ( NOT WORKING AT THIS TIME ).
There is coffee shop ( Treat’s Café ) across from the ferry docks in the building on the northwest corner ( opens before 6:30 am on week days but only opens at 9 am on the Saturdays that it doesn’t rain ). You may also purchase do-nuts, etc. here. 
A new Second Cup Coffee Shop  has opened in the southeast area of Bay St. and Lakeshore Blvd and opens at 7 am 7 days per week.
Also just a little east on Queen’s Quay ( less than a block ) there is the "Kitchen Table" and they are open at 6 am - 7 days per week. Besides coffee you may also buy food and beverages at the Kitchen Table if you forget a lunch.
There are no concession stands open on The Islands but there is a washroom located at the fire station and one on the north side of Centre Island just west of the gardens. These are the only open washrooms on The Islands.
As far as i know the Rectory Cafe just west of the ferry dock opposite the bride to Algonquin Island is open but i do not know the hours of operation. Their phone number is in the book if you want to call them.
For a detailed ferry schedule check the following web site or see below. 
There is a map of the Islands at each of the Island side ferry docks and the City side. 



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