[Ontbirds] Leslie Street Spit - King Eiders, Tundra Swan, etc.

Norm Murr normurr at sympatico.ca
Sat Feb 26 16:55:56 EST 2011

The two King Eiders that were found last Saturday by Ed O`Conner and were seen again on Sunday and Monday are still out there. They were in the East Cove which is beside Pipit Point which is the furthest point out on the southwest part of The Spit (take the left hand road at the Quonset Hut). They are a first year male and a female.

A few of the other birds found were 2 Northern Shrikes (one singing merrily), Horned Larks, Common Redpolls, Canvasback, American Coot, all 3 Mergansers, White-winged Scoters, Northern Flicker, Peregrine Falcon, and 1 Tundra Swan which was last seen swimming towards the Toronto Islands. This may be the same bird that wintered in The Islands area. 

I also had a close encounter with a very healthy looking Coyote. It stood about 25 feet from me and we both eyeballed each other for about a minute before it turned and trotted off across the ice of Cell 3.

LESLIE STREET SPIT (TOMMY THOMPSON PARK) IN TORONTO - Now on it’s Winter schedule for the gates and Van.

To get to "The Spit" from Queen and Yonge Streets. Take the Queen Street Car #501 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 and take it to Leslie St. and Commissioner St. ( Saturday and Sunday as well as week days ). By automobile you can drive to Lakeshore Blvd and Leslie St. then south on Leslie St. to The Spit.
You can park either on Leslie St. or Unwin Ave. You may also park in the parking lot inside the main gate after 9 am. Be sure to observe the parking lot closing time as if you are not out by then your auto will be locked in until the following day. — THE PARKING LOT AND ALL GATES WILL BE LOCKED AT 4:30 pm and there is NO Van in the winter. The van will not resume again until Easter.
NOTE:- The official hours for The Spit are 9 am to 4:30 pm ( weekends and holidays and after 5 pm Monday to Friday ) 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.
This area is extensive, 5 km to the tip, but be prepared to walk more than that if you want to view most of the productive areas. 
The only facilities out there are 4 outdoor toilets along the main road. One at the parking lot, 1 at the next gate, one just past the Quonset hut at the Embayment D overlook and one past the foot bridge near the Triangle Pond.
The Spit is only open at the above times because they are still building it. At least that is what their story is.
For those in need of a coffee fix there is a Tim Horton’s on the Northwest corner of Leslie St. and Lakeshore Blvd and a Burger King directly across Leslie St. From Tim’s.

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