[Ontbirds] Purple Sandpiper & Snowy Owls on the Leslie Street Spit.

Norm Murr normurr at sympatico.ca
Sat Dec 3 18:31:36 EST 2011

Good Evening.

This post is for you winter birders in the Toronto area and those that are Purple Sandpiper and Snowy Owl poor and following are some nice winter birds out on The Spit today.

Trumpeter Swan, 7 Green-winged Teal, American Wigeons, many Redheads, both Scaup, White-winged Scoters, all 3 Mergansers, Red-tailed Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, American Coot, Purple Sandpiper (Pipit Point), 5 Great black-backed Gulls, 3 Snowy Owls (Endikement), Northern Flickers, Northern Shrike, Song Sparrows and Common Redpoll.

There are many of the commoner waterfowl out there as well.

Directions :-

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. (watch for bodies on the road) 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 a.m. 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 p.m. and there is NO Van in the winter. The van will not resume again until next Easter.
NOTE:- The official hours for The Spit are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ( weekends and holidays and after 5 p.m. Monday to Friday ) but the unofficial hours are sunup to sundown (weekends and holidays only). To date no one has questioned any birder, jogger, cyclist, etc. about the use of The Spit from sunup to sundown on a Saturday, a Sunday or a holiday.

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. There is another one beside the sailboat club house on Peninsula D near the banding station.

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.

Norm Murr
303-48 Laverock Ave.
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4C 4J5

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