On Monday April 5th Bob Tyler, Jenny Bull and I birded from Ward’s Island to Centre Island and following are some of the birds we found.
Pied-billed Grebe, many D-c Cormorants, most overhead, Canvasback Ducks, White-winged Scoters, some Buffleheads and Red-breasted Mergansers are hanging in, both species busy court ship displaying, 11 Turkey Vultures, resident pair of Cooper’s Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrel, 14 Downy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Eastern Phoebe, lots of Tree Swallows, both Nuthatches, Brown Creeper, 6 Winter Wrens, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Hermit Thrush, Tree and White-throated Sparrows, 39 Song Sparrows, down from the previous numbers to the probable nesting birds, Dark-eyed Juncos and House Finches.
We also found 11 Garter Snakes, including 2 melanistic, a Map Turtle, a Beaver, Mink and Raccoon.
On April 6th Bob and Jenny found 3 Killdeer. Belted Kingfisher and a Swamp Sparrow.
On Wednesday April 7th Bo, Jenny and I birded from the Eastern Gap to the Island Church and following are some of the birds we found.
Great Blue Heron, some Bufflehead, Long-tailed Ducks and Red-breasted Mergansers are still hanging around, 7 Turkey Vultures, 3 Cooper’s Hawks including the resident pair, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, 16 Downy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Eastern Phoebes, Tree Swallows, White-breasted Nuthatches, Brown Creepers, 11 Winter Wrens, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Cedar Waxwings, 36 Northern Cardinals, singing everywhere, 74 Song Sparrows, large numbers yesterday as well, A. Tree Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos.
We also found 25+ Eastern Garter Snakes including 7 melanistic and the usual Mink.
Winter Ferry and Islands Information.
Masked wearing is mandatory on the ferry.
Note:- There is a washroom at the city side of the docks but the washroom on the ferry is closed due to Corvid and there is a washroom on Ward's Island straight out from the ferry dock at the corner of Lakeshore Ave. and Fifth St.
There is also a washroom at the Island Fire Station west of the ferry dock and another one on Centre Island just west of the bridge.
There are no washrooms or fountains on Algonquin Island and no washrooms on Snake Island.
The Riviera Café just east of the bridge onto Algonquin Island (west of the ferry dock) is closed until Spring.
The Island Café straight out from the ferry dock is closed until further notice.
Be aware that the Frisbie player numbers on Ward's Island are increasing with this warmer weather and lack of snow on the ground so be alert in the course area.
Note:- There are no washrooms on Gibraltar Point.
The only washrooms open on Hanlan's is at the docks and at the Island Fire Station.
You can obtain water at all washrooms
All water fountains are turned off until Spring.
Another Note:- The Island ferry schedule - Be aware that there is only one ferry operating from now until Spring (mid April) and that is to Ward's Island. The first boats are at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 am Monday to Saturday and 8:00 and 9:00 am on Sunday.
And no matter how far you walk you will have to walk back to the Ward's Island ferry :>(( A bike would be a good idea if you have one.
You can obtain ferry schedules, prices, restrictions, etc. at - https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/parks-gardens-beaches/toronto-island-park/all-ferry-schedules/
Also be aware that the island school is now open and at recess there are many children out on in the school area, so please do not approach too close.
If anyone is interested I have revised my Toronto Island Site and Bird Guide and it can be found on the OFO Website (ofo.ca) under Ontario Hotspots. Scroll down to The Toronto Islands by Norm Murr or
TORONTO ISLANDS BIRDING - ROUTE and SITES - January 1, 2011 - Norm Murr (ofo.ca)
There is also a unofficial Checklist of Birds of The Islands at that site.
This is a Spring and Fall Guide but may be useful in Summer and Winter as I bird most of those same areas at that time, mostly in the Winter.
Richmond Hill, ON