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Birds,  butterflies,  Nature Trips,  Toronto

Tommy Thompson Park

My wife suggested we visit The Leslie Street Spit, a.k.a Tommy Thompson Park, which is highly productive with migrating warblers during the spring as it is the first green piece of land that birds will come across after an exhausting flight across Lake Ontario. During the summer it can sometimes throw up some less common wading bird sightings in some of the “cells” or marsh areas.

As usual for this park, Red-winged Blackbirds and Song Sparrows were frequently seen. American Goldfinch are also common here, but I would say they were a little more abundant thanks to the presence of thistle seeds. The park is also a great place for Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows. The latter have many nests built on a couple of the concrete buildings within the park. We saw Yellow Warblers and maybe 15 or 20 Eastern Kingbirds.

Eastern Kingbird

A little way past the eastern most harbour, there is a marshy bay that hosts a man-made floating “island” that is home to Common Terns. On this island, we could make out some eggs, and even more exciting, two fluffy little Tern chicks.

Common Terns

Out on the Lilypads were four Spotted Sandpipers and then something happened to put a smile on Sara’s face. Regular readers will remember that she had been eager to see a Black-crowned Night Heron. We saw something fly past of an unusual shape. Sure enough, it was Sara’s target bird. I had seen them standing before, but this was also my first time seeing one in flight.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Behind us was a copse of trees between two parts of the trail, and a Warbling Vireo….. well…. warbled… for much of the time we spent looking out over the marsh. As we left, the bird kindly presented itself for a photo.

Warbling Vireo

There are three “cells” along the peninsula, man-made wetland areas. In my experience, Cell One tends to be most active. Today we saw a bird being “bombed” by other smaller birds as it came in to land on a tree stump in the wetland. It was a Green Heron. I have only previously seen these north of the city.

Green Heron

There were quite a few Monarch Butterflies around, a few Cabbage Whites, a couple of Clouded Sulphur and I saw what I believe to be a Least Skipper, but we didn’t see much more in terms of moths/butterflies – though we were at the park quite early before the heat.

Least Skipper

We again visited my in-laws after this little nature trip, as we sometimes help them out with groceries and stuff during this time of Covid-19. As previously mentioned, my father-in-law has begun putting out seed at the bird feeders. A perfect excuse for me to sneak in another photo from the backyard. Below is a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a characterful bird that’s fun to see visiting.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Coming Up!

Looking forward to visiting the Windsor area in the next couple of weeks. And hopefully Northern Ontario in the fall?

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2 Comments

    • stu hall

      It’s a pretty good spot but is a considerable walk if you cover all of it.
      Peak spring migration time can be nuts with people even coming from The USA.

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