Lagoon Report XXXI

Blind coyote eyes, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

First Coyote

A nearly blind coyote wanders the First St beach, and then swims a circuit of the Cove before disappearing towards the Eastern Gap.  Thanks to Michelle for the tip.

Snowy Owl, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Island Snow

A snowy owl perches on the rocks at the end of Ward’s Beach in late November twilight.

Saw-whet owl in tree, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Fourth Saw-whet

A northern saw-whet owl perches in a tree on Fourth Street. Thanks to Peter N for the tip and Peter H for the tripod assistance.

Large crowds getting on and off ferry Ongiara, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Climate Change Schedule

A balmy 22°C October day shows the inadequacy of the winter schedule:  a crowd of people Island-side prevents the passengers of Ongiara from disembarking.  With only one boat running, some tourists had waited for three boats to try to leave the Island. Click image to view larger.

Male wood duck in eclipse plumage, Doughnut Island, Toronto Islands

Wood Eclipse

A male wood duck in eclipse plumage graces Long Pond near Doughnut Island.

Advance lineup sign, Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, Toronto Islands

Wicket 9

We knew it was coming.  A sign directs both tourists and residents to the same ticket booth for scanning of prepaid fares, an untenable solution during the summer months.  The new ticket system includes about ten wireless hand scanners and five wired scanners, why only one wicket was operational is an interesting question.  Also interesting […]

Killdeer, Blockhouse Bay, Toronto Islands


The cartoonish proportions of a Killdeer on the shores of Blockhouse Bay.

People playing Pokemon Go at night, Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, Toronto

Pokémon Ferry Day and Night

Also from the New Reality Department:  the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is a new destination for players of Pokémon Go.  The top image, taken around 4:45p, shows people milling around outside the ferry docks, all playing Pokémon Go.  The bottom image, via Instagram, shows the scene at midnight. The original Instagram post can be found […]

A huge lineup waits to board the ferry William Inglis, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

The New Reality

A huge lineup of people files onto the William Inglis on a summer Saturday evening.  The lineup, beyond the capacity of the ferry, stretched around the waiting shed and halfway to the old firehall.

Baby raccoons on balcony, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Raccoon Jenga

Juvenile raccoons act like Jenga pieces after being rudely awakened from a summer snooze.

Traffic jam in front of ferry docks, Centre Island, Toronto Islands

Harbour Jam

The Wm. Lyon Mackenzie, leaving Centre Island dock, attempts to thread her way through a traffic jam of water taxis.  Eight taxis were attempting to get into the dock (six visible here) at the same time, a serious concern for paddlers attempting to cross the increasingly busy approach. Click image to view larger.

Graceful great egret fishing, Snake Island, Toronto Islands


The graceful lines of a great egret fishing in the waters off of Snake Island.

Canada Goose on hidden nest, Doughnut Island, Toronto Islands

Green Mother

A rare Canada Goose mother sitting on a nest pokes her head up through the greenery near Doughnut Island.  2016 has been a great year for ducklings, but we have very few goslings and absolutely no cygnets.  The total number of nests was down significantly this year, and the last (failed) mute swan nest was just abandoned […]

Great egret closeup showing eye refraction, Snake Island, Toronto Islands


The eyes of a great egret sit far out on the sides of its head, enough to show visible refraction through the cornea.  The highlight on the lower-right side of the eye is light passing through, but not into, the eye. Click image to view larger.

Toad immersed in poplar fluff, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Fluff Season

A toad on Third St. looks unimpressed at having to push its way through large piles of fluff.

Mallard Ducklings, Snake Island, Toronto Islands

Ducklings Prime

The first crop of 2016 mallard ducklings sit in the grass of Snake Island.

Northern Map Turtle, Snug Harbour, Toronto Islands

Map Coordinates

The distinctive shell of a northern map turtle, basking on a log in Snug Harbour.

Mature black-crowned night heron, Doughnut Island, Toronto Islands

Red Eye Delight

The piercing red eye of a mature black-crowned night heron, perched in a tree by Doughnut Island.

Red-eared Slider turtle injured by a propeller, Snug Harbour, Toronto Islands

Slider Damage

A red-eared slider displays a large gash in its shell, most likely caused by a boat propeller.  Experts say that the shell will repair itself in time, and that the turtle otherwise looks healthy. Click image to view larger.

Red eared slider turtle in snowstorm, Snake Island, Toronto Islands


A red-eared slider turtle basks in a sudden spring snow squall, a very unlikely sight.

Snow dusted beaver, Snake Island, Toronto Islands

Snow Dusted

Snow dusts the face of a beaver after a freak spring snow squall.

Northern Pike underwater, Snake Island, Toronto Islands

Business End

Water temperatures in the lagoons have hit around 6°C, and the northern pike are again cruising the spawning grounds.