Birds

Bittern Surprise

A very rare surprise:  a migrating American bittern attempts to hide in plain sight by standing tall and straight.  It’s a very effective camouflage when they’re amongst the reeds, here not so much.  This is only the second bittern that I’ve ever seen on the Island.

Trumpeter Swan P24, Muggs Island, Island Yacht Club, IYC, Toronto Islands

Meet Molson

Meet Molson, more blandly known as Trumpeter Swan P24.  Molson was hatched at Wye Marsh as part of their Trumpeter Swan program two years ago.  All the hatchlings were named after breweries, hence the name Molson. Personally, I’m waiting for a flock of microbrews to migrate through at the end of the season.

Great blue heron with drooped wings, Doughnut Island, Toronto Islands

Droop Wing I & II

A great blue heron droops its wings to cool off on an unseasonably hot October day.


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

October Juvenile

A juvenile black-crowned night heron perches in a tree on Doughnut Island.  I haven’t seen night herons for a while now, it’s surprising to see juveniles still here.

Wading Great Egret, Doughnut Island, Toronto Islands

Neck Wade

A great egret wades in the shallow waters off of Doughnut Island.

Canada Goose goslings, Forestry Island, Toronto Islands

Babes in the Woods

Some of the first Canada goose goslings rest on the shoreline of Forestry island.


Snowy Owl, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Yellow Stare

A snowy owl perches on a pole on Ward’s beach.

Bald eagle eating a cormorant morsel, Center Island, Toronto Islands

Down the Hatch

Another view of the Bald eagle dining on a cormorant down by St. Andrew’s.

A snowy owl stares into the camera, Ward's Beach, Toronto Islands

Yellow Stare

Another view of the beautiful snowy owl that was haunting the end of Ward’s beach.


Trumpeter swan flying over frozen Lake Ontario, Center Island, Toronto Islands

Trumpeter Blues

A lone trumpeter swan flies over forming ice during a -22°C cold snap.

Robin puffed up against cold, Ward's Island, Toronto Island

Round Robin

A robin puffs itself up to keep warm during a -22°C cold snap.

Snowy Owl, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Snowy Perch II

A snowy owl perches on the ice along Ward’s beach.


Bald eagle eating a cormorant, Center Island, Toronto Islands

Eagle Overload

A bald eagle tears a hapless cormorant to shreds atop one of the new sky ride towers by St. Andrews by the Lake.  The cormorant debris field spread right across the lagoon ice to the farm.

Wild peacock portrait, Flood of 2017, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Peacock Blues

The escaped peacock, unofficial mascot of the Flood of 2017, has taken to roosting on Freya’s roof.

Seagull wading in flooded field at sunset, The Annex, Toronto Islands

Sunset Wading

A ringbill bull wades through the flooded fields of the Annex.


Escaped peacock portrait, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Not Just Another Pretty Face

An escaped peacock becomes an impromptu shed dweller on Willow Ave.  As if the Flood scenario isn’t strange enough already, waking up at 5:00am to the cries of a peacock ringing out over Ward’s Island puts the whole situation over the top.

Final swan egg in nest, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Swans in the Flood

Lagoon levels appear to be fluctuating by about six inches, and the QCYC swan nest was probably flooded this morning.  As of Sunday afternoon, the parents appear to be sitting dejected on the QCYC dock.

Islander cycles past sandbags and swan, Algonquin Island, Toronto Islands

Dividing Lines

The male QCYC mute swan just doesn’t see what all this flood fuss is about.


First cafe customers of 2017, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Café Customers

Canada geese line up in front of the Island Café for a quick shot of espresso.

Saw-whet owl portrait, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Channel Saw-whet

A Saw-whet owl perches in a tree on Channel Ave.  Could it be the same owl that visited Fourth St. in 2016?

Bald eagle in flight, Blockhouse Bay, Toronto Islands

Fly Like An Eagle

A bald eagle controls the skies over Blockhouse Bay.  Click to view larger.  Thanks to David P 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.

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.


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