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.

Killdeer, Blockhouse Bay, Toronto Islands


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

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.

Mallard Ducklings, Snake Island, Toronto Islands

Ducklings Prime

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

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.

American Wigeon, Doughnut Island, Toronto Islands

American Wigeon

An American Wigeon plies the waters off of Doughnut Island in the Spring of 2016.

American Coot on ice, Inner Harbour, Toronto Islands

American Coot

From the sasquatch files, an unexpected surprise:  an American Coot perches on the ice off of Ward’s Dock in February 2016.  A complete B-Roll shot, this was late in the evening with absolutely no light.

Mixed ducks in open ice leads, Outer Harbour, Toronto Islands

Dividing Lines

Mixed rafts of ducks swim in open ice leads off of Centre Island.

Mute swan in open ice leads, Centre Island, Toronto Islands

Mute Horizontals

A mute swan swims through open leads in the ice off of Centre Island.

Robin on Valentine's Day, Ward's Island, Toronto Islands

Eye on the Prize

A robin wonders why it’s here during a -25°C cold snap on Valentine’s Day, 2016.

Sharp-shinned hawk backlit by setting sun, Algonquin Island, Toronto Islands


A sharp-shinned hawk eclipses the setting sun near Sunfish cut.

Sharp-shinned hawk with prey, Centre Island, Toronto Islands

Lord of the Skies

An adult Sharp-shinned hawk lords over a hapless pigeon by Far Enough Farm, preparing to eviscerate it. Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks are very similar in appearance, I’m going with Sharp-shinned here because the feathers on the crown almost merge with the back feathers.

Mute swans sleeping on ice, Centre Island, Toronto Islands

Where’s Waldo?

Mute swans snooze the afternoon away on the snowy ice off of the boardwalk towards Centre Island.