Toronto (Etobicoke), Ontario

Jim & Lynda Mackiewicz

We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.

Toronto (Etobicoke), Ontario

5468 Dundas Street West
Toronto (Etobicoke), ON M9B 6E3

Phone: (416) 233-3558
Fax: (416) 233-3293
Email: Send Message

Store Hours:
Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Map This Location

The Etobicoke Lakeshore

Lynda and I decided that for this issue of BirdTracks we would focus on a local birding location, the Etobicoke lakeshore. Two great locations are Humber Bay East and Colonel Sir Samuel Smith Park (or Sir Sam for short).

 

Our first stop was Humber Bay East which is located at the mouth of the Mimico Creek. To get there we went east on the QEW and exited via Parklawn. Turn right on Parklawn and this takes you directly into the park. Follow the road to the end and there is a very large parking lot.

 

We started our hike from the west end of the parking lot. There is no real "route" to follow, we just took paths and trails as we came to them. The walking is easy and there is a nice viewing platform overlooking a pond. We just wandered.

 

There were lots of Goldfinch, many in their winter colours and there were quite a few Cormorants, not the most popular bird but I thought this group made a nice picture.

Cormornats on Tree

 

We had some good sightings. A Great Egret made an overhead flyby as we wandered. A trio of Northern Mockingbirds were chasing each other through some bushes and stopping occasionally to eat a berry.

Northern Mockingbird

As we looked closer we realized there was a smaller bird higher in the tree moving quickly from branch to branch. We were able to determine it was a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.

 

Motion at the top of a tall tree caught our attention. A pair of Starlings were being engulfed by a swarm of insects. The insects were moving into the treetop surrounding the Starlings and then they would move away. As we watched it kept repeating. Using the binoculars we found out what the Starlings were up to. They were eating the insects that were on the leaves. It seemed as if the insects were trying to shoo the Starlings away but like at our bird feeders the Starlings were very persistent.

 

We also checked out the butterfly garden. In this area a lot of Goldfinch were present and we found this guy busily munching on some milkweed. We hope he emerges from his chrysalis in time to migrate.

Monarch Caterpillar

 

We then continued to Sir Sam by heading west on Lakeshore. Sir Sam is located right at the end of Kipling. The first parking lot you come to is a pay lot but if you keep going at the end there is a free parking lot.

 

We found the hiking at Sir Sam park very similar to Humber Bay East. There are many paths and trails and all are easy to walk. We didn’t have any real "route" planned, we just followed the birds.

 

Our first neat sighting was from a small strip of land that separates Lake Ontario from the pond. In a small inlet were two birds. An adult Black-crowned Night Heron and its offspring. On the left is the adult and on the right the juvenile. We watched these two wander the rocks and then we continued.

Black-crowned Night Heron Adult    Black-crowned Night Heron Juvenile

We checked out the pond and we were rewarded with another heron sighting, this time a Great Blue Heron. The Heron was searching for food in the shallows of the pond.

Great Blue Heron

 

We continued our walk which took us back to the main walking trail (watch out for bikes) and we saw a Northern Flicker. Along this main path on the north side there are some wooded areas and we did get a quick look at a small bird with a pale yellow belly. Possibly another flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe or maybe a warbler. We did see a lot of Monarchs in this area, but in general the Monarchs were abundant throughout the park.

 

We went past the parking lot and down towards the lake. Goldfinch were everywhere feeding off the plants. Dragonflies were also plentiful. Along the lake we spotted a small bird foraging amongst the rocks, a Spotted Sandpiper.

Spotted Sandpiper

 

On our return hike to the car we went by the harbour and a pair of Red-necked Grebes were swimming by the shore.

Red-necked Grebe 

 

Close to home and highly recommended.

 

Happy Birding!