Late Winter Birdwatching at Hanlan’s Point: March 14, 2020

Though Ned Hanlan was a huge star in the sport of rowing in the 1880’s, he is largely forgotten today except for the part of the Toronto Islands called “Hanlan’s Point”and for this 1926 statue:

“Ned” Hanlan

Not many people visit Hanlan’s Point at this time of the year because it is about a 6 kilometre walk (or bike ride) from Ward’s Island which is the only ferry stop in winter.

I wanted to have a look at the beach which is narrow at the moment due to high water levels in Lake Ontario:

I also wanted to see what birds were about. There are Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds but, so far, they are only near bird feeders. The only other migrants that I spotted were Song Sparrows and a Brown Creeper. Many of the ducks which spend the winter in this area were also present:

Red-breasted Merganser (male)
Common Goldeneyes
Lesser Scaup (female)

Species list: mute swan, Canada goose, mallard, bufflehead, common goldeneye, lesser scaup, long-tailed duck, red-breasted merganser, ring-billed gull, black-capped chickadee, brown creeper, downy woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, American robin, European starling, house sparrow, northern cardinal, song,sparrow.  (18 species

American Crow
American Crow
Song Sparrow
Canada Goose
Song Sparrow

Other nature:

Highbush-cranberry (Viburnum opulus)
Horse-chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)
Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
last year’s Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
European Birch (Betula pendula)
Silver Maple in flower

Island scenes and signs:

sand bags from last year’sh high water levels


The hills look gaunt in russet garb:
Against the sky the leafless woods
Are dark, and in their solitudes
The chill wind pierces like a barb.      – Clinton Scollard (1833–70)

Miles Hearn

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