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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Walk West of Tommy Thompson Park Entrance

Saturday, we wanted to choose a Toronto park destination to visit for a few hours since the weather was going to be gorgeous; sunny, still, and only -6. We made plans to meet up with my Dad later in the early evening for a nice dinner at Olde Yorke Fish and Chips on Laird Avenue in TO. Their fish and chips are one of Toronto's best!

At first, we were going to head to Humber, but we chose a spot near Tommy Thompson Park, bottom of Leslie St., but a little area just west of there, when Unwin curves. There had been sightings of some cool ducks. My favourite duck is the Longtail and they are often spotted easily in little harbours in Toronto and Durham Region as well as west of Toronto, often, in winter.

A foursome of Old Coots were swimming around north of the bridge, near a fenced off industrial lot. Further out was a group of sleeping very brown dark ducks, which we knew weren't mallards, but weren't sure if they were hybrids of some sort. Finally when one woke and decided to go for a dip back into the water, off the ice, we saw that it had a white piece behind its bill. They turned out to be Greater Scaups. Also in a group of 4 lol! I hadn't seen Scaups for a couple years. There were a few Buffle Heads too, some of the males doing their little displaying antics.
There were literally hundreds of Mallards, and one lone domestic variety large greyish mottled duck hanging amongst them. We ventured down onto the stone filled shoreline at one point, where they all were, and the large grey duck as well as a few mallards followed us along the shore hoping for food. Earlier, there had been a couple people down there feeding them. They sure don't look like they want for food. I felt bad though as we didn't have any, but we chose not to bring it, as I know we aren't really supposed to be feeding wild ducks. However, with the real domestic seeming mallard ducks, I don't worry too much since they don't go anywhere anyway, they are always here at every park and conservation area. Bringing them some grains and grain bread I feel is ok.

There were quite a few hawks spotted that day, red tails as well as a smaller hawk that flew away from the under brush as we approached unknowingly, and I could only get a look at the back of it as it flew.

The light was gorgeous and the dried milk weed and Queen Anne's lace in the open areas into Tommy Thompson made for some beautiful images.

Bonus sight of the day was the wolf moon that we spotted in the darkening sky, driving home east along Eglinton to the Parkway.

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