This outing is primarily focused on seeing Whimbrel passing through the park on their long journey north to nesting grounds in the tundra. This park is one of the only places they gather in southern Ontario. We’ll also be looking for late spring migrants and resident species along the way to Whimbrel Point, along with other shorebird species. Suitable for all birders.
Route: We will head southeast around the wetland to the lake, then walk west along the main lakeside trail to the “baselands” area of Whimbrel Point, maybe even do a loop through the inner peninsula trail, checking for birds along the way and always checking the sky for incoming whimbrels. We will then stake out Whimbrel Point for a while. We will likely return via a similar route, with a detour to walk through Swallow Field to see the nesting Tree Swallows, ending again at the traffic circle.
Target species: Whimbrels, other shorebirds, spring migrants
eBird Toronto–Colonel Samuel Smith Park: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L421884
Park address: 2 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive Etobicoke, ON M8V 4B6
Meeting place: At the “traffic circle” by the southernmost parking lot, at the bottom of Colonel Samuel Smith Drive. (See the red pin on map below).
Public transit directions: The Kipling 44 and 944 South bus from Kipling Station on Line 1 ends at the bus loop in front of Father John Redmond Secondary School. Walk southeast about 400 m along Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive which terminates at the south parking lot and “traffic circle”. The Park is also accessible from the TTC 501 streetcar/bus stop located at Lake Shore Boulevard West at Kipling Avenue.
Driving directions: The park entrance is located south of the intersection at Lake Shore Boulevard West at Kipling Avenue. South of Lake Shore, Kipling Avenue becomes Colonel Sam Samuel Smith Park Drive.
Parking: There is paid ($1.00/half hour) parking available at the southernmost parking lot. Additional paid parking is available in the north parking lot of the Park and on Humber College campus. Two accessible parking spaces are available in the southernmost parking lot.
Approximate distance covered on foot: 2 to 4 km.
Accessibility and Amenities: Flat terrain, along gravel and dirt paths which may be muddy after recent rains. There is one bench at Whimbrel Point; people who cannot stand for long periods may want to bring a portable beach towel or blanket to sit on the grass while watching for whimbrels. There are benches and flat-topped rocks throughout the rest of the park.
Note that there are no washrooms inside the park. Washrooms are available inside the Humber College campus buildings, at the Tim Horton’s, and the Ken Cox Community Centre inside Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School, all about 400 m north of the parking lot.
What to wear: Wear sturdy waterproof footwear and dress appropriately for the weather, season, and terrain. Layers are recommended winds off the lake can be colder than expected. Long pants and closed shoes or boots are recommended as protection from the elements, ticks, and other biting insects. In bright light, a hat with a large brim will make it easier to see birds.
What to bring: Please bring enough water for the duration of the trip, snacks or a packed lunch. Please bring your choice of binoculars, scope, and/or camera.
Lead by: Nancy Barrett, Monika Croydon, Adam Solomon, Raspberry Yow-Fairs