Our plan was a simple one. Put our canoes into Constance Creek at Thomas A. Dolan Parkway and paddle/pole our way along Constance Creek until we reached Constance Lake. Not a long distance but an interesting trip as the waterway is next to impassable during the summer but manageable when the water is higher in the Spring. Our interest was int he bird life not speed so neither distance nor speed were an issue. There is no clear cut channel for part of the distance as the water meanders through thick marshland and patches of floating vegetation. There were plenty of Canada Geese nesting in the floating islands of vegetation along the way as well as many ducks and other creatures. Our first nesting goose that we encountered was nesting atop a beaver house and tried very hard to become invisible as we passed by. Continue reading →
Visited Cooper Marsh with my birder friend, Gerhard. We were hoping to see some of the wading birds and warblers but were either too early or too late in the season for them. As usual, we found lots of other things to look at. Cooper Marsh Conservation Area is located on the St. Lawrence River a few kilometres east of Cornwall, Ontario.
Hairy Woodpecker with bug (Picoides villosus) – This female Hairy Woodpecker was working hard at this tree when I arrived. I watched for awhile and was rewarded with the next photo when she pulled a large beetle from under a piece of bark.
A truly juicy meal for those who care for large beetles extracted from under tree bark.
Wilson’s Snipe (Capella gallinago) – I’ve looked for these birds in a lot of places but I have never thought to look thirty feet up on the top of an old tree stump until today.
Baltimore Oriole in Flight – Spent a good five to ten minutes trying to get a clear shot of this oriole sitting on branches in some low trees and at least one branch or leaf always seemed to be in the way. Then I decided to try and catch it flying between the branches and presto a result much better than I expected. (Icterus galbula)
There was no shortage of turtles sunning themselves in a small pond in the area and Poison Ivy growth was well developed.
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans): It’s that time of year again so watch out for the Poison Ivy!!! I have a number of shots of various varieties of Poison Ivy in our “Poison Ivy” page. Some Poison Ivy plants grow close to the ground. Others grow as vines.
Hillman Marsh Nature Centre near Leamington, Ontario (Location)
The most famous birding area around Leamington, Ontario is Point Pelee National Park. Less well know is the conservation area at nearby Hillman Marsh. The area has been diked so on one side of the dike is open water habitat of the river and on the other side of the dike is the controlled marsh land.
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) – I enjoyed watching quite a battle as the five terns squabbled over the one bit of fish.
Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) chowing down on a bit of vegetation that it had brought to the surface. The muskrat is a semi-aquatic rodent found throughout Canada.
Yellow Warbler on nest (Dendroica petechia)
Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
Carp (likely Tachycineta bicolor sp) spawning in the shallows of the river.
As I was heading back to my campsite along Onion Road I saw this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) just standing in the ditch. Light was quite dim and at first I thought it was plastic (until it flew away :-))
A female Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) and her family swim through the duckweed alongside Onion Road.