Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Birds report, MVFN Canonto Lake Paddle

NOTE: Watch the website and MVFN’s Facebook page for details of our next MVFN paddle, July 28, 2019.

Submitted by Howard Robinson, MVFN Birding Committee

On June 23, 2019 we canoed/kayaked Canonto Lake and birded by sight and sound from the water on a Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ outing, led by Cliff Bennett. There were 8 vessels, and 12 people in the party, but not all our time was spent birding.

Below is a list of bird species, and respective counts, that were seen or heard. The list has been submitted to eBird and shared with our MVFN birding account as an historical record.


Canonto Lake Paddle, June 23, 2019 photo H. Robinson

A faulty/deadly loon platform, Canonto Lake, observed on June 23 paddle. photo H. Robinson

eBird Checklist – 23 Jun 2019 – Canonto Lake, – 23 Species

8 Wood Duck

6 Mallard (4 of the 6 mallards were ducklings)

2 Sandhill Crane  (seen flying over the lake)

3 Ring-billed Gull

4 Common Loon

7 Great Blue Heron

4 Turkey Vulture

2 Belted Kingfisher

1 Northern Flicker

4 Red-eyed Vireo

3 Tree Swallow

3 Barn Swallow

2 Black-capped Chickadee

2 White-breasted Nuthatch

2 Hermit Thrush

3 American Robin

2 Chipping Sparrow

6 Song Sparrow

40 Red-winged Blackbird

6 Common Grackle

4 Ovenbird

1 Yellow Warbler

2 Scarlet Tanager

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Paddle Canonto Lake

To all MVFN paddlers and friends:

Paddle Canonto Lake

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Canonto Lake is a long and beautiful little lake just off the west corner of Lanark County, about a 1 ¼ hour drive from Union Hall, through Lavant and Lavant Station.

Come and enjoy ‘Nature from the Water’s Edge’ on this pristine northern lake.

Organizer:  Cliff Bennett

Car-pooling arrangements: Eastern Lanark and area, meet at Union Hall at the corner of the Wolf Grove and County Road 29 for an 8:30 am departure. Western Lanark area, meet in Hopetown , across from the general store for 9:00 am departure.

Bring: Picnic lunch, water, binoculars, bug juice, sunscreen, life jackets, heaving rope, bailer & whistle (all safety equipment mandatory).

Please note that you must pre-register for this eventFor registration and further information, please contact Cliff Bennett at 613-256-5013 or . If you have a canoe and need a partner, or don’t have a canoe and would like to partner, contact Cliff and he will try to match people up.

In case of severe weather, this event will be cancelled. If in doubt, call Cliff before 8 am.


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2012 Annual MVFN Fall Colours Paddle

Annual MVFN Fall Colours Paddle

Sunday September 30, 2012

This is an MVFN members only outing. We will canoe/kayak Canonto Lake, which is northwest of Lavant Station on County Rd. 16. This is a canoe journey which is not described in MVFN’s canoe journey’s guide.

Carpooling: For Eastern Lanark, meet at Union Hall for departure at 8:30 am. For Western Lanark: meet at Hwy 511 at Hopetown (by the cemetery) at 9:00 am

Bring: binoculars, lunch, bug spray, sun screen, life jackets (mandatory)

Please note: You must pre-register beforehand with Barb Chouinard at 613-233-6047 or 613-278-0271. All participants must sign a waiver. If you have a canoe/kayak and need a partner or want a partner but do not have a canoe or kayak, please contact Barb. Please also let us know if you have first aid or CPR training.

If weather is foul, this event will be cancelled. If in doubt, please contact Barb before 7:30 am on the day of the event.


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MVFN’s Annual Spring Nature Paddle 2009

MVFN’s Annual Spring Nature Paddle

Sunday, June 21

Canonto Lake (just off the north-western edge of Lanark County)

Car Pooling Points:
Eastern Lanark-Meet at Union Hall, for 8:30 A.M. departure.
Western Lanark-Hopetown, 8:45 A.M.

Bring lunch, sun screen, bug juice, camera, binocs etc.

Please register for this event by calling or e-mailing Cliff at 613-256-5013 .

If you need a partner for your canoe or don’t have a canoe and want to partner with someone who does, ask when registering and Cliff will do his best to match you up .

As this is our first canoe/kayak trip of the new season, please check your equipment to ensure you have spare paddle, life jacket, heaving line, bailing bucket and emergency whistle.

Note: In case of foul weather, this event will be cancelled. If in doubt, call Cliff before 8:00 A.M. on Sunday morning.

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End of summer paddle to Canonto Lake

Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists

September 19, 2006

by Sheila Edwards

End of summer paddle to Canonto Lake

Sometimes a paddle is great because of the unusual birds we see, sometimes it’s the flowers in bloom, and sometimes it’s a little frog that tries to jump into the boat; after a Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) outing each paddler has a renewed interest in nature.

September 10th was a great day to be out on the water, leaving behind the yard work, window caulking, car washing, and other fall chores that our neighbours were up to. An intermittent breeze kept a bit of a chill in the air, but not enough to deter even the most novice paddler in the group.

For the Canonto paddle there were many points of interest, some quite unexpected. It surprised some of us that one could head south-west on Wolfe Grove Rd (with a zigzag at Hopetown, past Poland and beyond) for such a long distance without encountering a heavily populated area. Once out on the lake, the water was so different from many of the other locations we have paddled. Many Eastern Ontario lakes have super-high levels of nutrients, making them eutrophic; Canonto Lake has less nutrients, as evidenced by its clarity and lower populations of species.

The geography of this lake was a mixture of marshes, treed shoreline, and majestic rocks. The marshes were home to the occasional Midland Painted Turtle and Great Blue Heron. Birds were heard from the trees but rarely seen; several times yellow leaves fluttering down were mistaken for American Goldfinch. An otter was spotted weaving among the trees near the shore; luckily we had not interrupted its fishing, as its fur was dry. One rock island was particularly appealing and if it had been up for grabs would likely have been adopted.

For lunch, we pulled our boats onto a rocky area large enough for the six canoes and two kayaks, with room left over for us to picnic. An unusual mushroom was found in the woods near the rock face. As no one had a clue as to its name, we snapped a couple of pictures for later identification. It was a Four-Footed Earthstar (Geastrum quadrifidum), visible during the late summer under conifers. For a closer look please see the latest additions to our website photogallery.

A detailed description of how to get to the Canonto Lake public boat launch can be found on the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists website, Although our club paddling has come to an end for this season, for those interested in an MVFN nature walk, the next one will be hosted and led by Joel Byrne at his property “Big Creek” near Watsons Corners, on Sunday October 15th. If interested, and for more information, please contact Mike McPhail at 613-256-7211 or email .

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