Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Cold continues to affect MVFN Early Morning Birding

Report of the Apr 18, 2018 Early Morning Bird Walk, by Michel Gauthier 

In spite of the cold temperature and the threatening clouds, ten of us met at the corner of Wolf Grove Road and Lanark Concession 12C, eager to see as many birds as we could. After a few grumbles about the never-ending winter, we proceeded slowly down the lane, listening intently for bird songs and eyeing every tree and every shrub.

Slowly, ever so slowly, we began to record a few species, but the birds made themselves scarce. An hour later, we reached Taylor Lake, hoping to add many species of waterfowl to our dismal list. A thick blanket of ice over the lake smothered our hopes.

In the middle of the lake, a lone coyote was sniffing the ice, seemingly searching for a morsel of food. Eventually, it lifted its head, nothing in its mouth. It looked around for a few seconds, and then trudged away, looking dejected. For some reason, we understood his disappointment.


We turned our back to the lake and headed up the lane, still looking for birds. Near the end, the tally stood at a paltry eighteen, a sharp decline over last year’s twenty-nine.

Just before we reached the cars, the clouds shifted, and a patch of blue sky appeared above the road. Our spirits lifted. There is always next week!

Red-winged blackbird. Above photos and effects by Michel Gauthier

Following is the list of birds recorded during the outing:

Canada Goose   2
Ruffed Grouse 1
Wild Turkey 1
Great Blue Heron 2
Northern Flicker 1
Blue Jay 6
American Crow  6
Common Raven  2
Black-capped Chickadee  9
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  3
American Robin  3
Dark-eyed Junco  2
Song Sparrow  4
Northern Cardinal  1
Red-winged Blackbird  8
Common Grackle  8
American Goldfinch  2

We hope you will join us on our last Early Morning Bird Walk of the year, on Wednesday April 25, 2018. For details check this link:  2018 Early Morning Birding

Link to birds seen on the same walk last year!

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Canoe Journeys – #14 Taylor Lake

Taylor Lake

#14 (Lanark Highlands)

How to Get There: From Almonte take County Rd.16 (Wolf Grove Road) 12km to Lanark Conc. 12. Turn north.

The Launch Site: End of road.

The Paddle: Circumnavigate lake. Watch for underwater stumps in bays. Lake was raised considerably two decades ago. Several lunch places.

Watch For: Directly across lake from boat launch a road leaving the shore. Connecting these two points was a famous floating bridge, destroyed by Hurricane Connie in 1964. Many of the logs can be seen under water. Marsh birds along north shore and east end of lake.

Seasonal Information: Good until freeze-up.


Taylor Lake 1

Taylor Lake is a small lake connected to Clayton Lake. To get there, go west from Union Hall (junction of County Roads 9&16) three kms to Lanark Conc. 12. Turn north to the end of this road (about 11/2 km) to the end of the road at the lake. Launch your canoe at the small boat launch and circumnavigate the lake. Watch out for stumps in the bays. This lake was raised considerably two decades ago, with the reconstruction of the dam at Clayton. On the first point to your left as you launch, you can see a path of downed, dead trees, which were felled by a tornado a few years ago. Directly in a line across the lake from the boat launch is a road leaving the shore. Connecting these two points was a famous floating bridge. It was wiped out by hurricane Connie in 1964 and many of the logs can be seen on the bottom on the lake. There are several places to stop to have lunch (with permission of property owners).

Taylor Lake 2

As for Taylor Lake 1 but paddle east towards and into Clayton Lake. Keep to the left shore and follow the bays and islands and you will eventually enter the Indian River. In fall, you will be travelling through wild rice beds. In the middle of the river, within site of the Command Bridge on Galbraith Road, you will find a small island, very ideal for a picnic lunch. Watch out for stumps under the water.

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