Monday, July 20, 2009


Summertime for most people means getting outside and enjoying the sunshine. For me, on the other hand, it means the busy season at the winery. I haven't got the chance to go out for an all day adventure since late May! This past weekend, Aaron and I grabbed the canoe, threw it on the subaru (gently) and got the heck outta the house!

My new 2005 Subaru Outback XT with our Swift Algonquin 16 canoe....Life is good!

Saturday we decided to try our hand at Cedar Creek. We launched off the Arner Townline, paddled to Lake Erie, then turned around, went back under the Arner, and up to as far as we could without having to resort to portaging.

Of course the regulars were out there, though in small numbers. We saw around 10 Great Blue Herons, only 1 Great Egret, 1 young Black-crowned Nightheron, and surprisingly, not one Green Heron! We also saw 1 Osprey, and 1 adult Bald Eagle. When we arrived at Lake Erie, we saw a group of Common, Forster's and Black Terns. The Clliff Swallows had a pretty good condominium under the bridge on County Road 50.

We barely saw any butterflies, and dragonflies and damselflies appeared to be virtually absent, though I did manage to get a really poor shot of my favourite, the Ebony Jewelwing.

Sunday, we decided to head out into Pelee and West Cranberry Pond to look for terns and migrating shorebirds.

Just to give you an idea of what West Cranberry Pond looks like. Though this is only a small section of the mudflats.

Arriving into the pond is never dull as it always seems to be jam packed full of birds! Cormorants we quite numerous (as usual) and we could hear the roar of them taking off when they spotted our canoe. The ever present mudflats were crowded with gulls and terns, especially Boniparte's Gulls. We estimated at least 600 Boniparte's Gulls in total. Scanning the flock we picked off 2 adult Little Gulls. Out of all the four species of terns, Common Tern was the most numerous. We also saw 3 Sandhill Crane.

Two of the three Sandhill Cranes we saw in West Cranberry Pond.

Shorebirds were not particularly numerous but we did see a few species. Around 12 Short-billed Dowitcher, 1 Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, and Least and Semipalmated Sandpiper.

Short-billed Dowitcher. We saw around 12 birds in total.

Of course, no trip to the Pelee Marsh is complete without its turtles. This time we only saw Painted and Map Turtle. Again, we didn't see too many dragonflies or butterflies. We talked to John Brownlie at the Boardwalk and he remarked on the same thing.

All in all it was a beautiful weekend! The weather was just perfect for paddling! Okay, got to get ready for work.


  1. I need to get out there one of these days!

  2. It's pretty sweet man! I've had a few good birds in there during fall migration, including Red Knot, Long-billed Dowitcher and Red-necked Phalarope.