Migrating Birds are Returning!

Migrating Birds are Returning!

It has been an amazing couple of weeks with the return of Red-winged Blackbirds, Killdeer, Turkey Vultures, Common Grackles, Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Sandhill Cranes.  We have been lucky enough to see all of these returnees and it makes us think of spring! We saw our first Killdeers, Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and Turkey Vultures in mid-February.  On February 26 we were lucky enough to see three male Eastern Bluebirds looking to scout out the best habitat. On March 1 we saw a pair of Eastern Meadowlarks – in full breeding colours - and they stayed around for three…
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Springtails?

Springtails?

On a warm sunny winter day, if you venture outside, you may notice what looks like pepper sprinkled on the snow. Look more closely and you will notice that the pepper is moving! Indeed it’s jumping great distances for its size. Its common name is very apt as they can catapult themselves up to 100 times their own body length using an abdominal appendage called a furcular. This structure is what gives the group its name - Springtails. The furcular folds beneath the body and is held under tension until needed, once tension is reached the end slips out of…
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Fall paddle on the Sydenham (2017)

Fall paddle on the Sydenham (2017)

We enjoy canoeing on the Sydenham River in the spring and summer, but probably our favourite season for paddling this river is autumn.  This year the month of October had warmer than normal weather and we took advantage of a forecasted picture perfect day with no wind and sunny skies for our last paddle of the season.  Heading upstream (north) from near Wilkesport, the north branch of the Sydenham River begins where Black Creek and Bear Creek merge.  Either of these tributaries is interesting so we paddled both.  Trees on the riverbank were showing their fall colours and leaves floated…
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Paddling through Sydenham River Nature Reserve

Paddling through Sydenham River Nature Reserve

Fall is a spectacular time to paddle!  We were fortunate to have a picture perfect day to canoe through the Sydenham River Nature Reserve. The water levels were very low (see below) which meant getting out of our canoe often but both the weather and the water were very warm.  In the spring the water level is high and there are rapids and a swift current to contend with so this would not be the time of year for novice canoeist to paddle through the Reserve. Picturesque scenery was the word of the day and we enjoyed an interesting array…
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Thank You Lambton Wildlife and Sydenham Field Naturalists

Thank You Lambton Wildlife and Sydenham Field Naturalists

Ontario Nature organized a wonderful day to thank both Lambton Wildlife and the Sydenham Field Naturalists for their generous donations that helped make the purchase of 193 acres along the Sydenham River possible.  On September 17th members of both clubs were invited to visit the site and enjoy a hike to the largest Sycamore tree in south-western Ontario, tour the south side of the property to look at the great variety of flora and fauna (led by Larry Cornelis, a member of both Nature Groups and driving force behind the acquisition of the property), and to hear from experts about…
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Point Pelee National Park Camping Trip 2017

Point Pelee National Park Camping Trip 2017

Point Pelee National Park is a spectacular park to visit in any season, especially known for its spring and fall migration and its incredible biodiversity.  Seven Lambton Wildlife members were fortunate enough to camp there from September 6th to the 9th. Where to begin …. The best place to begin is to say a big THANK YOU to Paul Carter who did an outstanding job organizing the camping trip. His expertise, along with the expertise of Larry Cornelis, was truly appreciated by everyone.  Each time we have the opportunity to hike with Paul and Larry we learn so much! You…
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LWI birding outing at Enbridge Solar farm

LWI birding outing at Enbridge Solar farm

If you plant it, they will come… LWI members were privileged to be invited to visit the Enbridge Solar Farm, in Sarnia, on June 21st to observe how the restored tall grass prairie habitat has attracted rare bird species.  Resident expert Larry Cornelis led this 3-hour outing.  28 members, including Larry, participated. The group included novice through to very experienced birders.  Weather was ideal: clear, sunny but not too hot. The Enbridge Solar farm is the largest in Canada and has a total of 257 hectares covered with 1,300,000 solar panels, enough to power 12,000 homes on a sunny day. …
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Lambton Heritage Forest Hiking Trails

Lambton Heritage Forest Hiking Trails

There are some wonderful nature trails near Port Franks that are worth a visit.  The trails wind through the large Lambton Heritage Forest and there are a couple of ways of accessing them.  The first trail we explored starts out from Outer Drive.  There is a 911 address sign for the trail, number 7101, and the trail access is located on the north side of the road just before the road curves sharply to the right.  At the time of year that we walked this trail (early June), there were plenty of mosquitoes, so apply repellent generously before heading out.…
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Pelee Island Camping Trip 2017

Pelee Island Camping Trip 2017

As the date of the 2107 Pelee Island camping trip approached, all the poor weather forecasts suddenly changed to show pleasant conditions for the entire duration of the trip!  A wonderful group of 20 LWI campers began arriving on Thursday for a great weekend of birding.  Lake Erie was smooth for the 1.5 hour long ferry ride aboard the SS Jiiman from Leamington. Many of the campers had been to the island in previous years and some were visiting the island for the first time. As a group, we moved around the island to observe the migrating birds, with an…
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