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What a beautiful day for a paddle!  The weather looked threatening but by 9:30 it had cleared up and the sun even came out.  We began our paddle at the Wilkesport Boat launch and a few minutes after leaving we were lucky enough to see a muskrat swimming along the shore.

Where the Sydenham splits into Bear and Black Creek we stopped and talked about the numerous species that can be seen along, and in, the river – several of which we were lucky enough to see on our paddle.  There are 34 species of Mussels that have been found in the Sydenham River (11 of which are on the species at risk list) – more mussel species than any other body of water in Canada! The Sydenham also has 83 species of fish, many of the turtle species that can be found in Ontario (all of which are at risk) and many bird species.

As we talked about the importance of the Sydenham River a Green Heron flew right toward the group – it was a great sight as usually these birds fly away from you, not toward you!  A little further down Bear Creek we spotted the Great Horned Owl – which we got to see several more times – what a treat.  We also saw several Map and Painted Turtles, muskrats, Great Blue Herons, Spotted Sandpipers, and many other bird species.

Everyone who came out enjoyed the paddle.  A big Thank You to Dawn Mumford and the Wallaceburg Canoeing Club for providing canoes for the outing.

(Photo credits: Tricia Mclellan and Paul DeLaDurantaye)

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Mark & Roberta Buchanan

Roberta and Mark Buchanan are nature enthusiasts who are always eager to share their outdoor experiences with others. Roberta is a retired educator with a passion for birding, and Mark is a retired engineer who enjoys photography.

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