The Pinery Provincial Park is located along the shores of Lake Huron in Lambton County. The park features a variety of trails that takes hikers through diverse habitats including Oak Savannas and Coastal Dune Ecosystems. Naturalists can find over 800 vascular plants throughout the park and over 300 bird species have been spotted throughout the year!
The park offers a large number of campsites and roofed accommodations, comfort stations, a park store, a pet exercise area (beach), picnic shelters and a Visitor Centre. Visitors can also rent bikes, canoes, paddle boats and kayaks to either explore the Old Ausable Channel or other parts of the park. Whether you are looking for an amazing place to spend the day or to camp, the Pinery has so much to offer and it’s open year-round.
One of the most popular and beautiful aspects of the Pinery is it’s 10 kilometres of sandy beach which boasts spectacular sunsets, shallow water and 9 different access points. They even have an entire beach just for your canine family members!
To experience the beauty of the beaches of the Pinery, watch the video below and listen to the calming sounds of the gentle waves washing upon the shore.
Thursday, May 10 to Sunday, May 13, 2018
Camping and birding at its best. We have great fun camping and exploring all the island’s birding hotspots.
Learn more by reading Richard Wilson’s review of the 2016 trip or contact Richard Wilson for more details.
Book your ferry ride early and sign up soon. Limited camping spots available.
Contact: Dick Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Lambton Wildlife member Mario Aquilina for sending in some gorgeous shots of some local turtles that are enjoying the warm weather and sunshine.
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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 days! Their beautiful flute-like songs certainly made it seem like spring had arrived even though they were singing in the snow!
Also migrating through are the Tundra Swans and the Sandhill Cranes on their way to their summer breeding grounds.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the returning birds – spring is just around the corner!
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 occasional detour to the bakery for vital nourishment (see earlier post photo). High water and waves kept us away from Lighthouse Point (on the northeast corner of the island) for the first two days, but by Saturday the winds had shifted and we made it to the point to see some interesting birds. Some of the best birding of the weekend came on the beach at Fish Point early on Friday evening, with numerous warblers hungrily eating up insects that were being warmed by the sun right along the edge of the beach. A great looking Lake Erie sunset on the same beach capped off a perfect day.
Migrating shorebirds were also located in some farm fields where large pools of water had accumulated. The group was thrilled to get quite close to a large flock of Black-bellied Plovers, with Ruddy Turnstones and Dunlins mixed in.
Such were the abundance of birds on the island that we even observed warblers from the comfort of the campsite, including Yellow-rumped, Black & white and Northern Parulas. Other notable birds observed included Summer Tanager, Night Hawk, Red-throated Loon, Indigo Bunting, Red-headed Woodpecker, and we even heard a “Whip-poor-will”!
The time seemed to go by quickly with each day’s activities beginning at 7:00 AM, and when it was time to pack up and catch the next departing ferry it seemed like the excursion had been too short. Well, there is always next year!
LWI had two Sunday outings in May to look at wildflowers in Mandaumin Woods. Nick Alexander was our leader. He has a background in horticulture, works with Return the Landscape, and has a fascinating amount of information to share about the plants at Mandaumin Woods. On our first visit we were treated to quite a display of trillium. Two week later, on Mother’s Day, some of the trillium had started to turn pink as the blossoms aged. There was the occasional red trillium mixed in as well. May 13th was a beautiful day for a walk in the woods and it was remarkable to see the difference in the surroundings after just two weeks. On both instances, rubber boots were a must as the woodlot has significant amounts of water and the trail was muddy.
Each time I go on a plant walk, I am determined to take notes, but never do. Next time!
On May 13th the wild geranium were in bloom. In the wild, each plant supported only a few blooms and each plant was quite low growing. This is a contrast to the same plant grown in a garden setting. Garden plants are much taller and bushier with an abundance of blooms. Wild geranium is an indicator species of a Carolinian forest. Mandaumin Woods has an abundant supply of this plant as well as other Carolinian species. We have sugar maple, shagbark hickory, American beech, ironwood and muscle trees quite close to the trail. The hickory saplings are very distinctive as the leaves make a large flowerlike bud before they emerge. The woodland does not have a lot of non-native species and we have been attempting to get rid of the buckthorn that was near the road.
We saw spicebush, nannyberry, wild ginger, jack in the pulpit, trout lily, mayflower with early fruit, and anemone which were finished blooming by the second visit. There was quite a discussion about common names as some plants are known by as many as four or five different common names for the same plant. There is something to be said for learning the Latin names to avoid confusion.
For example my wildflower book says this is a large flowered bellwort but I think Nick said this was some kind of lily and a desirable garden plant. It looks rather wilted and but the drooping nature is just how it looks.
We passed around a small stem from a spicebush which was very aromatic. One of our fellow trekkers informed me that it was the host plant of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly and that their native plant garden has had caterpillars of the swallowtail on their spicebushes. We will be touring that native garden this summer as one of our native garden tours. The tour on August 10th has the incorrect address included in the brochure. The correct address should be 6719 Old Mill Road.
On the latter part of the walk we saw a red headed woodpecker and this grey tree frog among the trout lily leaves. Trout lily is a spring ephemeral which will disappear later in the summer. The frog can change colour from grey to green depending on its surroundings.
This was an enjoyable outing. Next year we will be looking at wildflowers at Reid’s Conservation Area.
On Tuesday May 9, 2017 I went hiking and paddling at the Pinery Provincial Park.
I hiked the Carolinian Trail and then I paddled along the river (south of the store and canoe rentals). While there I was able to see a Muskrat, Pileated Woodpecker, Green Heron, Sandpiper (not sure what species) and the highlight of the day was spending time observing a pair of Sandhill Cranes with two chicks. It was a great day to be in the park and enjoy my first paddle of the season!
For those who might be concerned please know that I shot these pictures with telephoto lens and I was careful not to get too close or disturb the Sandhill Cranes.
View resident and migrant birds.
Each spring, migrant birds move through Canatara Park on their way to their nesting grounds. Walk with an expert birder to view resident and migrant birds.
The walk leader is Eric Marcum (519-332-6122). Eric is a long time birder with experience in the NE United States, northern Canada and many hours in and around Sarnia. Eric’s experience in hearing and identifying bird songs adds to the experience.
There are three walks scheduled starting on May 3 and continuing May 10 and May 17, 2017. Start time at 6:00 PM.
The walk, beginning at the main entrance to Tarzan Land (south-west corner of Christina St and Cathcart Blvd), is an easy one over flat chip covered paths and sidewalks.
The walk is open to everyone without charge. Binoculars are most useful. Photo opportunities exist throughout the tour.
See the Tourism Sarnia-Lambton web-site www.tourismsarnialambton.com/listing for more information about Canatara Park.
See and learn about the spring woodland wildflowers that bloom before the forest canopy leafs out. A leisurely walk on two separate visits to see the different wildflowers blooming.
Meet: 1:00 pm at Mandaumin Woods on Mandaumin Rd, south of Confederation Line.
Spring is such an incredible time of year. As you walk through Mandaumin Woods in the springtime you will be treated to so many wonderful sights and sounds.
Stop and listen to the number of different bird songs that are all around you – spring is a time when birds are migrating through Mandaumin woods and it is not unusual to see 20 or more species in a single outing! One of my favorite groups of birds are the Warblers. These colorful little birds find refuge in Mandaumin Woods as they find their way to breeding grounds further north. I have yet to find a nesting pair of any species of Warbler in Mandaumin but there certainly could be Yellow Warblers nesting there.
No other birds can match the song of the thrush. I have seen 3 different species of thrush at Mandaumin Woods but it is during the spring breeding season that their beautiful song echoes through the woods.
Other bird species abound in Mandaumin Woods – I was once chased, quite incessantly, by a pair of Indigo Buntings. They had built their nest quite close to the trail and they needed me to move along much quicker than my usual ambling pace!
Probably the most striking bird that can be spotted in Mandaumin Woods is the Scarlet Tanager. What a stunning bird!
Then there is the spectacular display of color provided by the spring wildflowers. Is there anything more beautiful than a forest floor covered in trilliums in full bloom? The constantly changing forest floor will keep you coming back week after week to enjoy the many wildflowers that bloom throughout the spring and summer.