Carden Alvar Nature Board by Bob BowlesCarden Alvar and Area


Good Day Eh !

Yesterday I accompanied Ian Cannell and Margaret Liubavicius for an outing in the Kirkfield area on a beautiful, slightly cool June day. After the winds at the Bruce Peninsula Sunday it was a pleasure to be able to keep one's hat on yesterday and to dress in near Spring plumage.

For once we didn't arrive in the area in the dark but left a little later and as we drove up Prospect Road we stopped at the main marsh north of Eldon Station Road where we found American Bittern, Least Bitterns, Green Heron, Virginia Rail, Sora and many Marsh Wrens.

From here we headed for Wylie Road where we added more Virginia Rails and Soras, Turkey Vultures, Upland Sandpipers, Wilson's Snipes, Black-billed Cuckoos, Eastern Phoebe, Alder, Least and Great Crested Flycatchers, Common Raven, Red-breasted Nuthatch, House and Sedge Wrens, Eastern Bluebirds, Veerys, Swainson's and Hermit Thrushes, Brown Thrashers, Golden-winged, Nashville and other warblers including Ovenbirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, Eastern Towhees, Field, Vesper and Grasshopper Sparrows and many Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks.

Some of the other birds we found were Clay-colored Sparrows ( we found 10 Sparrow species ), Loggerhead Shrikes, Purple Finches, Blackburnian and Black-throated Green Warblers, Winter Wren, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, E. Wood-Pewee, Scarlet Tanager, Red-shouldered Hawk, Ospreys, Wild Turkeys, Hooded Merganser, Sandhill Cranes, and Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

Directions:-
CARDEN ALVAR INCLUDING WYLIE ROAD / THE SEDGE WREN MARSH / PROSPECT ROAD ALONG WITH A FEW AREAS SOUTHWEST OF KIRKFIELD

Wylie Road is north of Kirkfield in Victoria County and Kirkfield itself is on County Road 48 east of Highway 12 and well north of Whitby and about 130 km from Toronto if you follow the roads and not a Crow.

From the centre of Kirkfield go north on County Road 6 passing under the Lift Lock on the Trent Canal and drive about 2 Ĺ km further north to where the road curves left or west. On this curve and on your right is McNamee Road, turn right here onto McNamee and drive east for about 300 yards and you will be at Wylie Road. This road is about 9 Ĺ km long ending at Alvar Road (a T intersection). Birding can be good on Alvar Road as well, either way.

The Sedge Wren Marsh is about 5 Ĺ km up Wylie Road, you canít miss it as it has the only bridge along the road. Park just to the south of and overlooking the bridge and walk the road. Birding is good all along the road and I find that the best birding happens when you park and walk both ways a km or two from your auto.


This is a narrow road with little traffic but be sure to park in such a way as to not block the road or at the gravelled parking areas that you will find at several places along the road as you donít want to rile up the locals. This is all private property but there really is no need to leave the road, nor should you. Please respect the property rights of the land owners.

Other roads to check in the area are Shrike, Curlís, Dalrymple, Eldon Station, Rockview, Doyle, Palestine, Creek View, and McNamee Road, etc.

PS

Down Rockview Road just west of Kirkfield on your right along County Road 48. Past the dump road (on your right) you will come to a wet wood lot that straddles the road. This is a great place for N. Waterthrush. We heard and saw 7 there on May 5/01 and May 4/02. We continue to find the N. Waterthrushes here. Also along here you should find Upland Sandpiper and Grasshopper Sparrow.

Prospect Road Marsh

Continue south on Rockview Road to Eldon Station Road (the next road) turn right (west) and drive to Prospect Rd. Turn right (north) and drive up to a large marsh. Here you could find many Marsh Wrens along with Sora, Virginia Rail, Common Moorhen, American Bittern, Least Bittern and Green Heron and watch for Osprey, Northern Harrier and Turkey Vulture. If you continue north on this road you will come upon another small marsh and pond just short of County Road 48. Of coarse most of the roads in this and the Wylie Road area can be very productive and it is not a stretch saying you could spend a whole day in the area, I have and do.

PPS

Wylie Rd south of the Sedge Wren Marsh is good for Upland Sandpiper, Vesper and Grasshopper Sparrows and lots of Eastern. Bluebirds. North of the marsh are the same birds and near the north end of the road watch and listen for Purple Finch, Golden-winged Warbler and Clay-colored Sparrow.

BY THE WAY
I read on the door sign ( at Joy C's ) that Joy C's Restaurant at the Lift Lock is not open Monday to Wednesday and is also not open very early in the morning on the days it is open. Not very convenient for some. We drive the 14 klicks east to Hwy 35 for coffee, etc.

I also did not notice anyone blocking any roads in the area and not surprising I did notice that the parking areas were being used and also no one was trespassing at all except for a Skunk we saw.

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