Carden Alvar Nature Board by Bob BowlesCarden Alvar OFO Field Trip

The Carden Alvar is southern Ontario's birding hotspot in late spring and early summer for grassland and scrubland specialties. Today, 44 OFO birders tallied a respectable 84 species in ideal weather (no rain, light breeze, no bugs) with pleasant temperatures. Best birds were a pair of Loggerhead Shrikes behind bluebird box 10, several Upland Sandpipers, Sedge Wrens, six Grasshopper Sparrows, but only one Vesper Sparrow, singing Alder and Willow Flycatchers, and a singing Golden-winged Warbler. The alvar meadows along Wylie Road were colourful with Prairie Smoke, Balsam Ragwort, Indian Paintbrush and Field Chickweed. We lunched at the Kirkfield Lift Lock. After lunch we birded the wetlands along Prospect Road where we had a pair of Green Herons, Marsh Wrens, Virginia Rail, Sora (a rail) and a Common Moorhen (also a rail), and a Clay-colored Sparrow.

Mammals: The group saw a close Porcupine in a tree along Wylie Road spotted by Jen Lyon. As I was putting together this post, Bob Healey emailed me to say that, "Shortly after leaving the OFO outing to the Carden Alvar today, a large Black Bear crossed the road. It was quite large and in excellent condition with a thick, black, glossy coat."

I thank co-leaders Ron Tozer and Jean Iron whose presence always guarantees that OFO field trips are a big success. Ron and I led our first OFO trip to the Carden Alvar in June 1991.

Directions: Carden Alvar birding guide and map

Carden photos

Ron Pittaway
Ontario Field Ornithologists
Minden and Toronto ON

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