Carden Alvar Nature Board by Bob BowlesCarden Birds

Good morning

Yesterday ( Fri., May 30th ) Ian Cannell and I went up for a shortened day in the Carden Alvar area and despite not going up for the dawn chorus and being ultimately rained out we did find 88 species of birds and for the last hour or so we were graced with the very good company of Sheila and Naish McHugh.

Common Loon, American Bittern, Wood Duck, Ospreys on nests, Northern Harrier, Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey ( in 3 locations ), Virginia Rail, Sora, Sandhill Crane, Upland Sandpiper, Wilson's Snipe, Black-billed Cuckoo, R-T Hummingbird, Belted Kingfisher, Red-headed Woodpecker ( south end of Shrike Road ), Pileated Woodpecker ( tapping on a tin roof just north of the Sedge Wren Marsh ), E. Wood-Pewee, Willow, Least and Great Crested Flycatchers, many E. Kingbirds, Common Raven, House, Marsh and Sedge Wrens, lots of Eastern Bluebirds, Veery, Wood Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos, 14 Warbler species including, Golden-winged, Blackburnian and Canada Warblers, Eastern Towhee, Clay-colored, Field, Vesper, and Grasshopper Sparrows, and tons of E. Meadowlarks and Bobolinks and some more common birds such as Savannah Sparrow, Indigo Bunting and Baltimore Oriole.

Another bonus up there were the Wild Flowers and after these rain days they may get even better.

Another nice trip up there despite the rain but at least we did get home early this time.


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 Rd, 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 Rd (a T intersection). Birding can be good on this 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 2 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 as you donít want to rile up the locals. This is all private property but there really is no need to leave the road.

Other roads to check in the area are Shrike, Curlís, Dalrymple, and Eldon Station Roads.


You may also want to drive down Rockview Rd just west of Kirkfield on your right along County Rd 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. Also along here you should find Upland Sandpiper and Grasshopper Sparrow.

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


Wylie Rd south of the Sedge Wren Marsh is good for Upland Sandpiper, Vesper and Grasshopper Sparrow and lots of E. 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.

Norm Murr
Richmond Hill, ON

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