Carden Alvar Nature Board by Bob BowlesLoggerhead Shrikes and Upland Sandpipers along Wylie Rd, Carden Alvar

Hi Ontbirders,
We drove and birded the 35 km birding route at the Carden Alvar this afternoon (Friday) from approximately 11:20 AM to 2:00 PM; we used Ron Pittaway’s Birding Guide to Carden Alvar (OFO News Vol. 18 No. 1 February 2000) as our guide. Within 1 km of driving north on Wylie Road (starting on the south end), we had a pair of Loggerhead Shrikes, on the left, sitting on a fence line about 200m off the road…they flew from there to the tops of small (hawthorn?) trees nearby. On the right side of the road, we had a Solitary Sandpiper and two Common Snipe in the wet roadside grass; we also flushed an Eastern Meadowlark. Brown Thrashers and Eastern Bluebirds were common over the next few kms…no fewer than 7 of each with the latter hanging around nest boxes numbers 39, 5 and 10. At about km 6.5-6.8 (having zeroed our odometer at the Kirkfield Lift Lock), we noted 2 Upland Sandpipers walking across the road (left to right) about 75m ahead! We drove to that area, stopped and scanned from the car; the birds flushed and flew about 150m out into the field. We scoped them in the field and watched them for 5 minutes before driving off.
The only other of birds of note were 3 Field Sparrows – 1 on Wiley Rd. and two on Alvar Rd. – and two Osprey nests with adults on the nests along Lake Dalrymple Rd – Hwy # 6.
Wiley Rd. had quite a few water puddles on it, several of which extended completely across the road and were 3-4 car lengths long. However, the road base was solid and we had no trouble traversing them in a 2-wheel (front) drive Mazda van.

Directions (from Pittaway 2000): From Kirkfield (Ontario), take Hwy 6 north to the Kirkfield Lift Lock, drive 2.5 km north, turn right (east) on McNamee Rd. where County Rd 6 turns sharply to the left. Then turn left (north) almost immediately on Wylie Rd (first road). Wylie Rd ends 9.4 km to the north. At that point, turn left onto Alvar Rd and continue for 4.7 km to Dalrymple Rd. Follow this road to Hwy 6, turn left and this will take you back to Kirkfield. If you do not have a copy of Pittaway’s guide, let me know and I will email you a pdf ( as soon as I am back online after your request!)
Good birding,
Chip and Linda Weseloh


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