Thursday, November 6, 2014

Clear Creek and Ridgetown Sewage Lagoons

The other weekend I was home visiting in Chatham (first time in a long time...sorry mom!)

My dad and I decided that we wanted to go on a little hike up to Clear Creek Forest.  This is a little (though large for Chatham-Kent) forest just north of Rondeau Provincial Park.  It had previously been owned by the Nature Conservancy, however it has since been taken over by Ontario Parks.  It is also one of the last remnants of old growth forest left in the area.  Although I've lived in Chatham-kent for most of my life, we'd never visited this place.  I left with the question in my head...why?

Clear Creek Forest was pretty quiet minus the flocks of Canada Geese flying over head.  We managed to spot some kinglets, hermit thrushes, a wren, and my first of the year Red-bellied Woodpecker.  It was utterly beautiful to walk though this forest in the fall, all the leaves fallen. I couldn't imagine if I had been there just a week before.   Here's a few photos from our little walk!

On our way home we visited the Ridgetown Sewage Lagoons....and boy was I glad that we did!   We spotted flocks of Tundra Swans, mallards, Redheads, Shovelers, Black Ducks, Buffleheads, and one of my all time favourites...the Ruddy Duck.  Most of the ducks were pretty far towards the back of the ponds, so unfortunately we got crappy photos!   Before this I had actually only seen one Ruddy Duck during the Toronto Christmas Bird Count, so you can only imagine my surprise when I counted a flock of 54!

Tundra Swans, Canada Geese, Redheads, Mallards, Blackducks, etc!


Ruddy Ducks in the background mixed in with some mallards

Shoveler in flight

We were then of course treated to a really beautiful sunset on the drive back home. Of course the photo wasn't without the trademark turbines.  I am still working on some photos from a trip to Illinois, so hopefully I can get those up and on here shortly!  

Until next time....happy naturing!

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