Marcy’s Woods to E. C. Brown Wetland

Wild Turkeys foraging in a field in Stevensville, Ontario, was a good start on our trip to Marcy’s Woods.

Three Wild Turkeys

Three Wild Turkeys

Recently Marcy’s Woods appeared on the radar. This site can only be visited with permission of the landowner. Per the website, “Marcy’s Woods is comprised of 408 plant species in which 36 are considered significant: 6 nationally rare, 3 provincially rare, 15 regionally rare and 12 locally rare vascular plant species…Point Abino and Marcy’s Woods is a prime stop over for migrating land birds and has been a key location for Bird Studies Canada to inventory and track the various species.” For more information about the history, wildlife and unique features of Marcy’s, please click here .

Duly warned to expect mosquitoes, we weren’t taken aback by their affectionate greeting the minute we opened the car doors! All four of us liberally applied mosquito repellant. During the walk mosquitoes were our ever-present companions.  As I walked along the trail I heard from the rear, “You know if we hadn’t applied the spray, we would be drained of blood by now“. We ultimately found reprieve on the beach. After exploring the beach, we applied a second coat of repellant and headed back to the car. Once there a local resident remarked, “Depending on your point of view, this has been the best year for mosquitoes ever“.

We plan to revisit the woods to fully walk the trail in the autumn. While we did not see any wildlife, here are some of the birds we encountered:

Eastern Towhee (male)

Eastern Towhee (male)

House Finch

House Finch

Four juvenile Eastern Phoebes

Four juvenile Eastern Phoebes

Three of four fledged Eastern Phoebes

Three of four fledged Eastern Phoebes

Juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird waiting to be fed

Cowbird waiting to be fed

What a travesty - Yellow Warbler feeding a Juvenile Cowbird

What a travesty – Yellow Warbler feeding a Juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird

The second feeding

The second feeding

Common Mergansers

Common Mergansers

Our next stop was the Lakeshore in Fort Erie to revisit the Purple Martins. The martin houses were a hub of activity.

Coming in for a landing

Coming in for a landing

Purple Martin

Purple Martin

Purple Martin in flight

Purple Martin in flight

Purple Martin removing fecal sac

Purple Martin removing fecal sac

Three occupants

Three occupants

Two nestling Purple Martins

Two nestling Purple Martins

Waiting to be fed

Waiting to be fed

Expecting a meal

Expecting a meal

We love this little spot.

Beautiful view

Beautiful view

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Killdeer on front lawn

Killdeer on front lawn

Killdeer resting on front lawn of home

Killdeer resting on front lawn of home

We left for a ride along the scenic Niagara Parkway. Seems to us that there were fewer terns and gulls than we were accustomed to. As we rode along two of us spotted a bird of prey adjacent to a dock. We safely did a u-turn and headed back only to discover it was a decoy!

I was hungry.  I thought it was real!

I was hungry. I thought it was real!

How we laughed! After blaming the mistake on hunger, we made our way to a restaurant in Welland.

After lunch we wound our way through Pelham. This American Kestrel caught our attention as it dove down and caught a mouse.

American Kestrel with mouse

American Kestrel with mouse

Our final stop was E. C. Brown Wetland in Pelham. The Niagara Central Airport is located directly across the street. As we exited the car with our cameras a local lad asked if we intended to photograph the skydivers. He told us to keep an ear out for the hum of a plane. While waiting we briefly explored the wetland.

Interpretive sign

Interpretive sign

Painted Turtle and Spotted Sandpipers

Painted Turtle and Spotted Sandpipers

Garlic scape

Garlic scape

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Soon we heard the plane and watched the descent of six parachutes.

Another pair of tandem skydivers

Another pair of tandem skydivers

Comical

Comical

Tandem skydivers

Tandem skydivers

Such a fine day was suitably capped off with a round of ice cream for everyone. As cherries are in season I opted for bordeaux cherry with noooooooooooooo regrets whatsoever!

Update: The Piping Plovers’ nest on Hanlan’s Point Beach is no more. If you missed the article, please click here.

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