[Ontbirds]Spooky Hollow, not so spooky.

Thomas tthomas at cogeco.ca
Sun Jul 11 02:54:29 EDT 2004

 A trip to Spooky Hollow yesterday Friday May 9th, proved very rewarding.
This jewel of a nature sanctuary, is quite new to me, and is owned by the
Hamilton Naturalists Club. The sanctuary in parts reminded me a little of
Algonquin Park, all being it confined to just about 165 acres.
          Birds encountered in the North part of the property, were a pair
of Magnolia Warblers, I was no doubt loitering in their nesting territory,
Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-winged Warbler, and to my own amazement, I
recognized the song, and found a singing male Hooded warbler.
            The southern part of the Sanctuary contains stands of mature
hardwoods and Hemlocks along little hills and valleys. Veery's here were
very vocal, and seemed to be everywhere, and quite a few fledglings were
seen. At one time I spotted a Barred(?) Owl, which I must have flushed,being
escorted out of the area by a posse of Woodthrush and or Veery. Another male
Hooded Warbler was seen, as well as a female, and I think I had stumbled on
a family of them judging by the Chipmunk like calls emanating from the
surrounding shrubbery. Yellow -billed Cuckoos were calling, as well as a
pair of Scarlet Tanagers. Chestnut-sided Warbler and Redstart came in, in
response to some pishing along with an Indigo Bunting and Red-breasted
Nuthatch. At one point I stopped on the trail to get a better look at a bird
flitting above me, which turned out to be a Flycatcher, and then the
unmistakable Peet- sa call which confirmed it to be an Acadian Flycatcher.
As I watched the Flycatcher I couldn't believe my luck at getting such a
close up view, but then it flew on to the lower branch of the Hemlock tree,
just about 15 ft. away from where I was standing and promptly hopped into
its nest. I made a mental note of the nest structure, a flimsy affair at
best, but it checked out to be nest type of Acadian flycatchers, and is
unique when compared to the nests of other flycatchers.
So all in all a good day, there were literally dozens of Red-eyed Vireos
calling, probably the only birds I could here above the constant whine of
the ever present Mosquitoes
              Spooky Hollow is located near Normandale and Turkey Point in
Norfolk County. On Hwy 24 aprox. 13 km. south of Simcoe, you will see
"Normandale Furnace" historic sign, and turn left onto  Charlotteville E 1/4
Line Road. Then turn right onto Charlotteville Rd. 2. There are two entrance
points. North entrance: proceed straight ahead 1 klm.to reach the entrance
in a small valley on your left. South entrance: turn left off of
Charlotteville Rd.2, onto Spooky Hollow Road, and proceed past the farm and
down the hill. The south entrance is on the right after the bridge over
Fishers Creek.
         Club members automatically have permission to enter. Others wishing
to schedule visits must request permission in advance from the sanctuary
director at the following address:
                Hamilton Naturalists Club
               P.O.Box 89052
               Hamilton On l8s 4r5
               905 381 0329
There's no better reason to join the H.N.C.
             Cheers .....Tom Thomas.

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