[Ontbirds]Prothonotary Warbler still at Tiny Marsh Sunday a.m.

RON FLEMING flemingron at rogers.com
Sun Apr 17 11:03:34 EDT 2005

Taking the calculated risk of driving all the way of up to Tiny Marsh in hopes of seeing the first Prothonotary Warbler to occur up there in 31 years, I sacrificed my last hockey game of the season and dragged a reluctant birder (my 15-year old son Ryan) out of bed.  Fortunately, the bird was right where it was last reported, though my son and I and another birder must have initially walked right past it at 8:00 this morning.
We bumped into a young birder from Barrie named Scott Watson who had just finished walking the full dike loop and, as seven Sandhill Cranes noisily passed, he informed us that he had seen the warbler when he first arrived at 7:00 a.m.  We walked back toward the secondary parking area where we had started and - sure enough - there was the bird.
It was between 60 - 70 regular walking paces east of the base of the Trotter dike, spending most of its time feeding on the north side of the little canal that parallels the trail.  It did not stray any farther east than the big section of debris that almost dams the water about 100 paces east of the parking lot (there is a very long wooden beam that angles eastward from the south shore at this point).
We had excellent views of the bird from 8:30 - 9:00 a.m.  
On the way up we had a Great Gray Owl sitting by the roadside on County Rd. #27, less than a km south of the Horseshoe Valley Rd. (Road #22).  Thanks to Bob Bowles post yesterday mentioning that there were still several of these owls in the area, I had my birding antenna up. 
As we left Tiny Marsh we had two Wild Turkeys on the south side of the Tiny Flos Townline, about a km before reaching County Rd. 29, which is a good alternate route home if you live in Barrie or south.  (It runs all the way down to the Horseshoe Valley Rd., then you turn right, travel a short distance, and hook up with #26.  Turn left, then soon afterward turn right on George Johnston Rd. (#28), which goes south through Minesing and past Snow Valley, paralleling Hwy. 400 southward.)
Ron Fleming, Newmarket 
Directions: Tiny Marsh is about a 20 minute drive northwest of Barrie and about 10 
minutes east of Wasaga Beach. Exit Hwy. 400 at the Bayfield St. ramp in 
Barrie, then follow Bayfield northwest (left). Bayfield becomes County 
Road 27 (do not turn onto #26 west toward Stayner and Wasaga). Keep 
going north (straight). Take 27 north through the village of Elmvale, 
cross the little Wye River, then look for Simcoe Road 6 and turn west 
(left). The road quickly angles northward through the hamlet of Saurin. Go a 
short distance to 1st Conc., which is the Tiny-Flos Townline (a sign on 
the left indicates the way toting Marsh). Turn west (left) on the 
unpaved townline road and go 3.5 km to either the first parking lot on the 
right or another half km to the Interpretive Centre parking lot.

>From the Interpretive Centre parking lot, cross the bridge toward the 
building and turn right onto the dike trail and follow it about a half 
km east past the next bridge. The bird was 40 paces east of that bridge 
along the drainage creek on the right.

If you park in the first lot, simply walk a few paces northward to the yellow post and 
turn right immediately onto the trail that goes eastward along the north shore of the little canal.


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