[Ontbirds]Spring migration at Rattray Marsh

Wayne Renaud wayne at renaudwebber.com
Tue Apr 8 09:56:51 EDT 2008

   The south winds over night have brought the first real visible migration
into the area.  Between 7:15 and 8:45 I did about 60% of the trails and I
counted 10+ Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, five Northern Flickers, 12 Downy
Woodpecker, 7 Hair Woodpeckers, one Pileated Woodpecker, 8 Eastern Phoebes
and one female Yellow-rumped Warber.  A good portion of these birds were in
the heavily flooded lower sections of Turtle Creek which forms the eastern
boundary of the CVC Rattray Marsh reserve.  There is informal path near the
east end of the bridge over the creek that runs along the east edge of the
channel for about 200 feet and you will have a great view of the flood reeds
and woods on the west side.
   The marsh continued to rise to impressively high levels ... over night
with yesterday's strong eastern winds driving up the large gravel bar even
higher than on previous days ... in some areas along the east side the water
is within 10 feet of the boardwalk and the level of the marsh has backed up
the channel of Sheridan Creek to the lowest bridge.
   There was a Swamp Sparrows singing in cattails just off the new look
toward on the knoll trail ... a Osprey landed in one of the big poplars near
the gravel dam at the south end of the marsh just as I was leaving.  The
Pied-billed Grebe, as well as a pair of Blue-winged Teal and several pairs
of Wood Ducks are still present on the marsh.
   Also yesterday I had a Pine Warbler singing from the Austrian Pines just
ne of the parking area at the south end of Bexhill and three Yellow-rumped
Warbler in red-osier dogwoods along Turtle Creek in Glenleven Park which is
located adjacent and west of Bexhill midway between Lakeshore and the marsh.
   People birding Rattray Marsh, especially in the morning, should visit the
lower sections of Turtle Creek because it gets the morning sun and warms up
a lot quicker the the much of Rattray Marsh, with subsequent early insect
(and bird) activity ... like this morning.  It's only about 200 meters east
of the access path to the beach at Rattray Marsh and also can be accessed
from the southwestern-most parking lot of Jack Darling Park.

 Go south down to the end Bexhill which runs south of Lakeshore about 5 long
blocks east of Erin Mills Parkway.  Park at the metal gate.  The marsh and
knoll trail start at the bottom of hill from the parking area.  This gets
you into, more or less, the middle of main area of the marsh.  Mississauga
has a map of the marsh and surrounding trails on their web site:

Wayne Renaud 

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