[Ontbirds] Birding Rattray Marsh/J. Darling Park, Mississauga 1 May 2008

Wayne Renaud wayne at renaudwebber.com
Thu May 1 09:58:18 EDT 2008

       I just returned after 3 hours of birding the lakeshore from Birchwood
Ck. (se Jack Darling Park) to Rattray Marsh.  I netted 9 species of Warbler:
YRWA (36); PIWA (3); PAWA (1) B&WW (3); MAWA (1); BTGW (1), NWTH (1); NAWA
(1) and two Worm-eating Warblers.  The later were feeding along the edge of
the marsh between the boardwalk and the marsh about 100 yds. east of the
intersection of the main marsh walkway and trail down the hill from the
parking area at the south of Bexhill.  They were near the se end of the
boardwalk: I etched an arrow on the top of the wood railing with my keys to
show you the exact location of the sighting.   Neither was singing and they
were feeding in very wet leaf-litter under a dense growth of honey-suckles
and dogwood over a scattered canopy of Balsam Poplars all of which are just
coming into leaf.  I have never this species in Rattray Marsh before but
this unique area is one of the best for warblers that like dense moist low
undergrowth like Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warber, Kentucky Warbler and
Mourning Warbler.
       There were at least 3 Soras calling: one off the boardwalk where the
WEWAs were seen and two off the knoll trail observation tower.   I also got
my first Least Flycatcher of the spring this morning.
       Also returning to Port Credit I saw a small tern with a small flock
of Common Turns flying south over the Credit River bridge.  My first though
was that it was a Least Tern ... lots of white on the plumage.  I quickly
went down to Snug Harbour parking lot and could not re-located the bird.
Perhaps someone with more time and I have this morning can go down there and
try to confirm where it was fact a Least Tern or alternately a Black Tern in
'non-breeding' plumage.

       Go south down to the end Bexhill which runs south of Lakeshore about
5 long blocks east 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.  Find a street
map to orient yourself and/or follow the the trail map inside the park.
Jack Darling Park runs from Lakeshore to the lake about 3 blocks east of
Bexhill; the se parking lot will get you relatively close to Birchwood
Creek.  The Credit River is located 5 blocks wsw of the intersection of
Hurontario Street and Lakeshore; the parking lot closest to the mouth of the
river is located at southern extension of Stavebank road south of Lakeshore.
       For those who want to visit Rattray Marsh Conservation Area for the
first time or simply want to know where all the trails area, Mississauga has
a map of the marsh and surrounding trails on their web site:

Wayne Renaud

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