[Ontbirds] More roosts of Great Egrets - St. Clair NWA and Luther Marsh WMA

Weseloh,Chip [Ontario] Chip.Weseloh at ec.gc.ca
Thu Oct 4 09:59:52 EDT 2012

On the morning of 2 October, Allen Woodliffe and I counted about 178 Great Egrets roosting in the St. Clair National Wildlife Area (NWA) near Chatham, Ontario. They were in very shallow water/mudflats all huddled in a tight bunch. Allen had discovered them there on 28 September. They started dispersing from the roost at 7:19 AM. 

Also, last night, Linda Mclaren and I discovered a 2nd roosting area of egrets at Luther Marsh Wildlife Management Area (WMA), near Grand Valley, Ontario. There were approximately 130 egrets roosting in the "Sanctuary" area of Luther Marsh, visible in the distance (ENE of) the West Boat Ramp on the interior road at Luther. They were roosting among many downed trees and snags, also in shallow water. We suspect egrets have moved to this area to avoid hunting pressure at their other roost (the South Pond of the Monticello project) at Luther.

Directions: St. Clair NWA - From Hwy 401 near Chatham, take the Bloomfield Road exit(#81) North to River View Line. Turn left (west) and turn right (North) on Jacob's Road (first bridge across the Thames River). Take second left(west) on Pain Court Line. Take first right (north) on Town Line Road. Take second road on left (west) on Balmoral Line. Take immediate right off of Balmoral Line after crossing the bridge and proceed approximately 400m towards the public parking lot and access to walking trail and viewing tower. The egrets roost on the left in shallow water/mudflats between large stands of cattails. If you get to the public parking area, etc. You have gone too far.

Luther Marsh - From Grand Valley take Hwy 25 (Main St.) north to the Conservation Authority sign (a large greenish "C"), go left, follow it until you must turn right (sideroad 21-22), Go right for about 3 km until you see the main entrance for the Conservation area and a kiosk on your left, turn in, pask the kiosk, angling to your right, and following past a large work shed/building which then passes at the bottom of a small earthen dam. Follw this narrow one lane road through forest and open field settings for several kms. You'll see signs for the North Boat Ramp and, eventually, the West Boat Ramp. Drive/walk right down to the water's edge. And using your binoculars, glass off to the NE, looking for a large flock/group of "white things" out in the downed trees. We were there at 7:05 PM and there were 100+ egrets in the roost by then...but they are 500-600m+/-  away.



D.V. Chip Weseloh, PhD. 
Senior Population Assessment Biologist 
Canadian Wildlife Service ON 
Environmental Stewardship Branch 
Environment Canada 
4905 Dufferin St. 
Toronto (Ontario) M3H 5T4 
chip.weseloh at ec.gc.ca 
Telephone 416-739-5846 
Facsimilie 416-739-5845 
Government of Canada 
Website www.ec.gc.ca 
D.V. Chip Weseloh, PhD. 
Biologist Evaluation des populations 
Conservation des Populations 
Service canadien de la faune ON 
Direction générale de l'intendance environnementale 
Environnement Canada 
4905 rue Dufferin 
Toronto (Ontario) M3H 5T4 
chip.weseloh at ec.gc.ca 
Téléphone 416-739-5846 
Télécopieur 416-739-5845 
Gouvernement du Canada 
Site Web www.ec.gc.ca 

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