Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sweet Serendipity Strikes Again

Still in Toronto, we walked Ana to school then toured Michael and Alice’s neighbourhood by shank’s mare. We took an alfresco breakfast at an eatery in a building that was originally the first Ford automobile factory in Canada. Despite being in the heart of the city the breakfast stop delivered two trip birds for our list, northern mockingbird and chimney swift. We ambled in ethnic neighbourhoods and found a suitable backup guitar to keep Jan sharp while we’re in the Boularderie Island woods.

Serendipity led us to a jewel of a place near Lancaster ON. Had there been an Ontario provincial park anywhere nearby we would never have landed there. But there wasn’t, so we got the Ontario Conservation Area map out of the LeoTaj library. I was drawn to a place called the Cooper Marsh. We arrived there late in the day and walked a boardwalk through the marsh. American bitterns sounded their ‘oonk-a-lonk’ vespers, Virginia rails called to their young. Wilson’s snipe winnowed high overhead. In turn, swamp sparrows, marsh wrens, alder flycatchers, green herons proclaimed sovereignty over their turf. All of them were new for our trip list. Cooper was sublime. Nearby we found a campground at Charlottenburgh Park Wetland Project. It is a gem too. Ducks Unlimited shines again.

Tuesday morning took us to the veterans hospital at St Ann de Bellevue, and a visit with Uncle Ed, my dear old mom’s kid brother. By evening we crossed the New Brunswick line, stopped at the visitor centre and added northern parula to our trip list, number 168. Not too bad given that the birding has been mostly catch-as-catch-can from our hurtling truck.

Nova Scotia beckons. We aim to be there Wednesday.


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