Notes from the Field – Winter 2019 – 2020

In 4 - Winter, Nature Reserves & Easements by couchiching

The Orillia Naturalists’ Club steward Carthew Bay Nature Reserve and visited March 11th for their winter monitoring visit.   Their report that everything was in good shape is a great relief to staff.  Now more than ever we need your eyes and ears to help us care for Nature Reserves.  

At this point we don’t anticipate that there will be an interruption to field monitoring or maintenance work.  We will keep teams small, and ask you to practice social distancing (six feet apart).    Unfortunately carpooling is not a good idea, unless the person you are ride-sharing with is someone you regularly spend time with.  Drive yourself to the Nature Reserve, and please bring your own tools and equipment.  

The group spotted a Red-winged blackbird!  

White-tailed deer at Adams Nature Reserve (photo: trail cam – Toby Rowland)

When my family asked me to take them on a short walk at the Adams Nature Reserve they soon realized I had a different definition of what a short walk is.  I took it as an opportunity to go to the back of the property to set up a trail cam in a remote corner of the Nature Reserve and, in addition, they would get to experience the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield in winter.

We came across many tracks from deer to coyote, fox, and possibly fisher, in the fresh snow.

After finding what looked like a good wildlife trail we set up the  camera before heading back to the wood-stove for a cup of tea. A week later I went back to swap out the card and managed to get photos of white-tailed deer, a red squirrel, a red fox and possibly a coyote off in the distance.    To see more of the trail cam photos click here

-Toby    (January 27, 2020)

Ruffed Grouse Photo: David Hawke

On the 23rd of December I went to Bluebird Ranch to see what I could see:  

No ravens calling,

No hawks a-flyin’

No chickadees

Just a wary-looking partridge in a cedar tree!


Notes:  Ruffed grouse, or Partridge, are non-migratory birds that are in the pheasant family. They are found throughout our region. Grouse generally have white undersides, brown backs, with a grey chest and sides.  They are difficult to spot, but males make an impressive drumming sound by beating their wings.