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Trail Talk 306 - April 3, 2024


            In May 2021, I started keeping track of the different bird species I identified in Ontario – nearly all within Huron County. In June 2023, I had recorded 80 species, then recently added three more.  These were not especially rare species, but I had not been able to make a positive identification until now.  They are ring-necked ducks at the Hullett Pond by Front Road on March 17th, a red-breasted merganser at the Bayfield Marina while on the BRVTA beach walk on March 23rd, and a dead Eastern Screech Owl on our trail on March 23rd.

Along with about 45 others, I listened to Larry Cornelis’ presentation on “The Story of Our Local Landscapes”. I was lucky enough to win the door prize, his book” Trees Forests and Nature in Southwestern Ontario”. This is packed with good information such as the importance of planting native plants, especially trees. A study of chickadees foraging to feed their young discovered that they only visited native plants as this is where they are most likely to find insects.  He also recommended if you plant one tree it should be a native oak - Carolinian oaks are Swamp White Oak, Chinquapin Oak, Hills Oak(R), Pin Oak (R), Black Oak and Dwarf Chinquapin Oak (R).  R means rare to uncommon.  Red Oak, White Oak, and Burr Oak are found here but also grow outside the Carolinian area.



On March 23rd, thirteen of us had a windy walk along the beach just North of Bayfield. Fortunately, the wind was behind us, and we found very little garbage to pick up (the biggest was a snorkel and some wood).  The juvenile red breasted merganser was the lone duck at the marina.


            On March 26th as I was driving along Wildlife Line, I saw a pair of Tundra swans in the pond formed by the recent rain in the field. The Lampton Museum last reported swan sightings on March 16th, so it would seem that this pair were stragglers!


            As I write this on March 27th, I think we might be looking at the last snow of this spring, except for possibly some around April Fool’s Day. There were some interesting tracks in the snow, one was probably by a beaver. 



            Saturday April 6th 7pm BRVTA in conjunction with Huron Hospice host a candlelit memorial walk on the Taylor Trail.

            Saturday April 13th 10 am join Tanya MacIntyre for a hike on the Millennium trail. This is a meditative hike for approximately 1.5 hours – meet at the church on Mill Road in Goderich and carpool to Nelson Road. For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Tanya MacIntyre at redroofrecovery@gmail. com. This is a Level 2, leisure pace walk.


            Saturday April 20th 9 am join Anne Melady for a hike on private property at 7277 Highway 8 just East of St Columban.  Walk through this delightful property of farm fields, across the railway tracks and back to the bush and a cabin. The walk takes you along the Bayfield River and up through the bush of old growth and recently planted bush. There will be a trip to the Dublin Restaurant after the hike. For more information and to confirm your attendance, please contact Anne Melady at This is a Level 1, leisure pace, 1.5 - 2 hours.


            Saturday April 20th 1 pm join the BRVTA hike on their Bayfield Woodland Trail


            Saturday April 20th for those in top shape join the World Wildlife Fund for a fund raiser climb of the 1776 steps up the CN Tower!


 All participants taking part in the Maitland Trail events should sign the waiver for 2024, preferably the online version.


            Tuesday Trompers meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday to hike for about an hour. If you wish to be on this email list, send an email to


            Midweek Hikers hike for 1 ½ to 2 hours on Wednesdays or Thursdays, contact Patrick Capper.


Both groups meet at 9 a.m. and are open to non-members provided they sign the MTA On-line waiver.


If you have questions or something of interest for Trail Talk email me Patrick Capper at



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