Trail Talk 251 Feb 22-29th 2023

On the Mavis trail overlooking the Bayfield river in flood on Feb 11th

On one Sunday there were two dogs running loose, one was in our neighbourhood, the other on the Lobb trail. The one on the Lobb trail had no identification so the owner, who eventually turned up could not be contacted.  If you have a dog please be sure to have a name tag and phone number  on its collar, so if found wandering,  you can be contacted.  Similarly, if you lose a cell phone you should have some way you can be contacted, as most are password protected.  I once found a lost phone on a trail and had great difficulty finding out who owned it, which would not have been a problem if it had label on the back of the phone.

A bald eagle near Forster’s bridge

I have noticed in the past week how the area trails can have vastly different snow conditions.  The Varna trail on Feb 11th was icy but had many bare spots, so most of the hikers had on icers, Hullett Sugar Bush on Sunday had no bare patches and virtually no icy patches, while on Monday at Naftel’s creek there was a mix of bare patches, slippery ice and snow patches, so all four of us wore icers.  On Wednesday Feb 15th the Hullett Sugar bush was a mix of bare trail, a little ice and some snow patches, while on Thursday at the Falls Reserve the trails were bare.  On that Thursday hike the Maitland river was well up without any sign of ice or birds.

Tundra swans on the Maitland river

There were many interesting sightings at Forsters bridge. On Feb 16th I was surprised to see two bald eagles this early which appeared to be nesting , one was perched above a small nest and the other was sitting on the large old nest.  On Feb 17th there were 4 tundra swans, (two adults, two juveniles), and on Feb 19th I saw two great blue eastern herons flying over.  As well as these there are usually a flock of golden eye (up to 20), 100 or more Canada geese, a few common mergansers and sometimes some mallards and rock pigeons.

The Lambton County Museum website has a calendar of tundra swan sightings since 2006. Until this year the earliest sighting was on Feb 3rd in 2012, while this years they were sightings on Jan 12th, 13th, 14th and 19th and 2000 were seen on Feb 16th and 21st and some on Feb 22nd.


Hikers taking part in Maitland Trail events should now sign the 2023 Waiver on the MTA website.

Saturday March 4th 10 a.m. International Women’s day hike on the Bayfield Woodland trail. Meet at the David street entrance. Lead by the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association

Sunday March 5th 1pm  Snowshoe/hike the Maitland trail and John and Marylo Graham Nature Conservancy trails for about 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Meet near 80965 Sharpes Creek Line (near Bishop’s Road). For more information and to preregister for the hike, please contact Patrick Capper at 519 606-0016 or

Saturday March 18th 10 a.m. Join the BRVTA hike at Morrison Dam in Exeter for a species at risk hike with Denise Iszczuk.

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 All hikers must sign the waiver, preferably the Online waiver at www.maitland This winter the Trompers usually hike in the Maitland Woods and on the Sifto loop/GART.

Uneven 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