Monday, August 24, 2009

Relaxing at the Cottage

August 15

It was the weekend leading into our second week of vacation and Jean's brother and sister-in-law had invited us to vacation with their family and some friends on Lake Huron. They had rented cottages for the week and Jean and I travelled up to Inverhuron on the Saturday to spend a few days relaxing on the sandy shores of the third largest Great Lake (by volume).

Once through Guelph the drive became quite relaxing. No major highways required (or exist actually). The style of travelling I prefer.

August 16

The morning was spent exploring the cottage with bins in hand before heading to the public beach (within walking distance). You never know what you may come across. Nothing new though. A Ruby-throated Hummingbird made a brief appearance.

The weather and lake were fantastic. The only bird catching my attention was a Caspian Tern flying along the shoreline. Further up the beach is Inverhuron Provincial Park where Jean and I would do some birding in the afternoon.

We hiked a short bicycle trail to a boardwalk overlooking the park's beach before trekking into the sand dunes (an area less frequented by visitors on a hot and sunny afternoon).

Looking south towards the public beach.

A Swamp Sparrow (#172) was added to the year list while standing by the creek.

Silver-bordered Fritillary (best guess)

Returning to the car we spotted this dragonfly as we crossed the creek.

Sprinklers watering the large garden of a private cottage provided a much needed cool down. Relax. We did not trespass. The pulsating sprinkler was wastefully spraying water onto the road.

After dinner, we all enjoyed an evening by the fire (Joe Strummer style).

I'm not sure if Joe sang this to his kids whilst at Glastonbury but Cam did a great job!

August 17

In preparation for the trip to the cottage, I visited the eBird Canada site looking for "hot spots" in an around the Tiverton area. There were 3 plotted on the map that looked interesting, Point Clark, the Kincardine sewage lagoons and MacGregor Provincial Park. Jean and I would spend most of the Monday at MacGregor Point.

We observed a few birds while walking the trails along the beach and through the campground. White-throated Sparrow, Black-throated Green Warbler and Black and White Warbler were the most interesting.

Beside the campground, we came across a Marl wetland containing frost heaved boulders. The greyish mud lacks many nutrients required for most plants to grow. A suitable environment however for bladderwort, sundew and pitcher plants.

Image by Bob

While having lunch on the beach we observed a Great Egret and a cicada.

We picked up a map at the park office and discovered a wetland trail. Rather than drive further into the campground we accessed the Tower Trail from a side road. Standing on the observation deck we observed Wood Duck and a Belted Kingfisher. Warblers seen during the hike included Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart and Black-throated Green Warbler. We added Red-eyed Vireo (#173) to the year list before turning around. If we return next year, we plan on hiking the entire 3.5 kilometre loop.

It was another hot day! A swim in the waters of Lake Huron was required when we returned to the cottage. After dinner we all went to Kincardine to watch the sunset and listen to a piper standing at the top of the lighthouse.

August 18

My brother-in-law's family had booked the cottage for the week but Jean and I would return to St. Catharines on the Tuesday. Some stops were made along the way (hot spots found on eBird Canada).

Wind farms dot the landscape in Bruce County.


The Kincardine Sewage lagoons and dump produced only Turkey Vultures and many Ring-billed Gulls. The lagoons were fenced preventing easy access and the water levels were very high. I'll assume that there were no shorebirds to be found.

Point Clark

We stopped and viewed the Parks Canada managed Point Clark lighthouse. We flushed 6 Spotted Sandpiper as we walked along the marina wall.

Our last stop was a rest area near Mitchell. A Belted Kingfisher was observed perched on a utility line above Whirl Creek.

Renting cottages in Inverhuron is an annual ritual for Jean's brother and his friends. If the dates work out for us next year we will most likely rent a cottage ourselves and spend the entire week relaxing at the beach as well as exploring Huron and Bruce counties. Until our next road trip, it's back to birding in the Niagara Region.

No comments:

Post a Comment