Appleby is for the birds


by Mario Carr

It's been a harsh winter but with the first few days of warner weather area birds are making their appearance. Most backyards in Burlington are full of birds, especially those near Appleby Line.

From my backyard window facing the forest along Appleby Creek, I’ve seen Cardinals, Wrens, Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers, Gold Finches, Flickers, Owls, Robins, Nuthatches and Hawks. There’s even an occasional Heron that flies by.

I don’t have to go too far for more bird watching.

Just a short walk away at Paletta Mansion, you can often see members of the Hamilton Naturalists Club out birding. In this 14 arce nature preserve on the shores of Lake Ontario between Appleby and Walkers, you can see a variety of water birds and spring migrants such as Warblers and Carolina Wrens that are frequently found here close to Shoreacres Creek beside the Mansion.

If you go a few kilometres north and east to the border of Burlington and Oakville, Bronte Provincial Park offers more opportunities of birds that have adapted to the valley of the creek.Birds seen in the park include Northern Mockingbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Red-tailed Hawk, several kinds of Sparrows, as well as the occasional Pileated Woodpecker, Baltimore Oriole, Turkey Vulture and both Long-eared and Short-eared Owl, Eastern Bluebird and Northern Shrike.

Driving a few more kilometres north up Appleby Line on top of the Niagara Escarpment, Rattlesnake Point Conservation Area offers even more bird watching opportunities. From the five escarpment lookouts, you will see a variety of migratory birds of prey such as Turkey Vultures gliding in search of food.

For more bird watching opportunities check out the Hamilton Naturalist Club website at hamiltonnature.org.

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