Monday 28 January 2019

Late January Along the River

Yesterday I went on the Nature London trip to Sarnia and the St. Clair River.

We headed out in the morning, and saw the Snowy Owls in the usual location.

Not too long after, we faced heavy snow squalls. The decision was made to cancel the trip and turn back. I of course, was determined to continue and see what we could see, so we my vehicle continued on towards Sarnia. Turned out to be a good decision because only five minutes later things cleared and it was blue skies and sun!

A highlight of the day was this beautiful Rough-legged Hawk on Michigan Line. 

Also saw another Snowy Owl further down the road.

We stopped briefly into Wawanosh Wetlands, though as usual not too much was there.

Next up was Canatara Park in Sarnia. There was a calling Carolina Wren, but not much else. I found this little fungi, Hysterobrevium mori, on the fence in the children's farm.

We went to eat lunch and watch the lake at the Point Edward Lighthouse afterwards, which proved fruitful. We found many Long-tailed Ducks, Common Goldeneye, mergansers, and a couple White-winged Scoters.

Long-tailed Ducks

The ice was quite impressive!

The Sarnia Bay was completely frozen, so no gulls or ducks there! After that we began the trek down the St. Clair River. Our first stop was Guthrie Park, which was productive.


Great Black-backed Gull


Common Merganser

Just as we were leaving, I noticed two Coyotes out on the ice. One wonders what they were doing. Perhaps they were trying to cross from the island (Stag Island) to the mainland, or maybe they were trying to hunt waterfowl.

One last stop was Cathcart Park near Sombra, where there is often an assortment of waterfowl and other things.

Bald Eagle

Three species of swans were present. Mute, Tundra, and a single Trumpeter.

Mute Swan

Trumpeter Swan

Overall, a fun, but cold, day along the river. It is amazing how the accumulation of ice can make or break a day. Gulls were very limited today. I only saw Herring and a few Great Black-backs!


  1. It was a great day! A huge thank you to your Mom for trusting in your decision and agreeing to continue on in the snowy, blowy, not-so-nice weather. 😊
    BTW... awesome photos, especially the of the Rough-legged Hawk in flight.

    1. Oops...especially the *one* of the Rough-legged Hawk in flight. 😁

  2. Weather was bad at first, but then it cleared towards Sarnia for me as well!
    Really bad weather here now.