Monthly Archives: November 2012

Toxic mess dumped at nature reserve

For green spaces, sometimes it’s a story of overuse and recovery but often it is a celebration of dedicated individuals who cherish the natural values of the land. This is one of those stories.

The red-shouldered hawk was once common in southern Ontario, but suffered a decline several decades ago. Through conservation efforts this magnificent raptor has made a strong comeback.

Its recovery owes much thanks to famed author Margaret Atwood, who donated 87 acres of wetland and woodland near Bass Lake in Oro-Medonte Township to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Someone had thoughtlessly dumped about five large plastic containers, one of them containing motor oil into the ditch beside the road.

The oil, about 10 gallons or so, had spilled into the water-filled ditch which flows into a wetland which in turn flows into the Green River.

Although the flow was away from the Nature Reserve, we know that several Species at Risk reptiles have been found in the area and the spill could have posed a threat to these animals.

We contacted the Township of Severn By Municipal Law Enforcement Officer, Rob Martel who got the wheels in motion to address the problem.

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Red-breasted nuthatch surprise visit

Although the occasional Red-breasted is identified during our local Christmas Bird count, we seldom see them in our vicinity as their preferred habitat is a coniferous forest and we live in an area forested with a mix of deciduous and conifer trees. Most of my encounters and all my photographs of these diminutive little hustlers have been taken in Algonquin Park, where they abound in the conifers and the abundant food supply they offer.

Smaller than the common white- breasted nuthatch, and bearing a rufous coloured breast and a black stripe along the eye line, they along with black- capped chickadees and gray jays, are very much candidates for those much sought after photographic images of birds feeding out of an open hand, filled with various seeds.

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