Drainage is poor, leading to all sorts of small and large wetland pockets.
|Typical forested wetland of Bickford Oak Woods|
The wetlands are great spots for amphibians, such as this tiny Western Chorus Frog, only about 2-3.5 cm long.
In general, the BOWCR does not have a lot of large trees. It was acquired by business men during a time when industrial expansion of that part of Lambton County was thought to be a good investment. But industrial expansion did not occur in this area, so it sat for decades. It did undergo fairly intensive timber harvest about 50 years ago, as well as some cattle pasturing, so it wasn't in the most pristine shape. But in the late 1990s, the owners called me to see if any government or private conservation agency would be interested in purchasing it, and so a plan of action was put into place. With the extreme generosity of individuals, local field naturalist groups, the Nature Conservancy of Canada as well as Ministry of Natural Resources, it was acquired and eventually designated as a Conservation Reserve. The forest is rebounding from the harvesting and pasturing activity of the past. But hints of such activity remains, if one only looks at the type of tree form that is common to see throughout the drier sections of the forest.
Multi-stemmed tree trunks abound. Oak was a valuable forest product, and so the merchantable timber was taken out. But oaks have a tendency to sucker after harvest, and some of those suckers are now the well established tree trunks. It is quite common to see double and triple stemmed trunks of various oak species.
|Triple-stemmed White Oak|
Ovenbirds, Wood Thrush, Scarlet Tanager, Yellow-throated Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and others are fairly common here. Less common species include Cerulean Warbler, Tufted Titmouse and even Acadian Flycatcher. I have seen or heard all of these here from time to time, other than the Acadian......that one is pretty infrequent here.
Some of the largest wetland areas in the BOWCR will support Beaver, and a Great Blue Heronry is in the vicinity of these same interior wetlands.
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail|
While I was busy photographing butterflies in the open grassy area, this Tree Swallow and its mate were keeping an eye on me.