Great Egret

Great Egret

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Water falling....

....and no I am not talking about all the rain we've been getting. Some readers will know that I really enjoy waterfalls. I haven't been to very many lately, but last week I had the occasion to visit a couple near Hamilton, a.k.a. the City of Waterfalls. Being on the Niagara Escarpment provides lots of settings where waterfalls are present.

One of the more accessible ones is Sherman Falls. It is a mere 200 metres, more or less, from the nearest road. It is on private property, but since the Bruce Trail runs right along it, it is accessible for viewing. This is the first view, showing the water falling in two stages for a total of about 8 metres from top to bottom.
 And a slightly different view.
Admittedly it isn't as colourful at the moment as it is at a warmer time of year, such as this next photo, taken in September. But the place isn't as crowded with hikers, either.

Another easily accessible waterfalls very close to Sherman is Tiffany Falls. It is on property owned by the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority. It is a little farther from the parking area, but well worth the easy hike.

Nonetheless, in winter the trail can be snow-packed and icy. Such was the case on this visit. There is a viewing platform at the end of the trail, just visible at the lower left hand side of the above photo. The trail was extremely icy in spots on this day, however, and we didn't venture as close as we normally would have since the uneven and wet slippery surface along side the jagged rocks were not something we wanted to contend with!

Tiffany Falls often flows all winter. The water drops about 10 metres in total. In the coldest part of the winter, there are massive ice columns and walls that are created and, with special permits from the CA, people who want to practice ice climbing are allowed to climb up the ice walls at Tiffany.

There are some excellent resources to finding and photographing waterfalls in Ontario. Probably the most useful one I have found is conveniently called  Waterfalls of Ontario.

Much closer to home, I noted more than the usual bird activity in our yard one day. There were at least 10 American Robins, more than I had seen so far in 2017.
It seems that there has been a deluge of American Robins in southern Ontario over the past few weeks, with most Christmas Bird Counts recording them in record numbers. Are these late migrants, or do they represent an influx of Americans who were threatening to move to Canada pending the results of the US election :-) ??

A Red-breasted Nuthatch shows up regularly in the yard as well.

Of course there are the more regular bird species, including Dark-eyed Juncos, House Finches, American Goldfinches, European Starlings, House Sparrows Downy Woodpecker and even the occasional American Crow :-) !

Not a yard species yet, but the Snowy Owls continue to show in their usual places. The numbers aren't as high as the last couple of years, but on a good day it is still possible to find anywhere from 2-5 birds in the area between Chatham and Wallaceburg, with the 2-3 birds near Meadowvale Line being the most predictable.


  1. Beautiful waterfalls! Interesting article... thanks for sharing that link about waterfalls in Ontario, I may try to find some new ones in my area that I hadn't heard of before. -Laura

    1. Thanks, Laura.In addition to the on-line waterfalls resource, it available in book form as well.

  2. Hey, I saw Sherman Falls, about 45 years ago!

    1. Hey are aging yourself....:-). There are some nice waterfalls not that far from you, I believe.