There are small parking areas at either end of this Conservation Area, shown by the 'X'.
The location is fabulous for watching wildlife...birds and butterflies especially. As of this post date, there have been ~215 species of birds observed here. Waterfowl are fairly abundant, either passing overhead or resting up for the next leg of their migration journey.
|Great Blue Heron|
The current water levels are controlled, but before the water control system was installed, the water levels naturally fluctuated. As a result the habitat was more variable. It was during this time in about 1978 that a friend of mine discovered the nest of a King Rail and I had a chance to see it and briefly photograph it. King Rails have never been common in Canada, but the wetlands along Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair were where they were most likely to occur. King Rail has gradually declined even from the low numbers of that era to the point of it being legally Endangered in Canada. Although there are still a few breeding records of it in some of its more popular haunts, I believe this 1978 record is the last time an actual nest was found in Ontario.
Many migrating birds follow the shoreline especially on their southward migration, so it is a good spot to check. In the last couple of years these next two species have put in an appearance.
|American White Pelican|
This is a great spot to find butterflies as well. The openness of the vegetation which supports many flowering plants throughout the growing season, as well as being along the shoreline which, like the birds, facilitates migration movement, are two of the factors that make it productive for butterflies. The presence of a large butterfly bush adjacent to the western parking lot doesn't hurt either! As a result it is a regular spot to look for butterflies during the annual Butterfly Count in mid-July, but can be useful to check almost any time of the wildflower growing season.
The first two images show one or more Bronze Coppers. They can sometimes be quite numerous. On one occasion I counted 55 of them!
As mentioned, there is a large butterfly bush adjacent to the west end parking area. Butterflies are drawn to it in impressive numbers. On one occasion I saw at least 8 species using it simultaneously. These included:
|Question Mark (under side)|
|Question Mark (upper side)|