The area boast habitats ranging from Carolinian Forest to sand dunes and shorelines, offering opportunities to engage in bird watching throughout the year. Popular spots include: The Pinery Provincial Park, Grand Bend Rotary Trail, Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area, Old Ausable River Bed, Karner Blue Sanctuary, Lake Smith, Lambton County Heritage Forest, Kettle Point, Ipperwash and the Grand Bend Lagoon Area.

RETURN OF THE SWANS

In March, upwards of 15,000 Tundra Swans return to their favourite resting grounds – the Thedford Bog – located east of Lambton Heritage Museum just south of Grand Bend. The Museum runs Tundra Swan exhibits throughout March. Exact dates when the swans return is entirely up to Mother Nature.

Tundra Swans winter in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland returning via a 3,000-kilometre flight to their summer breeding grounds in Canada’s Arctic every spring. They stop to rest and feed on remnants of last year’s crops. Much honking and squawking and small-group v-formation flying can be witnessed on the still-flooded farmland.

Bring binoculars to view the swans from Greenway Road. The best viewing time is in the morning. Swan updates and news: ReturnOfTheSwans.com or call 519-243-8574 to check on the swans arrival status.

350+ SPECIES OF BIRD SPECIES

Lambton County is located on the northwestern edge of the Carolinian Life Zone (Eastern Deciduous Forest biome) that extends from Georgia and the Carolinas west to the Mississippi River. The climatic conditions support large colonies of waterbirds in mild winters and numerous nesting landbirds in summer. The county is part of the Mississippi Flyway over which migrating northern nesting birds pass in Spring and Fall. This offers sightings of species usually found elsewhere in North America the rest of the year. Fall or spring bring migratory bird populations which include: Common and Red-throated loons, numerous Raptors, Snowy Owls and the Tundra Swans. Summer provides opportunity to observe Scarlett Tanagers, Baltimore Orioles, Cerulean Warblers, Pine Grosbeaks, Bohemian Waxwings, Great Blue Herons and over 200 other species of birds. In the winter, Horned Larks, Downy Woodpeckers, Blue Jays, Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, Red and White-winged Crossbills and Red-tailed Hawks are common. Bald Eagles can be spotted along the Shoreline from Port Franks to Grand Bend and water areas provide observation of a great diversity of waterfowl, in all seasons.

HANDY WEBSITES

• Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority – abca.on.ca
• Lambton Wildlife Blog – lambtonwildlife.com
• Lambton Shores Nature Trailblazers – lsntblazers.com
• Ontario Field Ornithologists – ofo.ca
• Pinery Park – pinerypark.on.ca/what-lives-in-pinery/
• St. Clair Region Conservation Authority – scrca.on.ca

YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

• Return of the Tundra Swans, Grand Bend – March 9-17, 2019
• Migration Weekend, Pinery Provincial Park – May 17-20, 2019
• Owl Prowl, Morrison Dam, Exeter – November 2, 2019
• Christmas Bird Count, Pinery Provincial Park – December 21, 2019

See Festivals & Events for dates, times and details.