An Osprey carries branch to its nest at Carden Alvar

An Osprey carries branch to its nest at Carden Alvar

osprey with tree branch, carden alvar, ontario, pic 2

On a mid-June visit to Carden Alvar in Ontario, Bob and I opted to tour the area in the reverse direction from our first visit when we crossed Canal Lake at dusk.  First thing in the morning provided better light for photography, and there was no lack of activity near the Osprey nests.  We were hoping that the Osprey did not drop its load as they flew over! Read more

A Brown Thrasher Hunts for Bugs at Carden Alvar, Ontario

A Brown Thrasher Hunts for Bugs at Carden Alvar, Ontario
brown thrasher holding bugs at carden alvar, cameron ranch, kawartha lakes, ontario

The day in June that Bob and I chose for our visit to the Carden Alvar was a steamy one in a string of hot days more characteristic of the tropics.  Our first stop was at Cameron Ranch where friends had photographed beautiful expanses of Indian Paintbrush wildflowers only a couple of days earlier.  The flowers were past their prime, but I came face to face with this Brown Thrasher as it waited to supply its nestlings with these freshly-caught insects. Read more

A Black Bear with her three young cubs at Carden Alvar

A Black Bear with her three young cubs at Carden Alvar

black bear mom standup at cameron alvar, ontario, 2

Bob and I have learned so much through different groups on Facebook, and one of the areas that was brought to our attention was the Carden Alvar here in Ontario.  Our second visit in mid-June was a bit late and too hot for much activity where migrating birds were concerned, but our list of sightings was still long and included this female Black Bear and her three cubs. Read more

Osprey enjoys flight above Carden Alvar, Ontario

Osprey enjoys flight above Carden Alvar, Ontario

Osprey in flight at Carden Alvar, City of Kawartha Lakes in Ontario

After spending all day at the Carden Alvar in Ontario, basically patrolling along Wylie Road north to the T intersection and back again to McNamee Road,  Bob decided that we should continue to check out some other areas of that protected habitat before we made for home.  Cameron Ranch and Canal Lake both deserved a short visit, and near the causeway that crosses the lake we discovered one pair of Osprey already occupying a nesting platform. Read more

Eastern Bluebirds at Carden Alvar in Ontario

Eastern Bluebirds at Carden Alvar in Ontario
eastern bluebird, carden alvar, carden township, city of kawartha lakes, ontario, pic 10

Bob and I were up early on May 3rd in our attempt to get to the Carden Alvar at a decent morning hour.  We’re usually a little slow to get off the sheet, but in this case, we did better than usual and found ourselves on Wylie Road by 8:30 a.m.  I know it’s not sunrise, but we still scored lots of sightings, among them several pairs of Eastern Bluebirds. Read more

A Wilson’s Snipe at Ontario’s Carden Alvar

A Wilson’s Snipe at Ontario’s Carden Alvar
wilson's snipe, carden alvar, city of kawartha lakes, ontario, pic11

Bob and I came home from Ontario’s Carden Alvar very satisfied with our experience in that unique habitat.  The combination of grasslands, forests, shrublands and wetlands creates a landscape that is not only favoured by a wide variety of wildlife but also is attractive to those people who go in search of the birds and animals that live there.  One such bird that we managed to see was a Wilson’s Snipe. Read more

A Brown Thrasher at Carden Alvar

A Brown Thrasher at Carden Alvar

brown thrasher, carden alvar, city of kawartha lakes, ontario, pic 5

Our first time visiting the Carden Alvar had Bob and me astonished by the myriad sounds of nature that combined into a marvelous symphony:  choruses of frogs, whirring of Wilson’s Snipes, echoing conk-la-rees from the Red-winged Blackbirds, and Savannah Sparrows raising their voice in song.  On several occasions, all were overshadowed by another lively bit of birdsong that had us mystified…until we finally spotted this Brown Thrasher. Read more

A Blanding’s Turtle at the Carden Alvar

A Blanding’s Turtle at the Carden Alvar
blandings turtle, carden alvar, city of kawartha lakes, ontario, pic 15

Bob and I had been looking forward to getting up to the Carden Alvar for at least a couple of years.  Our schedule and family commitments just did not allow us the opportunity until this May.  I was filled with excitement at the prospect of seeing a number of early spring migrants and birds that favour the specialized habitat of the alvar plain, so it came as a pleasant surprise to also come across a rare Blanding’s Turtle. Read more

An American Woodcock at the Carden Alvar

An American Woodcock at the Carden Alvar

american woodcock, carden alvar, city of kawartha lakes, ontario, pic1

Our anticipation ran high the night before our first visit to the Carden Alvar that is located northeast of Toronto, Ontario.  We had our alarm set for 5:45 a.m. but I woke up at 5 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep.  We were on site by 8:30 a.m. and spent hours touring the area.  It was around mid-afternoon that we came across an American Woodcock, and the sighting pretty much made our day! Read more