Birding, the simple pleasures of a gentle hike through the woods and along the river banks of the Georgian Triangle, where the flash of colourful wings or a melodic bird can all provide a wonderful connection to nature.
Birding is one of the area’s top activities and though there are no birding festivities or the great gathering of species that some areas attract, it’s still considered to be a “birder’s paradise” by many. Over 100 species of birds nest in the area and 40-60 of them stick around for the whole year. So for birders, there is always something to find on a hike, canoe trip or drive.
Visit the harbours from Meaford to Collingwood. Lots of ducks congregate near the silos at Collingwood in spring and summer, and Bald Eagles fish there occasionally. Sometimes, amidst the flocks of ducks, a few beautiful white swans are found. There are always Herring and Ring-billed Gulls, Common and Caspian Terns and well-cared for martin houses are used by Purple Martins, especially at Meaford, where Cliff’s Swallows nest under the Trowbridge Street Bridge.
Winter time brings Great Black-backed Gulls and sometimes big White Glaucus Gulls come down from the north. Christmas Bird Counts here will total an average 48 species, including migrant Snowy Owls, Snow buntings and Juncos.
In spring, the migrants arrive. Horned Larks, Cowbirds, Red-winged black birds & Robins. There are many Bluebird trails in the countryside. During migration this area is a flyway for Warblers and Shorebirds.
The beautiful Niagara Escarpment with its scenery and trails, houses Turkey Vultures, Wild Turkeys and many species of Hawks which nest on the rocks of Kimberley and soar on the thermals of the Red-tailed hawks. A sight to remember and a great entry to your bird book!
Great Blue Herons have a heronry on Nottawasaga Island, (with its majestic Lighthouse), just west of Collingwood . It is a sanctuary so you cannot visit. However, there are often sightings of these birds along the shoreline. Hundreds of Gulls, Great Egrets, Double-crested cormorants are next there. Another heronry is b y the Beaver River, north of Kimerbley, where Ospreys are also using this site.
The Clearview EcoPark located in Stayner, is a public green area where residents and visitors can enjoy the beautiful natural environment that our community has to offer. The EcoPark features accessible walking trails, interpretive signs and a bird blind to view some of the over 200 different species of birds that migrate through and live in Clearview Township. The park also includes the newly constructed EcoBark, the largest off-leash dog park facility in Clearview Township; along with the Community Garden and Memorial Tree Park to help increase diversity and enhance habitat of birds and wildlife.