In the last week or so, some maintenance has been done at Peers Wetland, just outside of Wallaceburg. With the high water levels the last two seasons, things became a mess there. Most of the trail was unwalkable and vegetation growth was getting thick. It was too wet in some spots, and the other areas were heavily grown in with willows, thistles, etc. since equipment could not be brought in.
The dike has been cleared out and shored up in spots. Perhaps too much vegetation was removed! There will be fewer birds flitting about along the dike as there is no place to hide. No doubt in time it will fill in though.
I took a walk yesterday to check things out, as the above photo shows.
This young accipiter was also checking things out.
A few years ago, I wrote a blog post about Peers Wetland (edited):
A nice spot to visit close to home is Peers Wetland beside Kimball Road on the east side of town. I mention this place often, as I go for walks here several times a week. The land was originally owned by local farmer Francis Peers. It is now under ownership of St. Clair Conservation.
A trail goes around the perimeter, bordering Otter Creek then parallel to Kimball Road. The woodlot section was actually a little island surrounded by marsh, but is connected to high ground via the dike. This was always known a Chicken Island. Local people went skating here in the winter, including myself. However, in early 1990's vegetation began to fill in the open area. Recently, dike work has maintained the water level and more open water is seen.
It is a good spot to see a variety of birds whether it be marsh birds, waterbirds, passerines, etc. It is a good migrant trap during migration periods and you never know what may be around.
A variety of plant life attracts insects such as butterflies.
|Swamp Milkweed Beetle|
One day I saw a Buckeye, which was actually the first one I have seen at this location!
Viceroys are plentiful.
Once I saw a Milbert's Tortoiseshell which was rather unique for here.
Sometimes, Striped and Banded Hairstreaks can be spotted along the dike.
A few years ago, the Sydenham Field Naturalists erected a viewing platform.
Although vertically-challenged, it is a nice place to sit and watch.
Black-crowned Night-Herons tend to hang out around the wetland in good numbers. Some days I have counted at least ten.
Once, I rounded a corner and came across an American Bittern on the trail!
Green Herons are always a regular resident, while both Soran and Virginia Rails can be present.
It is a good stopover for migrant ducks, and a good variety have been recorded. Mallard and Wood Ducks are summer residents.
One summer, a family of Common Gallinules took up residence.
A Motus Wildlife Tracking Station is located at Peers.
Peers Wetland will always be a frequent stop of mine!