Simpson Road Stroll

June 11, 2022

Cheryl Anderson

A small group of five people strolled on Simpson Road on June 11. The weather was just about perfect – partly cloudy with a pleasant breeze. We started our walk by visiting the Ducks Unlimited impoundment. A Black Tern swooped and staged over the water and finally dove to find breakfast. Marsh Wrens and Swamp Sparrows called from the reeds. Investigating the puddles, we found a few small tadpoles. Leopard frogs jumped away from our feet in the long grass.

Black Tern courtesy of Ian Dickinson

We took time to examine the plant life and talk about Alvar. There is lots of Dog Strangling Vine growing in this part of the Provincial Wildlife Area. The exposed gravelly surfaces are covered in sedum.  Wild Columbine, Wild Roses, Hairy beardtongue, Yellow Goatsbeard bloomed along the roadsides among many other summer flowers. We saw both Viceroy and Monarch Butterflies along with Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Giant Swallowtail, Mourning Cloak and several small butterflies – Azure, Comma and Hairstreak species. There were a few Dragonflies around. One that we could identify was a Halloween Pennant.

Photo Anne McLay

We heard lots of bird song walking down Simpson Road toward the lake. We kept our Merlin sound ID app on so that we could identify species as we walked – and were rewarded with American Redstart, House Wren, Northern Cardinal and Great Crested Flycatcher. The were many Song Sparrows and we got a good look at a male Rose -breasted Grosbeak.

At the lake there were many Ring-billed Gulls circling and diving. One lone Cormorant flew by. We took a short break and collected some flotsam and jetsam – commonly called garbage.

As we walked back towards our cars, we found a little Snapping Turtle in one of the puddles in the road.

Along the way we were serenaded by an Indigo Bunting and got a good view of him on an overhead branch. Two Turkey Vultures soared overhead as we reached our cars. We were able to document at total of 32 avian species on our Stroll.