Friday, 17 June 2016

A Day at Hullett Marsh, Huron County, ON

     On Monday, 13 June, Miriam and I spent the day at Hullett Marsh along with John and Geraldine Sanderson and Curtiss MacDonald. It was a pleasant day of birding and banter with amenable companions.
     Hullett Marsh is a large area of wetland under the jurisdiction of the Ontario government, and in the fall is well-used by hunters of waterfowl. I wouldn't want to be there at that time with guns popping off all around me; at least the carnage is regulated and supervised. 

     At this time of year, however, Hullett is a great place for birding with varied habitat for many species, including the always impressive Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum.

     In addition to a nice variety of bird species dragonflies were abundant and this Black Saddlebags Tramea lacerata even alighted long enough for a picture.

     There was ample evidence of a healthy American Beaver Castor canadensis population and this individual was contentedly munching on aquatic vegetation.

     How this tree manages to remain standing after the beavers didn't quite finish the job is a bit of a mystery!

     There were numerous nest boxes for Wood Ducks Aix sponsa and this female was perched atop one of them.

     The following shots show what a paradise this area is for waterfowl when they are migrating through in the fall, and despite the fact that many fall victim to hunters, the area provides a refuge for others.

     Perhaps the most interesting observation of the day was that of Tree Swallows Tachycineta bicolor nesting in a natural cavity. I have rarely ever seen this; the species is so closely identified with nest boxes now. It certainly was a very pleasing discovery.

        More pictures of this beautiful wetland area:

     On our final stop of the day we were very fortunate to locate Eastern Towhee Pipilo erythrophthalmus, with both male and female vocalizing and displaying in full view.

Eastern Towhee - male

Eastern Towhee - male

Eastern Towhee - female

     On the way home, in what has become a bit of a tradition, Curtiss treated everyone to ice cream - and delicious it was too. What a great way to end an altogether delightful excursion.


  1. Hi. A truly fabulous place to birds. Great photos you have taken.

  2. What a wonderful habitat. Nice to see the waxwing.

  3. Looks like a great little nature reserve...........

    1. It is far from small, Stuart; vast would be a better description.

  4. Hi David.

    Beautiful surroundings.
    The magnificent birds.
    But Beaver is really super.

    Groettie from Patricia.

  5. Beautiful pictures of a great countryside and its inhabitants.
    Gr Jan W

  6. The wetlands are gorgeous. I love all the birds and the beaver.

  7. Beautiful shots here, the one of the dragonfly is just gorgeous! And how cool you spotted the beaver as well? Lovely shots, and thank you for the kind comments too! - Tasha

  8. Looks a great spot for birds David. I imagined I saw Prothonatary Warblers and Belted Kingfisher. Could almost be Long Point!

    Go easy on that ice cream. Very fattening for men of a certain age.

  9. Beautiful piece of nature where you had to walk David.
    Beautiful pictures, including all those beautiful species of birds.
    Greetings Tinie

  10. This is a fantastic place for animals. Regards :)

  11. A beautiful place that is natural, animals and swamps, love it.

  12. What very inviting place to spend a day Bird watching and polished off with great company,superb post David.

  13. What a fabulous place to spend a day with good friends. Wonderful photos - and such a variety of wildlife. I love our UK wildlife but it really doesn't compare, quieter, less obvious . . . but when I see a brown hare my heart sings.

  14. Beautiful photos and very interesting blog post again. Cedar Waxwing looks awesome, as do Bohemian waxwing I saw this week :)

  15. so many wonderful finds! loved seeing the baby in the tree nest.

  16. Nice swamp environment and nice pictures

  17. Hello, looks like a great place for birding. I like the wood duck, Towhee and the Waxwing. Great post! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  18. Towhees and waxwings are beautiful and the swallow in the natural nest stole my heart! We used to live near a wetlands in Oregon that was open to waterfowl hunting during part of Autumn and I hated to hear the shotguns. But as you pointed out at least it is regulated.

  19. Dearest David,
    Wow, that was a very interesting day in this wetland. Indeed, you showed the many different faces of this vast marsh area. Loved that photo with the Tree Swallow in its nest; so cute. You got several great photos and it was very interesting to read your story.

  20. What a lovely posts, your photo's are lovely and the wetlands looks a good place to visit.
    Nature at its best!

    All the best Jan