Friends of Minesing Wetlands

Inspiring Respect and Sustainability for a World Class Wetland, for People, Forever


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Heronry Snowshoe March 1

On March 1 the Friends of Minesing Wetlands led another successful tour into the Minesing Wetlands

FOMW trip leaders Sean and Dave
FOMW trip leaders Sean and Dave

Weather conditions were very similar to the snowshoe a month earlier with overcast skies and cold temperatures, but it didn’t take long to warm up once we started snowshoeing.

Friends starting off for the heronry

FOMW begin snowshoe to the Minesing Wetlands heronry

Along the way we came across evidence of active wildlife in the wetlands including an Otter track (slide) that lead to a hole marking the entrance to its hunting grounds under frozen Willow Creek. In the trees along the Nottawasaga River we could here the calls of woodpeckers.

The group collected Hackberry fruit again, which will end up in a nursery for up to 4 years before being planted along the Nottawasaga River levee as part of an afforestation project aimed to bolster forest cover in the Minesing Wetlands.

Gathering the low hanging fruit!

Gathering the low hanging fruit!

From the levees of the Nottawasaga river we pushed out onto the frozen floodplains where the Great Blue Heron nesting site (heronry) is located. As reported earlier this month we confirmed 8 nests. The decline in nests in the Minesing Wetlands could be attributed to declining forest cover (less suitable nesting sites) and, as pointed out by our trip  leaders,  territory issues related to neighboring Bald Eagle nests.

Across the floodplain

Across the floodplain

It was a fun and educational day that gave our guests a unique look at the Minesing Wetlands. Thanks to all who participated!


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Highlights from February 1, 2014 Snowshoe

The Friends of the Minesing Wetlands celebrated World Wetlands Day by leading a snowshoe into the Minesing Wetlands. Our goal was to locate the current location of heronry (or rookery) and get a count on the current number of nests. We also wanted to share knowledge on past and current ecological conditions in the Minesing Wetlands.

It was a blustery day to for a snowshoe led by FOWM directors Sean Rootham, Dave Featherstone and David Walsh…

And we're off

And we’re off!

The FOMW crossed Willow Creek and then on to the Nottawasaga Levee. Although the overcast skies and heavy snow limited views, the group was still able to see the expansive floodplain. We came across examples of challenges facing the Minesing Wetlands including invasive species.

Phragmites at Downey Drain Crossing

Phragmites at Downey Drain Crossing

From a recent analysis of forest cover in the Minesing Wetlands, Sean Rootham reported a 60% decline in deciduous floodplain forest between 1953 and 2013. This forest decline has led to a significant shift in wetland structure in the Minesing Wetlands where closed canopy swamp forest (floodplain and boreal) once constituted the majority of the wetland habitat, now, open canopy habitats (marsh, fen, thicket swamp) predominate.

Talking About Forest Change

Talking About Forest Change

The group of friends collected fruit from Hackberry trees along the Nottawasaga River levee, which will support afforestation projects aimed to bolster remaining deciduous floodplain forest in the Minesing Wetlands.

Hackberry Fruit Collection

Hackberry Fruit Collection

Also on the snowshoe the FOWM identified the nesting site of Great Blue Herons in the Minesing Wetlands. We confirmed 8 nests and 2 “maybes”.

It was a fun winter activity on a perfect winter day for the Friends of Minesing Wetlands showing once again that the Minesing Wetlands truly is a “wetland for all seasons”.

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