Fall Colours Walk at Leckey Nature Reserve
October 14, 2023: On the sunny fall morning of October 14, about 25 people were treated to a fall colours tour of the Leckey Nature Reserve. This Nature Reserve is looked after by the Northumberland Land Trust. The steward for the Property, Laurie Hill, led the walk through the fields and forests of these beautiful 177 acres. Highlights included the colourful views from the tops of the hills, and a special viewing of a porcupine house in a tree! Thanks to everyone who came out, it was a lovely morning.
Sneak Peak: de Lint nature reserve
August 12, 2023: More than 20 people including six members of the Board took the tour of the property that will be the next addition to the Northumberland Land Trust. Before the walk began an osprey flew over the group with a fish in its talons. The first leg of the tour took in the forested section of this 100-acre property, and concluded in the fields next to the watercourse.
Lone Pine Marsh Braham Nature Reserve – Dragonflies and Butterflies Nature Walk
July 14, 2023: The group smelled the milkweed flowers, peered into little spaces, and found tiny damselflies, frogs, caterpillars, and a multitude of unidentified beauties. Hilda Van Netten wrote about the walk in her blog, titled In Praise of Slowness.
Jack Van Nostrand Nature (JVN) Reserve walk
June 17, 23. NLT members and friends gathered for a walk at the JVN Nature Reserve. Led by JVN Steward David Geale, the Group made its way down the rough, and sometimes muddy, trail along the west boundary of the Reserve. It was too late in the season for the chorus of Northern Waterthrushes that can be heard here in May, but Swamp Sparrows, Common Yellowthroats and Eastern Wood-Pewees were among the birds proclaiming their territories. Some of the butternut seedlings donated by John Apostolides were close to the trail; they had their first leaves out and seemed to be doing well.
The previous night, David had set up a white sheet with a bright light to attract moths, and the number of moths still clinging to the sheet in the morning was impressive. Most were small, though many were intricately and attractively patterned. However, there was also one large female promethea silkmoth (Callosamia promethea, photo left) which sat happily on David’s finger for everyone to have a good look.
At the lakeshore we saw a Caspian Tern and a loon amongst the more common Ring-billed Gulls, and Tree Swallows were busily feeding nestlings in the newly-installed nest box. We were also able to see some of the turtle basking logs (but no turtles, unfortunately) put in place by volunteers a couple of winters ago, and a probable Least Bittern was seen briefly.
McEwen Nature Reserve walk
June 1, 2023: It was a good morning to see Grasshopper Sparrows, nesting Tree Swallows and Bluebirds, as well as Crested Flycatchers and other birds that call grasslands and forests home. The Group was also able to see some Eastern Newts from the pond.
Wilkinson Nature Reserve walk
January 28, 2023: Although there was a fair bit of snow on the ground, most of the tracks we found had been degraded somewhat by sublimation – the melting and enlarging of tracks due to melt. Regardless, we managed to find tracks of Red Squirrel, White-tailed Deer, an unidentified canid (either Red Fox or Coyote), plus a small weasel (either Long- or Short-tailed) and best of all, a set of Fisher tracks. While the latter are fairly well distributed in the county, they are generally scarce and very rarely seen. Very few birds were noted but we did see a lovely Northern Shrike hunting in the marsh (probably the first record for this species at Wilkinson) and a lone Rock Dove flying over, which was somewhat out of place.
Munn Nature Reserve walk
October 23, 2022: The weather was warm and the leaves were spectacular as a group of over 30 people headed into the woods on the Munn Nature Reserve. Our walk was led by James Munn, who taught us about trees and forest communities, as well as the history of the Reserve. He planted many of the trees on the property with his family, who sought to create habitat for wildlife in an area that had previously used for pastureland. On our tour through this thriving forest community, we were able to see the results of the Munn family’s labour and foresight.
DeKleer Nature Reserve Opening
September 10, 2022. A large group of family, friends, and members of Willow Beach field Naturalists and NLT gathered to see the newly installed sign and to officially open the de Kleer Nature Reserve. For many, it was the first chance to see some of the property, walk part of its boundary, enjoy refreshments, and meet Harold, who generously donated this Reserve. Piper Creek and its headwater tributaries flow through the Reserve on their way to Cold Creek. They are fed by multiple springs and seeps along the way as they pass through moist cedar lowlands and mature hemlock forest. At the north end there is a steep rise into deciduous uplands with a view over the valley below.