Beaver Hill Nature Reserve and Recreational area

We start today with an early rise to get the troops fed and head out to Beaver Hill where there is a large lake. Migrating birds use this as a layover on their way south. We checked out the edge and entry to the reserve the evening before and realized that due to the surrounding marshes starting to fill in the lake edge, it will be a longish , potentially boggy walk to the lake edge.

It is a beautiful sunrise and we start making our way towards the lake . The grasses get taller and taller and after a good kilometer we start getting very soggy, squelchy ground. We are still not close enough to the water but we start seeing large flocks of geese taking off for the days flight.

It is fun, but not quite what we hoped to achieve. We are going to take another approach later in the day.
As we are sitting at home having a cup of tea, we hear a lot of overhead commotion and it’s a huge flock of Snow geese and Canada geese flying above the house. Looking at their flight pattern it looks like they are going to land and so with tripods and a bevy of cameras we head out to the nearby wetlands and small lake.


The largely white birds are the snow geese, the ones with a white chin strap are the Canada Geese and the grey ones are the juvenile Snow Geese. What a bonus.

In the afternoon we come in to the reserve from the end of the lake where the Bird Observation and Beaver Hill volunteers work tirelessly from. They have a very active program of bird count and banding some species, at this time of the year it is  the  Northern Saw-whet Owl. We see a number of rolled up nets waiting to briefly capture the birds for banding. At the Observation area , there are three simple huts from which the volunteers work, some solar power and rain water collection. The calendar inside shows a daily activity from dawn to midday, so as it is late afternoon we have the place to ourselves.

It is a beautiful peaceful area with lots of Beaver activity.

Including what looks like a little Beaver storage larder. Quite amazing how large a tree they can tackle, all bits used either for eating, building and waterproofing the home or simply making sure the teeth don’t over grow, which might necessitate a beaver dental visit.
There are no large flocks in the water, but we witness a fly over of a very large flock of Sandhill cranes calling out. The place looks beautiful in the afternoon light.


A good 8km hike and we feel it’s time to get some poppyseed cake afternoon tea. 

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