Birding Luther Marsh

6:04 PM

Luther Marsh is a large wetland located in the valley of the Grand River in Southern Ontario. The marsh is home to a wide variety of birds and other wildlife. On Wednesday May 11, 2011 we took a morning birding trip to Luther Marsh and ended up seeing 53 species (not bad for a few hours of birding). The highlight of the trip was finding what I call 'a patch of birds'- a spot in the forest amongst some cedars and birch trees where several warblers and other song birds seemed to be "dripping" from the trees. It was in this patch of birds that I saw a few species I haven't seen since 2010 including a Scarlet Tanager, a Blackburnian Warbler, Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks and Great Crested Flycatcher. It was nice to see these birds back in Ontario! In addition to these species I also saw an active Great Blue Heronry and nesting Common Loons. Below are a few photos of the marsh and the bird list for the morning at Luther Marsh.

Sign at the main entrance.

The marsh.

The lookout tower where two Common Loons were easily seen.

Another shot of the marsh.

Luther Marsh Birding List- May 11, 2011
  1. Common Loon (Gavia immer)
  2. Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
  3. Gadwall (Anas strepera)
  4. Ring-Necked Duck (Aythya collaris)
  5. American Wigeon (Anas americana)
  6. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
  7. Pied-Billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
  8. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
  9. Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
  10. Coopers Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
  11. Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)- male and female
  12. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
  13. American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)
  14. Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius)
  15. Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)
  16. Ring-Billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)
  17. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
  18. Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)
  19. Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)
  20. Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)
  21. Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe)
  22. Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
  23. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
  24. Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
  25. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
  26. Black-Capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
  27. Red-Breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)
  28. House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
  29. Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)
  30. American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
  31. Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
  32. Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia)
  33. Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia)
  34. Black-and-White Warbler (Mniotilta varia)
  35. Black-Throated Green Warbler (Dendroica virens)
  36. Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata)
  37. Blackburnian Warbler (Dendroica fusca)
  38. Nashville Warbler (Vermivora ruficapilla)
  39. Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus)
  40. Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)
  41. Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)
  42. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
  43. Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)
  44. White-Crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
  45. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
  46. Rose-Breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
  47. Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)
  48. Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
  49. Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
  50. Brown-Headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
  51. Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
  52. American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis)
  53. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
While at the Humber Arboretum in Toronto today I saw among several species a pair of Northern Mockingbirds (Mimus polyglottos), several Eastern Kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus), several Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis), a flock of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) and a pair of nesting Red-Tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis). I've also had a few interesting birds in the backyard most notably, Green Herons (Butorides virescens), Nashville Warblers (Vermivora ruficapilla) and several Myrtle Warblers (Dendroica coronata)

~ Good Birding!

Kristen Martyn

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