Tag Archives: Warblers

The Sifton Bog

The Sifton Bog

London Canada

2016/06/24

Dragon Fly
Dragon Fly
Sifton Bog Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) is located on the south side of Oxford Street, west of Hyde Park Road. The map on the reverse shows the access points and trails.
Parking is available at the main entrance on Oxford Street.
The main feature of this 41.6-hectare public site is the floating acid peat bog and associated boreal plant life. Deciduous swamp and upland forest surround the bog, providing a sharp contrast between the northern (boreal) and southern (Carolinian) vegetation types.
Pitcher Plant
Pitcher Plant

Trails

There is a variety of trails within this site, totaling 2.7 km (see map on reverse). A 370-metre long boardwalk leads from the parking lot at Oxford Street to Redmond’s Pond at the centre of the bog, where there is a viewing platform. Most of the trails are easy to walk, but there are a couple of short hills. The managed trails are marked with yellow blazes.

History

Since the bog’s “discovery” by local naturalists in the 1870s, it has been a site of fascination and some controversy. In the 20th century, drainage was attempted to grow celery, layers of peat were harvested, and Black Spruce trees were sold for Christmas trees.

In 1957 a movement to preserve the bog was initiated by Dr. W.W. Judd of the University of Western Ontario. The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority acquired the site in 1967 from the Sifton Construction Company. The City of London later purchased additional lands.

Dragon Fly
Dragon Fly

Bog Formation

The bog is a product of glaciation. As the last ice sheet melted 13,000 years ago, a large block of ice broke off and settled in the glacial till (sand and gravel). When the block melted it left a kettle lake, cut off from any watercourses. Sedges, mosses and other plants gradually colonized the margins of the lake. Due to the cool, oxygen-poor conditions, when dead plants sank to the bottom, they did not break down fully, but became compressed as peat.

In time, the accumulating peat formed a semi-floating mat that crept from the outer edges of the bog towards the open water at the centre. As the mat became consolidated, Sphagnum mosses, heath plants and spruce trees grew on the drier hummocks.

Wild flowers
Wild flowers

Plant Communities

The bog’s most fascinating plant life is found near Redmond’s Pond, where colourful Sphagnum mosses grow on the surface of a quaking mat of partly decayed mosses. Other common plants include Leatherleaf, Small Cranberry, Black Huckleberry and Highbush Blueberry. Carnivorous plants such as Pitcher Plant and Round-leaved Sundew grow amongst the mosses. Orchids, including Rose Pogonia and Grass Pink, brighten the mat in early summer. In the fall, a profusion of Cotton Grass, a kind of sedge, may be seen. Towards the outer edges of the bog, Black Spruce and Tamarack trees grow.

Redmond’s Pond supports Southern Pond Lily, identified by its attractive yellow flowers and upright leaves.

Surrounding the peat bog is a swamp of Red and Silver Maple, White Pine and White Birch. There are also several small pockets of Silver Maple swamp in the southwest corner of the ESA near Naomee Place.

On the higher, drier ground surrounding the bog are trees and shrubs typical of southern Ontario’s hardwood forest. Stately White and Red Oak, Black Cherry, and Sugar Maple stand tall, overlooking the bog.

Morning refections
Morning refections

Wildlife

Numerous species of warblers, sparrows and other migrants stop over during spring and fall migration. In some years, the Black Spruce and Tamarack cones attract the winter finches.

Painted Turtles
Painted Turtles

Green Frog and Grey Treefrog are often heard in the spring. Midland Painted Turtle frequent Redmond’s Pond.

Raccoon, Grey Squirrel, Eastern Chipmunk and other mammals typical of urban natural areas can be found in the drier habitats. White-tailed Deer live in and around the ESA. The herd’s intense browsing pressure is known to result in the loss of young trees, which has a long-term impact on forest regeneration. Coyotes have also been seen and heard in the ESA.

Baby Frog
Baby Frog
FROG
FROG

Sifton Bog is home to uncommon butterflies, including the Bog Copper, whose larvae feed on cranberry plants, and the Bog Elfin, which relies on blueberry plants. Many brightly coloured dragonflies and damselflies can be seen around the pond in summer.

Colage
Colage

INFORMATION:Upper Thames Valley Conservation Authority

WIKIPEDIA

Doug Worrall Photography

DW PHOTOGRAPHY

London , Canada

Georgia Road

905 865 4034

Cootes Paradise Just gets Better-Hamilton

At Valley Inn this week

30/09/13

My Favorite area for wildlife
My Favorite area for wildlife

Osprey action has been minimal with most of the birds having left two weeks ago-Yesterday saw one, will attach image-taken with morning light.

Osprey
Osprey

I also heard from other photographers The odd Osprey is still in the area and one was pursued by an adult Bald Eagle Tuesday, which was unable to retrieve the fish the Osprey dropped.

I have never seen a Bald Eagle.

Some mud flats have appeared and we get a few late shorebirds most days. Wood ducks are staging up in the area, a few fly over most days within photo range.

Great Egrets have been few so far though 2-3 are often present. With a few opportunities for flight shots.

In Flight Egret
In Flight Egret
egret dancing
egret dancing

The three Green heron  that have been around for several weeks are still here but will move south soon. Great blue and Black-crowned Night Herons are often within camera range though this year the Black Crowned numbers are very low at Valley Inn.Yesterday one flew into camera range-it is attached. But they are not as easy to capture.

Whitetail deer
Whitetail deer
Just before Fog Moved-in
Just before Fog Moved-in
In Flight
In Flight

Warblers have been seen in moderate numbers all week, Woodlands cemetery is best in early morning

Blue Heron
Blue Heron

King fishers have been active lately, yesterday saw four in one tree.

Cormorant
Cormorant

Cedar Waxwings are beginning to appear in numbers, look for them feeding on Honeysuckle berries

A good shoot this week has been a tame Ruddy duck, present for several days and very approachable-albeit I missed HIM

Night Heron
Night Heron

Wild Asters are abundant and bees gathering winter pollen have been very numerous this week

Sources-Area Update-Wikipedia

 

Doug Worrall

Photographer