The Blue Trail: March 2021

The most secluded tail within one hour’s drive of Toronto that I know is the blue trail at the Jim Baillie Nature Reserve just north of Leaskdale.

Some unlucky bird was likely surprised by an owl

It can be very icy or very muddy here. I was glad to have my ice grippers. There was very little sound apart from the tones of nature. I heard Canada Geese overhead, Killdeer, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird, Northern Cardinal and Song Sparrow.

Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Mourning Dove

The trail is mostly in a Red Maple swamp.

Some Botany:

Yellow Birch (Betula pensylvanica)
Yellow Birch (Betula pensylvanica)
White Birch (Betula papyrifera)
White Birch (Betula papyrifera)
Dwarf Birch (Betula pumila)
Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamea)
Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia) from last year
Tamarack (Larix laricina)
Marginal Fern from last year
Red Maple (Acer rubra)
Fertile frond of Sensitive Fern
Ground-hemlock (Taxus canadensis)
Virgin’s-bower (Clematis virginiana)
White Spruce Cones
Shelf Mushroom
Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)
Cat-tail (Typha)
White Spruce (Picea glauca)
Black Locust (Robinea pseudoacacia)


I received this about Sandhill Cranes:

Why southwestern Ontario is currently home to thousands of sandhill cranes |


March is a boisterous fellow,
And undeterred by fear,
With many pranks proclaims himself
The tomboy of the year!                             – The 1931 Old Farmer’s Almanac

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “The Blue Trail: March 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Snow! Ice! The remains of an owl’s dinner! (Feathers only, Thank God.) Wonderful botanical detail!
    Thanks, Miles!


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