After my experience at Hilton Falls Conservation Area I decided I wanted to see more of what Ontario’s Conservation Areas had to offer. My friend Sydney and I were looking for an area that was abundant with wildlife. One area that was on our radar was Lynde Shores Conservation Area in the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority’s watershed. It is known for its animals- especially its chickadee feedings. There is also a beach which was an added bonus for us, so we decided to check it out. This time we made sure to pick a day where the weather would cooperate.
Immediately after arriving, we were overwhelmed by all of the wildlife. On the path leading from the parking lot to the trails we were greeted by ducks waddling around, birds flying around our heads, and chipmunks running around at our feet! The animals did not seem even remotely phased by the presence of humans. To start off, we chose the shorter well-known path called Chickadee Trail. Upon entering the slightly more wooded area we were engulfed by wildlife. Many of the animals would allow us to walk by them without ever moving an inch. The chipmunks would come right up to us searching for food. We would even just kneel down and pretend to offer food and the chipmunks would come running to search our empty hands.
Along the path there were many species of birds not only interacting with each other but with the chipmunks and squirrels as well. Grackles, Red-winged Black birds, Blue Jays, ducks and many more all wandered about picking at the ground only feet from us. There were some chickadees perched along the sides of the trees but they didn’t pay much attention to us as we didn’t have any seed to feed them. Walking along the path Sydney and I felt like we were in the movie Snow White. We had never seen such a beautiful sight!
As the trail loop was coming to an end we found ourselves at a bit of a road block. One black squirrel and one grey squirrel stood along the path. As we approached they seemed to be holding their ground and Sydney and I became a bit nervous. Squirrels look a lot bigger up close, and these squirrels were very bold. We stopped in our tracks and began to slowly back up. The black squirrel started creeping towards us and then stopped and stood up. It began to move its tail up and down. Scared this was some kind of ‘attack’ body language we fled the scene and headed all the way back around in the opposite direction. It’s safe to say that in this situation the squirrels definitely won.
Our next journey was along the LeVays Lane Trail to the shore of Lake Ontario. This was a much lengthier path, but it was very open land and we spotted many birds along the way. Some of those being a male Baltimore Oriole, a male Bobolink (threatened species), and what we thought was a Great Blue Heron but was later identified as a Great Egret. After trekking for some time we could hear the waves crashing and we knew we must be getting close. Finally we found ourselves on a beach along the shores of Lake Ontario where we perched ourselves on a log and enjoyed a lovely picnic.
After a long day full of many interesting and amazing animal sightings, we decided it was time to head back. We thought we had taken enough pictures and decided to put the cameras away. This time we took the other side of the LeVays Lane Trail hoping to maybe see some new animals. And sure enough, as we turned the corner there it was, an adorable baby deer not even30 meters from us. In shock, I told Sydney to carefully get the camera out of my bag for this was a moment I did not want to miss. She did so and we began to snap pictures. The deer was adorable and looked just like Bambi, “We really are in a Disney movie today!” Sydney had said as we began to creep closer towards the deer. The Deer, like the other animals, was not at all concerned with our presence. It even began to slowly walk towards us practically posing for our pictures along the way. Then ever so casually, it slowly galloped and disappeared into the brush.
It’s safe to say our experience at Lynde Shores Conservation Area was unforgettable and was truly amazing. Never in my life have I been exposed to somany animals in nature! I will definitely be paying Lynde Shores Conservation Area a visit again sometime in the near future.
There are more than 270 conservation areas across Ontario, many which offer heritage sites, hiking and water activities. Most conservation areas are close towns and cities and easy to access. To find a conservation area near you, go to www.ontarioconservationareas.ca
Kaitlyn MacEachern is a summer student at Conservation Ontario going into her second year of studies at Dalhousie University in the fall. She is passionate about learning about the environment, leading a healthy active lifestyle, and exploring the great outdoors.
A beautiful Blue Jay perched in a tree along the Bird Feeder Trail
One of the many adorable chipmunks searching for food
A beautiful view for a delicious picnic!
The baby deer we named Bambi 'posing' for the camera