Bird-watching at Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland

I was debating where to spend some time outside this long weekend, especially because the public transit schedule is different every single day.  Looking at eBird, I realized there was a bird-watching spot very close to where I live called Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland, so I searched for instructions on how to get there this morning and walked there right after.

The main purposes of this man-made wetland are to collect run-off water and de-silt the water before it flows into Sawmill Creek.

It took me only about 20 minutes to walk to here.

Saw my first woolly bear this year but it was partially squished, so I moved it off the path and hoped it will still survive.

Found a bird-kill scene on the grass.  It was a large bird.


More (tail) feathers, with my shoe next to them for scale.  I am guessing it was a Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) that got killed.

Looking at the "main cell".

The "wetland".  It is nice to have such a "natural" area right in between a shopping centre and a major road.

One part of the pathway is blocked by construction for the Airport Parkway Bridge, which apparently is way behind schedule and heavily criticized.

Now onto the animals and plants I saw while walking around the wetland.

Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris).


A sparrow.  I am guessing a Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia), but I could totally be incorrect.

Same as above.

Pussy willows (female).

Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola).

The area is so well-groomed that the only plant flowering is coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara).  The only insect I saw visiting the flowers were flies such as above.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis).
While scanning the vegetation with my binocular, I realized there was something different hiding among the cattails about 100 metres away.  Looking closer, I realize it might be a Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), which is a species I have seen many times in Taiwan but never here in Canada. [Correction: After Wanderin' Weeta mentioned my post in her recent blog post, I went back to my post from my one visit to Reifel and realized I have seen this species once before.  Therefore, this was my second time.  Still, it was cool to see it again after almost six years.]

When I walked to the other side of the pond, I searched for a while before seeing its back through shrub branches.  It is definitely a BCNH, such a cool find!

Then I saw this Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) looking at the animals in/on the water before it was chased off by two blackbirds.

Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus).

Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser).

And then one of my favourite birds - a Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps).

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus).

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus).
Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).

Some other birds that I saw but didn't photograph were: starlings, a woodpecker (either a Hairy or a Downy), crows, and gulls.

I am glad I found such a spot so close to where I live.  I might visit this place when I need to correct my "nature deficiency".

1 comment:

Susannah Anderson said...

I mentioned you and this post in today's blog post. Here

I'm glad you've finally found yourself a good wetland!

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