Harmony Road Wetlands

Aug 26, 2015
On Sunday I visited the Harmony Road Wetlands. :)
It’s located on Harmony Road (as you might have guessed) approximately 3 kilometres east of Highway 37. It is a beautiful little spot that is great for bird watchers, and also offers a fun challenge for bird photographers. Here’s what it looks like.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
(click on the picture to enlarge it, then use the ‘back’ button to return to the blog)
In the above photo you can see a family of Great Egrets and a group of Wood Ducks. The birds in this shot are about 100 yards from the roadside.

There is no way to enter the wetlands, and very little space to park your car between the road and the water – so getting close enough to take good photos is a challenge. Many of the birds nearer the roadway are very wary, and hide in the tall grass. However, forĀ a bird watcher with binoculars it would not be difficult to get a good look at some Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Swamp Sparrows, Wood Ducks – and maybe even catch a glimpse of the more reclusive species like Sora and Virginia Rails.

When I arrived at approximately 7:30am, there were at least 10 Great Egrets and two Great Blue Herons sharing the waters at the edge of the far woods. They were too far away for any close shots, but then suddenly one of the herons took to the air.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
He didn’t seemed bothered at all by my presence (some Great Blue Herons are that way) and he settled into the water about 50 feet in front of me.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
He hunted in that location for almost the whole time I was there.

As I watched the heron, I also noticed several Swamp Sparrows darting about in the tall grass. They seldom perched in the open, but I did manage this one shot.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015

Finally, a Virginia Rail and its two young stepped out where I could photograph them. Here’s a shot of the adult.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
And here’s one of its fuzzy black chicks.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
I was so happy to get these shots. I had been hearing the rails all morning, but when any of them showed themselves it was only for a split second, until these three came out in the open.

When the rails disappeared back into the weeds, I headed back to my car. Half way there I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. The Great Blue Heron was walking out onto the road behind me! He was relocating to the other side where there was also a small patch of open water.
(c) copyright Garry Kirsch, 2015
I turned and got this shot, and then walked a little closer. The big bird didn’t pay any attention to me. He just went about his business as if I wasn’t there. It was a fun moment that capped a great morning of birding. :)

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