Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Who knew sewage lagoons could be so much fun?

I still have a duckling on my front porch. Apparently I have a pack of vampire ducklings down there. They are all nibbling on each others' wing pinfeathers! So far no one but poor Hannibal has had to be segregated, but I wish they'd all cut it out! We just put permanent fencing around their run and quadrupled the size, so they are hardly suffering for excitement. SIGH. Anyway, onto other birds.

The weekend before last was Thanksgiving, and we decided to drive up to Alfred, Ontario to visit the Alfred Sewage Lagoons and the Alfred Bog. Believe it or not, it was all much prettier than it sounds!


The fall colours were quite spectacular last weekend. Here's a stand of maples, and if you look to the left of the rightmost tree's trunk, you can see a combine harvester out harvesting soybeans!


We passed a nice dairy farm or two. Or three. Or four.



And more beautiful colours!

Then we arrived at the sewage lagoons, home to the Alfred Birding Site. Apparently the sewage lagoons are eastern Ontario's premier birding site.


Who knew a sewage lagoons could be so pretty? 


Through the binoculars, we saw Snow geese, Canada geese, mallards, and Ruddy ducks and probably some other waterfowl, but I needed my friend Happy Wombat Boy there to perform long-distance identification!


We brought some binoculars with us...


...but the site had a lovely birding observation tower, complete with powerful binocs! We were very impressed.


This lagoon had been drained, obviously.


Here's Gordon looking all ornithological.



And some bird had made good use of the tower during nesting season! Robin, perhaps?





Someone showed up to do a bird study while we were there.

If you're anywhere near Alfred, I highly recommend this place. I am looking forward to going back for some more birding.

Next post: the Alfred Bog!

20 comments:

  1. I take it a sewage lagoon is where a city or farm dumps its sewage? Is it dangerous for those birds to be in the sewagey water?

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  2. Wow - I would have been put off by the name, but it looks so beautiful. I have been to the Alfred Bog before but didn't know about the sewage lagoons. Will have to add it to my list of local "must-sees".

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  3. Ahab, it's from nearby (tiny) Alfred, and I believe it's treated before going into the lagoons, and is fine for the birds. But here's a good PDF page about it:

    http://www.jacquesbouvier.ca/downloads/BWCsu06.pdf

    They do fence it and you have to stay on the trail unless you get special permission from the town to go closer. The water is quite clear. I think there's some aeration thing going on there.

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  4. Evlyn, the name is horrible but it's quite close to the bog! The birdlife there is amazing.

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  5. The Vankleek Hill Nature Society goes there for birding excursions and fellow birders bring scopes...and help identify the water birds. I've seen all sorts of fab stuff there. Great spot and often mentioned in the bird column in the Ottawa Citizen.

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  6. my post posted THREE times. (Sorry.)

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  7. Three Ronnas, thrice the fun! ;)

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  8. The lagoon is really pretty! Not at all what I pictured in my head when I read the word "sewage".

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  9. I wasn't sure what to expect either, when we were on our way there! It smelled fine too. :)

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  10. What a lovely outing. Sorry to read that the ducklings are still nibbling on each other's wings and hoping you don't have to put any more in the bathtub...although that post was really sweet to read.

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  11. By the name of it I certainly wasn't expecting it to be so beautiful!

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  12. Excellent! A few years ago a load of land that had been a firing range and wasteground was turned into a bird sanctuary. It is a great place to visit.

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  13. They should definitely change the name. Beautiful place.

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  14. Sewage Lagoons had not previously been on any list of mine of places to visit. I live and learn.

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  15. I've read about how very valuable it is to have the grasses grow right to the water's edge to act as a filter for the runoff pollutants. Wish that was the norm here.

    Looks lovely, indeed.

    It looks like a lovely spot.

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  16. The trees remind me of beautiful Laurentides in the Fall. I never cease to wonder at the colouring.

    Great birds'place to visit. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. How pretty and I could spend all day up there bird watching. There are a lot of the new home constructions here using a composting sewage system where it travels through a myriad of filtration systems (non - chemical) and eventually the grey water leeches out into a pond and becomes a water feature in the garden. Trust me, it did not float my boat - the idea of it - but I would seriously consider it after seeing a few.

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  18. call it something else than a sewerage lagoon.. it sounds rather...well.........shitty
    x

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  19. Paula, the littler ducklings are now getting bathed in the kitchen sink (yes, I disinfect afterwards!) They are so cute when they have a bath. :)


    LBM and CogDis, they need a catchier name!

    Jams, I love it when they give places like that a new, better use.

    Andrew, these were definitely worth the trip.

    Marylee, it's quite the bird habitat there. Amazing how clean and clear the water looked.

    Claude, we were VERY close to the Quebec border there. It's a very French area, too.

    Mona, that sounds like a fantastic idea. I would love to see that here!

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  20. Paula, the littler ducklings are now getting bathed in the kitchen sink (yes, I disinfect afterwards!) They are so cute when they have a bath. :)


    LBM and CogDis, they need a catchier name!

    Jams, I love it when they give places like that a new, better use.

    Andrew, these were definitely worth the trip.

    Marylee, it's quite the bird habitat there. Amazing how clean and clear the water looked.

    Claude, we were VERY close to the Quebec border there. It's a very French area, too.

    Mona, that sounds like a fantastic idea. I would love to see that here!

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!