Hillman Marsh

When Miles and I visited the East coast of Canada this spring, we stumbled upon some of the best bird viewing that North America has to offer. We went on as many walks/hikes as possible around the Southern most point in Canada (see all posts about this trip here), but none was as exciting as Hillman Marsh Conservation Area. Of the tourist hiking and birding attractions in the area, Hillman Marsh is definitely on the main attraction list — but is just out of the way enough and just wild enough to be an exotic location. For one thing, the walk is much longer than typical tourist-frequented walks (it is more of a brisk hike), and despite the wide lawn-like walk, Hillman Marsh is definitely more wild than the trails of Point Pelee (don’t let the manicured grass of Hillman Marsh deceive you — geese poop, evicerated muskrat carcasses, and sneaky little dog ticks abound!). We went several times. The first time, it was overcast and chilly:

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{ Beaver territory }

Hillman Marsh

Hillman Marsh

{ A culprit! Probably a young one, as this little guy was not camera-shy }

Hillman Marsh

Hillman Marsh

{ A chilly day at Hillman Marsh }

Hillman Marsh

Hillman Marsh Hillman Marsh

The other three times we visited Hillman’s Marsh, it was hot and sunny out. The last time, there was also a special birding event, where you could meet rescued birds of prey, and watch experts tag migratory songbirds.

Hillman Marsh

{ Songbird tagging in process }

Hillman Marsh

{ Tagging a Warbler requires a steady hand, and a good eye }

Hillman Marsh

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Hillman Marsh

Hillman Marsh

{ Onward to the Marsh walk }

Hillman Marsh

Hillman Marsh

{ The second it gets warm at Hillman’s Marsh, the toads and frogs burst into mating season rituals }

Hillman Marsh

{ A frog and a toad }

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{ A male toad calling for a mate }

Hillman Marsh

{ Frog Party @ the algae burst! }

Hillman Marsh

{ My mother and Miles entering the Marsh trail }

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{ A yellow warbler }

Hillman Marsh

Hillman Marsh

{ Miles spotted a muskrat that was crossing the trail }

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{ Miles tried to be diligent, but somehow walked RIGHT over a snake! }

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{ A snake in the throes of molting his/her skin }

Hillman Marsh

{ A blackbird }

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{ Swans }

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{ Beavers }

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{ A cardinal }

Hillman Marsh

Hillman Marsh

{ I must have an eye for snakes — I spotted another snake sunning his/herself }

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Hillman Marsh Hillman Marsh

{ Last year Miles had the opportunity of a lifetime of chasing hundreds of Canadian Geese — he now has a firm eye on them! }

Hillman Marsh

Hillman Marsh

{ A swan flying from above – did you know swans are the largest members of the waterfowl family? }

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{ Miles spotted what I call “turtle lane” first… }

Hillman Marsh

Hillman Marsh

{ To the untrained eye, this is just some random sticks in shallow water. Look closer! }

Hillman Marsh

{ Turtle gathering! }

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{ I like this turtle’s flair }

Hillman Marsh

{ Big & Little }

Hillman Marsh

{ Panorama of the park entrance – (click here for high res version) }

Hillman Marsh

{ The birding lookout }

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Hillman Marsh Hillman Marsh Hillman Marsh

10 comments on Hillman Marsh

  • Gail

    Really enjoyed seeing your wild life photos! It looks like Miles enjoyed his outings. Our Bailey waits patiently every morning to see the turtles emerge from our pond. I think they are fasinated by them! Love Miles’ collar and leash. Have you shared what brand it is?

    • Emma (author)

      Hi Gail 🙂 Miles would love to hang out with Bailey and wait for the turtles!

      And I love Miles’ collar and leash too. It is actually a “all-in-one agility lead,” custom handmade by Angela at AgilityQ. I highly recommend her! I pretty much only use the two all-in-ones I have from her. Miles’ two have withstood a million adventures and washes, are still soft as ever, and are attractive as they were freshly made. Plus I’ve met Angela in person and she is a really nice person. The one shown is the special edition 2015 Agility Nationals lead (seen here).

  • Mary Ann Banks

    Hi Gail is Miles a Welsh Terrier ? I had a Airedale & Wire Fox Terrier.
    Love the photos I live in New Zealand and it’s winter hear thankfully it’s been sunny most days and frost at night.
    Love Miles he’s really cute.

    • Emma (author)

      Hi Mary Ann,
      Yep, Miles is a Welsh Terrier. What were the differences between your Wire Fox and your Airedale? I am so curious!
      Hi to you in New Zealand!
      Emma

  • linda marie

    What a lovely day!

    • Emma (author)

      I agree Linda! Lets hope for many more to come. <3

  • Danielle

    What fabulous pictures you got!! I can’t believe all the wildlife you saw. I would be a bit frightened to encounter snakes so closely though! No wonder they want dogs on leash.
    Maybe there has been more wildlife on hikes we’ve done that I’ve noticed, but Hillman Marsh sure seems like a good place to go to see lots of animals. Thanks for sharing!
    P.S. Miles is clearly hot and adorable at the end – love those shots!

    • Emma (author)

      Danielle,

      I think the leash warning is more about picking up after your dog. I am pretty sure that two snakes we saw are water snakes, which are harmless. They were both very relaxed. It is the geese poop one must worry about! That nasty stuff smells terrible and gets all over shoes!

      I’ve been on a lot of hikes/walks, and I really feel Hillaman Marsh is unique in that it is very public and the walkway is manicured, but, it is also quite wild. Wildlife clearly feel at home too.

      Yep, Miles’ temperature range is rather narrow.. Haha!

  • Anth the Humandale

    I love all the action shots of Miles wanting to watch ALL the things

  • Didi Zeleney

    Spectacular photos, Emma. Love seeing Miles in nature (and, hilariously, at the Nature Centre). THANK YOU for the visual treat!!!

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