Last Saturday, I made my first visit to McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve and the Second Marsh Wildlife Area. I was taking a Winter Photography workshop offered by Aldsworth’s Photo World , Oshawa and it involved some classroom time and outdoor photo shooting. The instructor was John Smith who teaches photography classes at Durham College. The content was valuable and presented by a great teacher who took the time to help anyone of the 10 participants with any questions or camera challenges. At the end of the day, we returned to UOIT to view some of the many photographs taken by the group. There were some wonderful nature photographs taken with high-end digital SLRs as well as some ” point-and-shoots” . The pictures of the birds were amazing as well as those of the ice formations along the shore of Lake Ontario.
The location of the outdoor session was Second Marsh which is an urban wetland approximately 123 hectares in area that includes sedge and cattail marsh, swamp, wet meadows and thickets together with sections of open water. Of course, it was all frozen and snow-covered on February 26th! There was still a lot to see and to capture from behind the 10 lenses of the group. According to the brochure provided by “Friends of Second Marsh”, this wetland area is separated from Lake Ontario by a forested sandy beach and is bordered by a regenerated upland habitat. “These areas comprise a very dynamic ecosystem that supports a rich and diverse wildlife community”. Our short visit in the winter only allowed us a tiny glimpse of this fascinating area which is located south of Highway #401 near Harmony/Bloor St. exit. After exiting, we followed Farewell St. to Colonel Sam Drive where there is a Second Marsh Wildlife sign and on street parking permitted.
I plan a return winter visit to watch the birds feed right from my hand or even sit on my head! Make sure you bring birdseed with you if you plan a visit to see some of the 305 bird species and 308 plant species along with numerous mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. For certain, I will go back during spring and summer this year. I can’t wait!