Friday, February 23, 2024
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Gentle Yoga & Balance 50+ with Alison

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Science & NatureBirding open houses at Almonte Lagoons observation tower

Birding open houses at Almonte Lagoons observation tower

Each autumn, tens of thousands of shorebirds migrate through our area from their nesting grounds in the high Arctic. Hundreds stop off to feed and refuel at the Almonte Lagoons behind the water treatment plant on Wolf Grove Road near Almonte.

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) have built and maintain an observation tower overlooking the lagoon, and a trail into the tower. For fifteen years, birders from all over the Province and beyond have made this prime location, for shorebirds and other species, one of their important viewing spots. The 200 m trail in to the tower also holds many fall warbler and sparrow species.

Photo 2 Almonte Lagoons P. Donaldson
A small sign on Concession 8 Ramsay marks the entrance to a short trail to the Potvin Observation Tower. Photo Pauline Donaldson

On four consecutive Wednesdays, September 7, 14, 21, and 28, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ Birding Committee invites you to walk in between 3 P.M and 5 P.M. and view the multitude of shore birds.

On each of these occasions, you will be greeted at the trail start by an MVFN member who will point out directions to the tower. An expert birder with a spotting scope will be on the tower and will give all who attend an opportunity to learn the identity of the different birds and tell a bit about them. Birding experts will include Mike Jaques, Sept. 7; Ken Allison, Sept. 14 and 21; and Ray Holland, Sept. 28.

Shorebirds settling a dispute at the Almonte lagoons (Brent Eades photo.)

Directions to the trail and tower: from Almonte, take Wolf Grove Road (County Rd. 16) towards Middleville, 2 km. Turn north onto Ramsay Conc. 8 at the Auld Kirk church and cemetery, and travel approximately 100 m to the trailhead. The trail entrance is on Ramsay Concession 8, across the road from, and just past, the cemetery. A small yellow sign marks the entrance.

For further information, call or email Cliff Bennett at 613-256-5013 or Visit for other club information.

Photo 1 Juvenile spotted sandpiper Howard Robinson
A juvenile spotted sandpiper, one of many shorebird migrants which can be seen at the Almonte Lagoons at this time of year. Photographed by Howard Robinson during a Sept 2015 birding open house.




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