April 6, 2003

Meeting report & photos by Nathan and Simon Burnett


We started our hike on Townline and headed towards the town's Canada flag. It was so beautiful out and the sun was shining. It was a great day for a hike, even though there was only four of us. Our themes included: signs of spring, and discussing the future of the credit river. It was sunny but there was still quit a lot of snow from the last couple of days, making it a little harder to notice the signs of spring growth. As we walked towards the Credit river we noticed numerous rodent tracks, one of which seemed big enough to be some kind of a rat with a long tail drag.


We arrived at the mile zero of the Credit River. 


We stayed around the bridge for a while viewing some mink and cottontail tracks.

Here is a photo of a mink track.


We continued walking south alongside the river discussing the usage of cattails in bird nests. Soon we came upon many geese and ducks so we decided to head away from the river as not to disturb them. This section of river is surrounded by swampy grasslands and cedar bush along the outside edge.


It's amazing the number of birds which call this home. It is also very important that people recognize the importance of this wetland habitat which is home to more then just birds. Many mink, muskrat and beaver live in this area as while. 

As we continued on we slowly entered a more treed area and eventually into the thick cedar bush. There a question arose. Do birds urinate? It was mentioned that they may sweat it out, but we were not to sure even after finding bird tracks with a distinct yellow mark.


Once further downstream we came upon an area which has been planted by the Credit Valley Conservation. Many trees, including cedars, dogwood, willow and elderberry, where planted along the banks of the river. It was great to see young growth in a area which has been grassland for along time. These trees should help prevent bank erosion, and provide food/shelter for all the animals of the river system. 

We crossed to the west side of the river and entered the cedar bush. Here we came upon three huge old growth hemlocks. It was a powerful experience to see such enormous trees. These tress are some of the biggest found in this area. 



There are many things that affect this area. One of the best sewage treatment plants in the country is located at mile zero of the credit, and although it is one of the best it is still far from perfect. Also, the town will be putting a bypass which will cross the river just south of the main swamp. It’s important to inform ourselves of these factors for they have an important effect on this river. 

We are so lucky to live so close to a wetland that is literally filled with all kinds of wildlife. Together, by experiencing such a place we can learn how to properly care-take this area.


Happy tracking!


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