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The Pipits: November 19 2023, Fletcher Creek with Bruce MacKenzie

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

A group of 13 Pipits, Geordie and I, and Bruce and Laurie MacKenzie met up on Sunday morning, along Concession Road 7, just north of the Fletcher Creek parking lot. We explored an area I haven't seen more than once previously. This part of Fletcher Creek was a former gravel quarry, that has since been rehabilitated.

Bruce explained the deposition of the gravel over the bedrock of the area, being the result of glacial movement. In this location there is a large hill formed of gravel, which is a moraine - a glacial deposit left behind once the ice melted.

For more information about moraine development and the workings of glaciers, see this article recommended by Geordie:

Bruce recommended two books about the area; the first called “Two Billion Trees and Counting” by Dr. John Bacher. It is about the Legacy of Edmund Zavitz and the birth of reforestation and conservation authorities in Ontario. Sounds fascinating!

The second book Bruce recommended is: "The Once and Future Great Lakes Country" by

John L. Riley. I think it was probably from this book that Bruce gave us such descriptions of the area during the glacial period that we could imagine being there at that time.

This pond is fed by ground water that filters through the gravel of the moraine and area.

One place Bruce showed us was a small pond located in an area forested with cedars. The wetlands in this area are fed by the ground water which filters through the moraines and gravel in region. We could actually see the ground along the bottom of the pond bubbling like lava as the water poured in from below. So interesting!

There is no eBird list for this outing. We heard Crows, Blue Jays, and saw a Raven fly by on this outing. It was VERY quiet for birds. The scenery and wonderful information shared by Bruce and Laurie made it a really interesting outing. With Bruce's help, we were able to imagine just how vastly different the landscape must have been during the glaciation.

To see a video of the water percolating into the pond see here (disappointing quality, my apologies):

To read an article Bruce wrote about a forest phenomenon called "tip-ups", which was published in the Hamilton Naturalist's Club's Wood Duck magazine:

Thanks everyone for coming out and making this such a fun outing! And a special thank you to Bruce and Laurie for joining us and bringing the landscape to life for us!

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