If you’re looking for a great place to take a nature walk in near Toronto in the spring, consider visiting the Rattray Marsh in Mississauga. This park offers a combination of boardwalk and packed earth trails that are reasonably dry to walk even in the early spring. And there are lots of places to admire the flowers and peek at wildlife along the route.
Admission is free although donations are welcomed via a lock box on one of the trails. For further information about the park, including about dogs, bikes, wheelchairs and washrooms, please see the article: Things to Know about the Rattray Marsh Park in Mississauga Ontario.
Here’s a list of some of the things we saw during a visit in March, 2012. It was an exceptionally mild winter and early spring that year. Some flowers and animals would be more commonly seen in April.
- Brown Creeper
- Song Sparrow
- White Suckers [Please see White Suckers Swimming Upstream to Spawn.]
- Water Striders [Please see Water Striders Glide into Spring.]
- Mute Swans
- Ring Billed Gulls
- Canada Geese
- Maples in bloom
- Coltsfoot in bloom
- Alder cones
- Willow buds swelling
- Wave tossed beach rocks
- Mystery sparrow 343 is pretty clear
- Male Red Winged blackbirds
- Male Downy Woodpecker with his tell-tale red head spot
- Black Capped Chickadee
- Flowering dangly alder things (I guess you’d call them catkins!)
- Pair of Mallards in flight
- Another Downy, or the same one coming around again
Do you have a favourite spot for a spring nature walk? Please share your experiences with a comment.