Aylmer Wildlife Management Area

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March, 2021

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Every spring southern Ontario is invaded by tundra swans on their way to the Arctic from the USA. Every year they travel about 6,000 km from Virginia and Maryland to Hudson Bay, Nunavut and Mackenzie Delta areas. This spring I managed to get to “Aylmer Wetland Management Area”:https://www.elginstewardshipcouncil.com/natural-areas/aylmer-wildlife/ to see some of the swans myself. This is identified as one of the best staging areas for them to feed on their journey. I went during the week in the hopes there would be fewer people there and it would be easier to follow covid distancing guidelines.

The previous week there had been up to 15,000 swans to see. There were fewer when I went but there were still many to see and it was quite a sight and sound. There are two viewing areas, the main one having an elevated viewing platform as well as picnic tables and washroom facilities. My sister and her husband had been on the weekend and saw families there having picnics and making a day of it. There are also hiking trails to explore the 100 plus acres of wetland. In addition to the tundra swans there were also many Canada geese in evidence.

There are no directional signs for the Wetland Management Area (at least from the direction I approached Aylmer) but it is right next to the Police College so if you follow those signs you’ll get there.

You can also see the swans at the “Lambton County Heritage Museum”:https://www.lambtonmuseums.ca/en/lambton-heritage-museum/tundra-swan-migration-calendar.aspx by Lake Huron. When I went to see the swans Lambton County was in lockdown so I went to Aylmer instead but both are easily accessible from London, Ontario. Currently all of Ontario is under a stay at home order so check websites before visiting.

Denise Bridge

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