2023-05-18 A Quick Tour Of McKinnon Road

Thursday, after spending a few minutes with my friend Judy’s backyard birds, I drove north, towards her cottage near the shore of Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. I planned a few stops along the way. The first was to dump my holding tanks at a free facility in the town of Mississauga. Because my Google navigation system kept sending me to the wrong address, it took me longer than it should have to find the facility.

I charted a route that included a couple of stops to look for birds, and it took me nearly four hours to cover the 125 mile trek to the cabin. The first half of the drive, I took freeways, but then I rerouted to sideroads. 

Judy suggested I visit McKinnon Road near Angus Ontario, so I stopped in town and topped off my fuel, then drove out to meet the marshy woods along McKinnon Road. I didn’t see an abundance of birds, but a pair of Eastern Kingbirds entertained me for 15-20 minutes. Red-Winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles were being their usual conspicuous selves, and I got brief looks at Wood Ducks and a Common Goldeneye. I didn’t feel that there was sufficient space to park along the road, so I birded the gravel road from inside the van.

I drove away from McKinnon Road to pay a brief visit to another recommended location called Tiny Marsh. I used the stop to stretch my legs, and being only 20 minutes away from the cottage, I knew I could easily return before leaving the region. 

Some twenty minutes later, I located the cottage. Many of her neighbors cleared the trees from their properties, but Judy’s cabin nestled under a dense, mixed woods canopy. The driveway tunneled through the woods, and leafy Cedar branches scrubbed my roof as I approached the parking spot at the end. There is a saying, “Rather than curse the darkness, it is better to light a candle.” Knowing I’d be entering and exiting the driveway during my stay, I thought it wise to trim some of the overhanging branches. None of them were more than ¾” to one inch in diameter. When I finished an hour later, the tunnel was ever-so-slightly higher, but I could pass without the van being pummeled with the tree’s boney fingers.

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