Windermere Basin – Hamilton

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Windermere Basin
Hamilton, ON
15 March 2014

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Windermere Basin
Aerial View

Windermere Basin is located at the east end of Hamilton Harbour at the mouth of Red Hill Creek.   It was essentially a pre-industrial wasteland since the 1950s.  But, the City of Hamilton had a vision and at a cost of more than $20 million, the Windermere Basin was transformed into a Great Lakes Coastal Wetland.   A significant achievement for the City and the environment, where wetlands are disappearing within our Province, the city took a sediment wasteland and transformed it into something beautiful.  The restoration of the conservation area was completed in 2007 and has the potential to develop into something great within the near future.   Already, waterfowl and birds have begun to populate the area and I look forward to personally visiting this area more often!
Our first trek to the Basin was on March 15th, 2014.  A rather cool, blustery day – but it was well worth the drive from the North.  Windermere Basin offered a plethora of birds, including a Spring-feeling welcome greeting from a red-winged blackbird that sang its cheerful trill as we entered the pathways to the viewing platform.  The presence of double crested cormorants also indicated that a change in seasons is upon us.    A minimum count of 30 Northern Shovellers (likely over 50 of them) and this was a “lifer” for both Anthony & I.   A great diverse bunch, only wish it was a wee bit warmer to enjoy the crowd more.  This really is a spectacular spot and the story behind it is even more special.   Kudos!  to the City of Hamilton for a fantastic vision that turned to reality.   For more information on Windermere Basin – visit this link:

http://www.hamiltonwaterfront.com/2011/11/01/windemere-basin/

After Windermere Basin, we ventured off to the Burlington Lift Bridge, but along the way (just prior to the Bridge) we spotted SEVEN Bald Eagles perched on ice flows within the Bay, in front of the steel factories.  It was a great sighting and Anthony was able to capture the event via digiscoping with his powerful Vortex 85mm Razor HD Scope.  Photos coming soon!

COOL WINDY day, but really nice birding!

Checklists of Birds seen within the Area can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

Windermere Basin  – March 15th eBird Submission

Burlington Lift Bridge and Bay area – March 15th eBird Submission

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2 thoughts on “Windermere Basin – Hamilton

  1. Heather, Great article about Windermere Basin! I stopped by there two years ago when I visited VanWagner’s Beach. I did not know the City of Hamilton made such a big investment to restore a great lakes wetland. Just reading that little tidbit will cheer me up for the next little while. Nice blog and thanks for linking to my Nerdy for Birdy blog!

    • Thanks so much for the kind comment 🙂 I had no idea either about the great investment into the Basin. My curiosity peaked after I read all the information “boards” at the viewing platform, and when I returned home began researching the basin a little more. The provincial and federal governments kicked in a lot of that $20 million, BUT! it was the City of Hamilton’s vision and kudos to them for making it a reality. It does make one appreciate the area a wee bit more, knowing it was essentially a “dump” and it has now been restored to an active ecosystem. There is hope for humanity! 🙂

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