Located in the northeast corner of London, on the shores of Fanshawe Lake, lies one of the best places for bird watching in the city. Fanshawe Conservation Area’s mixed habitat make it the perfect place to find resident birds and migrating species alike.
A series of marked hiking trails ranging in length from 1.5 kilometers to the 20 km Fanshawe Lake Trail, which circles the entire reservoir, will take you through the various habitat ranging from: coniferous and deciduous forest, open meadows, and low lying wet areas. These mixed habitats are what attracts so many birds, making it such an incredible place for bird watching. Fanshawe Conservstion Area is listed on eBird as one of London’s hotspots for birding with 155 species being reported.
Birding at Fanshawe Conservation Area is great year round, but with spring migration now underway I highly recommend a visit in the near future. As the lake becomes free of ice, many species of waterfowl will be found including both dabblers and divers. Canvasbacks. Ring-necked ducks, Wood Ducks, and American Coots are a few of the species I’ve observed on the lake in early spring. Tundra Swans are also known to stop over on the lake while migrating through Southwestern Ontario. Returning songbirds such as sparrows, blackbirds, and orioles can also be found. The open areas of the conservation area are a great place to find the Eastern Meadowlark, a species at risk in Ontario. As April passes and we move into May, look for many warblers to be flitting around the conservation area.
Fanshawe Conservation Area is home to some wonderful resident species too. Birds of prey can be found throughout the area, including several species of owl, as well as Bald Eagles that nest on the shores of the lake. Cardinals, nuthatches, and woodpeckers are all readily seen. Don’t forget to bring some seed with you as the Black-capped Chickadees on the various trails will land right in your hand to accept your offering. This is particularly exciting for children.
If you have never visited Fanshawe Conservation area before, you are missing out. For more information including directions, maps, and other activites, visit their website here. Whether you are looking for a wonderful place for birding or to spend quality time in the outdoors with your family, Fanshawe Conservation Area is the perfect place.