Once again my wife and I explored another Haltom Conservation Park. This time we ventured into Mountsberg Conservation Area.
This park offered a few unexpected surprises, starting with a Birds of Prey Centre. We went inside and sat in on the last session of the day. Daily the birds of prey handlers do a session of show and tell with the birds. We got to learn about one of the owls. The sessions are one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Many outdoor cages house these majestic creatures. Just in case you’re wondering, these birds are held in captivity because they are unable to be released into the wild. Previous injuries were one of the reasons they can’t be released. They have an “Adopt a Raptor” program as caring for the birds are costly.
Once we left the birds of prey area we walk along the trail closest to the learning centre and it looped us back to where we started. Along the way we saw pretty birds and even a Buffalo.
We came across a reservoir that has dried up considerably; it’s a result of the hot dry summer that has not released its hold on fall. We entered a blind that would provide camouflage for birders to get there birding book checked off. Unfortunately a large nest on top of a post was empty, it belonged to an Osprey. One of the super friendly and helpful Halton parks staff informed my wife and I that the Osprey was booted from her nest two springs ago by a Canada Goose. The Osprey returned this year to claim its nest, but after a battle with the goose it gave up and flew away. I hope I can see it win next spring, if it comes back.
Across the parking lot was another building, marked “R. Ross Craig Discovery Centre” just to the left was a kid’s play area. Inside included; washrooms, gift shop and classrooms. The back doors lead us to a play barn, where kids were having a blast inside. In fact I shot the images over two visits, one very early in the morning to avoid getting the kids in the photos. Wait wait!, we aren’t done there is a petting zoo too. Another building with sheep, goats, chickens and some of the biggest horses I have ever seen. The horses with be pulling wagons and sleighs over the winter. I will go back and ad photos to this album of the winter fun.
With some more directions from the staff we were pointed to the other trails, this was interesting because we had to cross railroad tracks. Don’t worry folks, the gated area is safe to cross if one pays attention and looks both ways before crossing.
About a half kilometre later we entered what is known as “Christmas Town”. Now kids, Mr. and Mrs. Claus were on vacation with the elves, getting some rest before the busy season ahead. Here’s a peak at what looked like a ghost town.
We continued through Christmas Town along the trails and looped back to the car. Like I said we will be back after a snow fall for a wagon ride along the trails we walked.