Mer Blue Bog

Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (eBird Hotspot)

Mer Bleu Bog is a large bog area in the east end of Ottawa. Due to the high acidity in the bog area, the vegetation is a lot different than a typical wetland, and interpretive plaques along the various trails provide information on the habitat and history.

American Tree Sparrow, seen at the bog boardwalk

What’s it like? Imagine a beautiful pristine place with birds singing everywhere, and now remove the birds. That’s Mer Bleu. That’s a partial joke. Partial because birding here for us has never been particularly good, and perhaps that is due to the bog ecosystem.

Song Sparrow feeds in the grass near the boardwalk

It does have quite a few feeders in the winter, but I consider that cheap and slightly below real wild birding. Here is a map of the area (click to see a larger-sized map):

You can access the Dolman Ridge trail via Dolman road at #1. It is at the second carpark down that road. The first carpark has a trail that leads to the main bog area boardwalk, at #3.

The bog is frozen in the winter

The boardwalk leads around the bog

You can also access the boardwalk by going down Ridge road at #2. The Dolman Ridge trail is quite long and leads to another network of trails at #4. Beware however that the trails at #4 can be quite popular in the summer. On weekends I would pretty much just avoid that area completely. However, during quieter times, there are quite a few different habitats around #4 and Wild Turkey has been seen in that area.

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

In general, expect to see more forest birds. The water in the bog must not have many nutrients or suitable food for water birds because it is not a great place for ducks and shorebirds. Nevertheless, because of the interesting bog habitat, it is well worth a visit.

Common Grackle, seen by us at the bog boardwalk

The sun sets on exploded cattails

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