Southern Ontario has Point Pelee, Ottawa has….Mud Lake. Officially known as the Britannia Conservation Area, this 79-hectare conservation area consists of woodland, riparian, wetland and upland habitats surrounding a large eutrophic (nutrient-rich) pond known as Mud Lake. This large greenspace is bordered by the Ottawa River to the north and by residential and shopping districts to the south, which makes it an attractive place for migrating birds to stop and rest and one of the largest migrant traps within the city. As a result, Mud Lake has become one of Ottawa’s premier birding spots and the best year-round birding hotspot in Ottawa. About 250 bird species have been seen in this conservation area, or approximately 75% of all species recorded in the OFNC study area (a 50-kilometer radius centered on the Peace Tower). From warblers in the spring to herons in the summer, waterfowl in the fall and raptors year-round, Mud Lake is especially known for its songbird migration in the spring and fall when hundreds of swallows, flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, mimids, sparrows, blackbirds, finches, waxwings, grosbeaks, wrens and, of course, warblers descend on the conservation area. It’s had more than its fair share of rarities, too, including Eurasian Wigeon, Harlequin Duck, Little Blue Heron, Forster’s Tern, Gray Kingbird, Connecticut Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, and Yellow-breasted Chat (none of which, I might add, were seen by me).