Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – Day 2 – Moving camp
Once we have stopped at the 50 spots and completed the day’s survey work on our first route, Singe Lake 68 – 373, we headed back to Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park to pack up our tents and head west to our next overnight camping location, The Shoals Provincial Park. In previous years, we had done the surveys one week earlier and the campground at the Shoals had not been open when we were in the area so this year would be the first time for us to use this provincial park camping location.
Along Highway 101, there are only a limited number of places to stop for gas or to stop for a meal but lots of places to stop for a shot of the scenery :-). Blackflies need the high level of oxygenated water that rapids provide but, this year, their numbers were rather subdued compared to other years, so I could actually enjoy photographing the rushing waters of some of the streams that we encountered.
The Eastern Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum) were out of their tents enjoying the fresh air :-). Pretty as they are, they unfortunately have the bad habit of defoliating trees when the become too numerous. Yellow-billed cuckoos and nuthatches are two species of birds that feed on the tent caterpillars.
Chalk-fronted Corporal Dragonfly (Ladona julia)
While I was using my North Face Mountain 25 tent, I had brought along my Quest three-season 3-person tent for Gerhard to use. I have four tents and I expect that, some time this year, this Quest tent will be up for sale so that I can replace it with a light-weight single-person tent to complement the heavier NF Mountain 25 tent.
Because of the high probability of significant insect populations at this time of the year and an aversion to washing dishes late at night :-), we chose not to cook campfire meals during these survey outings so, once the tents are set up, we head for the nearest restaurant and the nearest gas station. There are not too many choices in this part of the world. The nearest town is Chapleau with a population of about 2,200 residents. Other major centers are over two hours away in any direction! Chapleau is the gateway to the world’s largest game preserve, the 7,000+ sq. km. Chapleau Crown Game Preserve; hosts many tourists especially during the summer months; and is the location of CP Railroad’s railyard.