Breeding Bird Surveys (2013) – Day 3 – June 5, 2013
Today’s Breeding Bird Survey route would take us over a series of logging/recreational roads west of The Shoals Provincial Park. Because the park has been closed this year, our morning would begin much earlier when the alarm went off at about 3AM at our motel in Chapleau, Ontario. This particular route had caused us problems in previous years due to washouts, so, with the stories of high water and record rainfall and snowfall levels we began the day not certain that we would even be able to reach the starting point for the survey route. Driving along these roads in the pre-dawn darkness has the normal hazards of moose or bear suddenly appearing in the headlights, but this year, the danger was washout so on many occasions along the route Gerhard had the pleasure of getting out in front of the car to check the depth of some water filled ruts and to check the firmness of the sections of the roadway that were wet but still intact. In the darkness every water-filled rut looked far more menacing than when seen later in the daylight!
We did reach the starting point for the survey after about an hour of attentive driving in darkness along these gravel roads. The brilliant red sky sunrise was repayment for the effort and, with very little breeze, the enjoyment of reflected images on mirror-smooth waters just added to the beauty of the day, notwithstanding that the black flies worked hard to spoil the scene.
Spring was arriving a bit late to this region so while out listening for bird songs along the roadway, Gerhard also had the enjoyment of being surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs and bright yellows of dandelions and marsh marigolds added colour to the ditches and wetland beauty.
In most locations the birds were easy to hear but very difficult to see, but, on occasion, one of those singing beauties would move out into the open long enough for me to take their photo.
As the hours passed by and we moved along the route the activity in the roadside woods would slow and before long, another survey route would be completed and we would head out back to the pavement to proceed to our next destination. Of course, summer is approaching and the construction and road repair season has begun.
– – – – – – – – – Northern Ontario BBS 2013 posts completed – – – – – – – – –
The following links relate to this June 2013 Breeding Bird Survey: