Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – Dubreuilville, Ontario route

Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – Dubreuilville, Ontario route

The Beaton Lake survey route of the day before had to be cut short due to adverse weather conditions which continued through to about 4PM. Although the weather did eventually clear a bit in the evening allowing us to visit a few of the tourist sites around Wawa, Ontario, we weren’t certain what the day would be like for our Dubreuilville survey route.  We were in luck.  A cold front had moved in and only a few clouds lingered in the sky as we packed our vehicle and headed for the starting point at the intersection of Hwy 17 and the hwy to Dubreuiville. Continue reading

Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – Day 3 – Moving camp from The Shoals to White River

Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – Day 3 – Moving camp from The Shoals to White River

As we were traveling along the forest road from the end of today’s BBS – tha Shoals, we were discussing stopping for lunch in Wawa, Ontario. When we reached the highway again, my mind was on food. As I headed the car in the direction of Wawa, Gerhard calmly asked me if it might be nice to pick up the tents first! OOPS! Continue reading

Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – The Shoals

Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – The Shoals

Our morning started early once again.  Today, we would be doing the Shoals Lake route. Continue reading

Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – Day 2

Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – Day 2 – Singe Lake Route 68-373

We camped overnight at the Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park and were at the start of our route at first light which, in mid-June, is way too early for me :-). The survey consists of 50 stops each about .8 km apart. Continue reading

Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – Day 1

Breeding Bird Survey 2012 – Day 1

June 9, 2012 – This is our third year of conducting breeding bird surveys in the region of Highway #1o1 north of Sudbury, Ontario. In order to get to our campsite before dark, we need to leave Ottawa before 5AM.  Continue reading

A year in review – 2011

A year in review – 2011

It’s a damp, cold and drizzly day outside (December 13, 2011 – Kanata, Ontario – +3C and forecast for freezing drizzle overnight) so I decided to start our year end review a bit early (will add to edit through December and then will do final update Jan 1st!)

Flickr photo views – I passed the 700,000 views level this year in my Flickr account so between Graeme and I, we expect our individual on-line photo views to pass the one million mark sometime in 2012. Might already have passed that mark if we count in previous discontinued accounts that Graeme and I have had in pBase or Nikonians galleries.

MegaPixelTravel blog – when we started the MPT blog in the Fall of 2010, we thought that we were being a bit optimistic when we projected that we might see 30,000 to 35,000 views in our first year. When we passed the 50,000 mark with ease in 2011, we were both happy and surprised and very appreciative of all of the nice feedback that we received.

Geographic distribution of visitors to our MPT site – we don’t specifically track visitors to the MPT site itself but I do have a counter on my (Ron’s) profile page  In 2011, that counter rolled past the 2900 count for unique visitors from 78 different countries. Visitors to that specific page have included individuals from all of Canada’s provinces and all of the United States except Delaware.

I think that the most interesting photo of ours that has appeared in a commercial publication this year is this shot of garter snakes emerging in the springtime from their underground dens in Manitoba’s Interlake country. The Narcisse area is alive with snakes in early May of each year (LOCATION) and I am happy that John Wiley and Sons chose this image for their publication: Frommer’s Far & Wide: A Weekly Guide to Canada’s Best Travel Experiences which is available through or as well as many other locations.

Exploring the world of film:
I continue to stick with the still image world while, in 2011, Graeme has expanded his interests in the world of film. I’m rather fond of my star role in Graeme’s short clip of the roof opening on the Volvo C70 while Graeme is certainly happy with the success of other film work that he has been involved with in 2011 including, most recently, his work with the Digi60 Ottawa Film Festival.

Travel and Events:
Traveling in 2011 was a bit curtailed for a variety of reasons but we were still able to travel to many interesting locations and photograph many interesting places and events both at home and abroad. It has given us a lot of pleasure to share images and stories from those travels and events through our MegaPixelTravel website. Some of the highlights.
Polar Bear dips in the Ottawa River and Cycling in Florida in January.
– In February,  Old Montreal on a cold Sunday morning and an NHL hockey game in Ottawa.
Stowe, Vermont in March with a Super Moon event to add a bit of excitement at home.
Syracuse, NY in April
Tulip time and Ottawa’s Tulip Festival in May
– June got rather hectic with everything from participation in a breeding bird survey in Northern Ontario, to Graeme’s presentation at the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, to participation in the Juvenile Diabetes Society Foundation Walk, to the photographing of the Ottawa Bicycle Club’s Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour
– July featured the Will & Kate show in Ottawa (a.k.a. Royal Visit), plenty of fireworks, Noctilucent clouds, a real wedding in the Kingdom of Osgoode, an exciting re-enactment in Ogdensburg, NY, and adventures on a bus tour through Italy.
– In August it was some astrophotography for Graeme and a Fort Niagara visit for Ron.
– September was a bit subdued.
– October opened with the excitement of the Annual Butterfly Show at Carleton University, included the drummers and dancers of Remic Rapids and featured the many colours of Fall.
– November was a great time to wander the local trails and feed the Chickadees.
– December isn’t over yet but already Christmas lights and seasonal decorations in Toronto, Ottawa and Upper Canada Village are the theme.

Seasons Greetings to everyone and hope Santa knows what you want!

Breeding Bird Survey – Beaton Lake Route #258


Breeding Bird Survey – Beaton Lake Route #258

After completing the Shoals survey route, we headed to White River, Ontario and got a motel room for the night. The forecast had threatened rain and thundershowers overnight and Nature delivered on that promise.


The Beaton Lake breeding bird survey route begins in White River and heads north from there along a paved highway. Continue reading

Breeding Bird Survey – The Shoals Route # 175 – Survey Day

During a breeding bird survey with my birder friend Gerhard, I don’t usually photograph many birds. There are many reasons for that not the least of which is the fact that the trees now have plenty of leaves and the birds are difficult to see in the foliage.

For the survey, most of the counting is based on identifying the birds by their songs with only a glimpse from time to time of an actual bird for identification confirmation. Also, as the primary driver, the responsibility falls on me to swat the mosquitoes and black flies that get into the car at each stop and to record details such as location information. In the 5 minutes or so that we are stopped on the side of the road for each survey point, it is often a bit dangerous to just hop of the car on the driver’s side, with camera in hand, since logging trucks don’t like to slow down for mere humans with cameras.

Continue reading

Breeding Bird Survey – The Shoals Route # 175

For our second route, we would be traveling south to north along Loop Lake Road and Much Lake Road. This route lies west of The Shoals Provincial Park and is identified as The Shoals route 175. To do this route, we would ideally have the option of setting up camp in the provincial park but, for some reason, it is the last provincial park in the area to be opened in the Spring and its opening occurs a week or so later than our scheduled dates for the breeding bird survey.

Last year, a forest fire to the west of the survey route was chasing bears, wolves and other creatures into the area in large numbers, so we decided not to tent. We had looked at potential camping spots along the route and identified a couple of potentially good ones for this year.

As we traveled along the gravel road, we encountered many locations where Swallowtail butterflies were congregating at damp, sandy spots right in the middle of the road.

Continue reading

Breeding Bird Survey – Singe Lake Route 68-373

20110609-083948.jpgBreeding Bird Survey – Singe Lake Route 373

Sunday was our travel day and we drove safely from Ottawa, Ontario to Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park (approximate. 1000 km). To conduct breeding bird surveys, we need to be at the first point on the survey route at about sunrise, which in June is about 5AM. For the Singe Lake route that meant that we needed to leave our tents at about 4:30AM. Last year there were very few mosquitoes and black flies. This year those little blood sucking insects were present in large numbers and were awake before we were.
Continue reading