Breeding Bird Surveys (2013) – Day 5

Breeding Bird Surveys (2013) – Day 5 – June 7, 2013

Today’s survey route is pretty straightforward with a start point at the junction of Hwy #17 and the road to Dubreuilville. Although there is traffic to contend with, there are generally places with sufficient space to pull off the highway with good visibility in both directions. The day started with a nice sunrise over misty waters and clear skies continued for most of the day. Unlike the two previous days there were no clouds on the horizon, so the sunrise, although still pleasant, lacked the brilliance of the previous two days.




Around every twist in the road there is apt to be some surprise when we are conducting these surveys. Sometimes it is a black bear or two or a large moose. On previous days, it was a half dozen bears at various locations. Today’s excitement was a medium-sized moose enjoying breakfast in a roadside marsh. The previous evening, a large bull moose had turned around and headed back into the woods as we approached. Moose are big animals and a constant hazard to drivers especially when one is driving at night or in the early morning hours as we often are.


This was the last of our four survey routes in this area for 2013 and for all four days the weather had been perfect in all directions.  Only the black flies were a bit of a nuisance in some locations on some of the routes.


When I speak of black flies as being a bit of a nuisance in some locations, this short video which I posted on my Flickr account provides some idea of what I’m talking about ! 🙂

Black flies attack car mirrors

Our only disappointment today was the lack of Bald Eagles at the Dubreuilville dump.  This year, when we arrived, the dump still had plenty of Starlings and Herring Gulls in the area but fewer Ravens than on previous visits and no Bald Eagles were in sight. Probably just bad timing on our part. Oh well, time to be homeward bound.


– – – – – – – – – Northern Ontario BBS 2013 posts completed – – – – – – – – –

The following links relate to this June 2013 Breeding Bird Survey:

Day 1 – Ottawa to Ivanhoe Lake Provincial Park

Day 2 – Singe Lake Route

Day 3 – The Shoals Route

Day 4 – Little Tukanee Lake Route

Day 5 – Goldie Lake Route

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

Fletcher Wildlife Garden/Jardin Écologique Fletcher, Ottawa Ontario

Fletcher Wildlife Garden/Jardin Écologique Fletcher, Ottawa Ontario (Location)

This AM, I had started off before sunrise driving to the airport so that my wife could catch a flight to Winnipeg. On the way home, I stopped first at Hogs Back Falls and then headed over to Fletcher Wildlife Garden to stretch my legs a bit and see what wildlife might want to come out to pose for my camera. 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

Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

Starting up a website., with my son, Graeme, was one of the major milestones for the year. Graeme had been prodding me to think about a blog format for my photo postings for quite some time so this was the year that it happened. I like to add text to the photos that I post. Although that works fine on Flickr for single photos, a blog format provides me with a better sense of continuity of thought and sequence of events when uploading a series of photos. In 2011, I intend to continue uploading to Flickr but will likely leave the story-telling here with my blog uploads.

Boxing Day 2010 has arrived with sunny skies and -10C temperatures a far different situation than Boxing Day 2009. Icicles on the Thule.

Rather than seeking out one “best” photos, here are some of the highlights of my year and some of the memories that keep me attached to my camera. Clicking on the thumbnail images in this annual review will take you to a larger version on my Flickr photostream or to the specific blog entry associated with that photo.

New Year's Eve Fireworks - Mont Tremblant, Quebec Photographing fireworks on the ski slopes of Mt. Tremblant in Quebec to end the old year (2009) and start the new year (2010).

With hands out they waited Kanata Badminton Club meeting on Jack Pine Trail Flickr Wakefield outing - March 16, 2010 - Unabridged Yup! Definitely tastes like Introducing complete strangers to the enjoyment of feeding the Chickadees or meeting friends out on Ottawa’s Greenbelt trails and enjoying the company of like-minded souls on outings with Ottawa’s Flickr groups

The creation of a masterpiece - Winterlude ice sculptures - Feb 2010 Crocuses in shock! +27C/81F today! Where there are dreams there is hope. Watching artists at work carving large blocks of ice into masterpieces at Ottawa’s Winterlude and then seeing another Spring arrive and being able to use my camera to help out in a small way at the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans.

A project of Mairin Peck in Oregon Stonehaven Drive Fire - Kanata, Ontario Helping students achieve their goals and being glad that not all fires take lives.

Last campground site - Obatanga Provincial Park -  Breeding Bird Survey Road to Dubreuilville, Ontario 5AM Awaking many, many mornings at 4:30AM to conduct Breeding Bird Surveys for Environment Canada.

Full Moon - VMC 50th - Vincent Massey Collegiate, Winnipeg (Fort Garry), Manitoba Participating in some of the craziness of my school’s 50th anniversary reunion under the watchful eye of a full moon.

 The group The hosts of the show - Jennifer Podemski and Don Kelly - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! 2010 - Ottawa, Ontario Kinnie Starr - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! - Ottawa, Ontario Inez - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! Grandfather William Commanda, Algonquin Elder, Keeper of the Sacred Wampum Belts readies for greetings and opening ceremonies - APTN Aboriginal Day Live! - Ottawa, Ontario David Usher - Canada Day 2010 - Kanata, Ontario Photographing local events and concerts. I don’t normally take photos of people, so this was a new challenge for me. “Sloan” and “Monkey Junk” at Ottawa’s Westfest; “The Initial Reaction” and “Insensitivity Training” and “The Duck Wife” at Ottawa’s Fringe Festival; “Jennifer Podemski”, “Don Kelly”, “Kinnie Starr”, “Inez”, “Lucie Idlout”, “Digging Roots” and Algonquin elder, Grandfather William Commanda, at the APTN (Aboriginal People’s Television Network) broadcast; “David Usher” and “Elliot Brood” on Canada Day: and “Blue Rodeo” later in the year.

Grand Hall - Museum of Civilization Finally taking my camera to the Museum of Civilization, a much overdue totem pole experience.

Osgoode Medieval Festival 2010 -  Am I missing something?   :-) Taking Aim - Battle of the Thousand Islands 250th Anniversary Commemoration - Fort de la Presentation - Ogdensburg, NY Land Battle  - Battle of the Thousand Islands 250th Anniversary Commemoration - Fort de la Presentation - Ogdensburg, NY From the staircase - Boldt Castle, Heart Island, NY Pump House - Boldt Castle, Heart Island, NY Taking a step back in time at medieval festivals and re-enactments and restored “castles”.

Black and Yellow Argiope Spider Christina and the butterflies Cascade Mountain in the Adirondacks Running out of light! Experiencing the excitement of finding a bug, flower, bird or animal that I haven’t seen or photographed before or successfully testing my recuperated Achilles with a nice mountain climb with my wife, or just enjoying the thrill of another beautiful sunset.

Lion cub out for a morning stroll - Serengeti, Tanzania Lion in the Serengeti Lilac-breasted Roller Licking the lips. Mmm. Good. Of course, spending two weeks in Africa looking at lions, elephants, giraffes and exotic birds with Graeme does have its benefits and plenty of high points.

Photographing lights at night is always a favourite pastime especially when winter approaches and I don’t have to stay up all night to do it!

Shades of Nudity - Sculpture Garden - City Park, New Orleans Alien Communication Device - Canada Day 2010 , Kanata, Ontario And, finally, to finish off this rather long post, there is the enjoyment that I get when wondering what people think when they search on words like “nude men” or “alien communication devices ” and arrive at my on-line offerings :-).

Fireworks - Canada Day 2010 in Kanata Not sure where I will be on New Year’s Eve but, hopefully, I will find more fireworks to photograph where ever I end up being.

Have a Happy New Year everyone!

New Orleans, Louisiana – Jackson Square on Decatur Street

Having landed in New Orleans, wandered the streets a bit at night and then greeted the sunrise, acting like a tourist and going from statue to statue was a necessary step in getting acquainted with the history of New Orleans and the French Quarter. At the first statue, I learned that the official founder of New Orleans (founded in 1717) was one Jean Baptiste de Bienville who was born in Montreal in 1680 and died in Paris in 1767. After learnign that information it was off along Decatur Street to Jackson Square, a beautiful park with the sun shining and flowers blooming.

Major General Andrew Jackson – Commander of the American Forces in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. This battle is considered to have been the last major battle of the War of 1812. Jackson went on to become 7th President of the United States.

Saint Louis Cathedral