Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary

First, I wasn't sure I should even go into the parking lot, which isn't plowed in the winter.  One car was in there already, though, taking the most melted area and leaving me with some deeper snow to contend with.  I was hopeful that getting out would not be a problem as I hit the trail.

I went to the woods with only my hiking boots and microspikes.  We've had a lot of melting, you know, which gave me more confidence than it should have.    Things were going pretty well at the start, but the snow got progressively deeper with fewer established footprints as I went along.  Then, it was soft and deep in a sunny section.  In the end, I was stretching to walk in the footprints of some long-legged man who had gone before me.  Where he sunk, I had to sink.

Once I got closer to the water, I managed to stay on the surface of the snow (mostly).  Those few times I sunk deep, it was a bit chilly where snow would catch around the collar of my hiking shoe, but once I scraped it out, I was OK.

It was tough walking, but beautiful and peaceful.  I passed only one other person, a man who was cross-country skiing and on his way out.  He said the tracks were his and his wife's, and that was why he was there with skis today.  Walking was too difficult.  Well, I was determined to see the water (or ice) so I continued on.  I really hoped to see if any Ospreys had returned yet.  I did not see any.  I heard Black-Capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmice.  The man reported hearing a Pileated Woodpecker, but I was not lucky enough to share in that.

I didn't have any problems getting out of the parking lot, which was very exciting given the conditions I drove into!

 My deepest sink hole!

So...to sum things up.  I got good aerobic exercise, saw nothing in the way of birds, realize that we need to do a lot more melting before hiking in the woods is easy again, and the Osprey are not yet back at Waseeka.

Meanwhile, back at home, I had a few things with wings to entertain me.

 Eastern Bluebird (male)

 Pine Siskins
 (isn't it time for these birds to go back North?)

European Starling

This is not my favorite bird.  He's greedy and a bully, but would you look at the coloring he was displaying today?  Amazing!

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