Saunders Lake Hike: Birds of All Kinds

Thirteen people came out to hike the Saunders Lake trail. After negotiating the electric fence in our unique ways, we marched forward along the lake.

Saunders Lake is a great place to see birds. Besides the ubiquitous red-winged blackbird along the shore, we saw different kinds of ducks, perhaps mergansers, a grebe, and coots in the water. Swooping over our heads were swallows and chickadees.

 

We also saw a pair of bald eagles settled into their nest across the lake—perhaps the same eagles we spotted last year. Definitely it’s the same nest.

Yellow warblers were also spotted, but alas, no pictures.

And then there was an interesting pair of birds that we could not identify. This species is somewhat larger than a robin. Do you know what this is?

The weather was warm, sunny, and quite humid. The breezes kept the mosquitoes at bay for most of the walk. There were a few types of wildflowers.

Total distance covered was almost 10 km. View more pictures on Flickr from Seonhee, Stella, and JoAnne.

Wanisan Saturday Night Golden Hours

Sixteen hikers came out to enjoy the golden hours of the Wanisan Lake trail in this late spring evening.

Photographers refer to the golden hour as the hour before sunset or after sunrise. This is when the position of the sun produces softer light and softer shadows, which shows off scenery at its most beautiful and colourful.

As hikers, we found the early evening golden for spotting wildlife, because the birds and animals were more active.

First, we saw an oriole singing in a tree. Then we noticed the beavers had come out of hiding. We spotted one or two beavers in almost every pond we walked by.

Thanks to the boardwalks installed and enhanced by our Trail Maintenance work party on Wednesday, we were quite close to the action.

Following the hike, we placed a small propane barbecue in the cold, empty firepit so that we could still enjoy our favourite campfire treats even during the fire ban.

Instead of s’mores, we enjoyed watermelon and sample of Rebecca’s dragonfruit.

This was our second annual evening hike at Wanisan Stopover. We’ll definitely keep this a tradition. You can see more pictures, including calla lilies, ribes in bloom, and more beavers on our Flickr page.

 

West Battle Hike to Schnee Hill via A58

Seven hikers enjoyed a hike that began on the heights overlooking the Gwynne Valley above Pipestone Creek, led down to the banks of the Battle River and then up again, to the heights overlooking the Battle River.

Battle River Valley

early blue violets
Early Blue Violets

We were accompanied by blue skies and a fairly constant wind that kept mosquitoes and other small flying creatures at bay. We passed spring flowers in bloom, including buffalo beans, crocus, and violets.

We were lucky to see an eagle circling overhead. One of the hikers recalled that eagles were spotted in the same area last year.

On the way back, the crashing of undergrowth alerted us to spot the back of a deer disappearing into the woods.

A thank you to the maintenance crew that prepared the trail last Wednesday and to the landowners who graciously allow us to walk on and share in the beauty of their land.

Photos by Irene Malcolm. You can view them all on Flickr.

Waskahegan Hikers