Saturday, February 13, 2016

Back to the Snye and MacDonald Island

Having exhausted the number of bird species I can reasonably expect to see around the house, I decided to expand my territory somewhat and do a little bird watching down around the Snye and MacDonald Island. It's actually been quite awhile since I had been there and while I have headed there for a little bird-watching in the past, its not something I've tried this time of year. It was a bit chilly and overcast but bearable and nothing like the cold that the eastern part of the country is getting hammered with at the moment so I really couldn't complain.

The Snye as seen from the causeway to MacDonald Island.

I wasn't really sure what I would see for birds given that it was rather gloomy and I didn't get out of the house until a bit later in the morning than I had hoped.  I was hopeful to see some woodpeckers or perhaps a blue jay but in terms of variety of species Lady Luck just wasn't with me today.

The one thing that I did get to see was Shell Place, the new sports field that was completed last summer.  While I had been down there while it was under construction this was the first time I had a chance to see the finished product.  It's actually quite a lot bigger than I thought it would be.  When I first came through Fort McMurray and walked through MacDonald Island a dozen years ago, many of the places I walked through to day were just wide open space.  It certainly looks a lot different from then or from even how I remembered it a year ago.  While I was hoping to get some more photos of it, shortly after taking these next two photos, my camera died (or rather, the batteries in the camera did).

I missed out on some decent shots of the river I was hoping to take but I made the best of my outing.  I took a trail down to the tip of the island near the confluence of the Athabasca and the Clearwater and had lots of space for myself.  After fretting over the camera, I soon forgot about it and enjoyed a rather nice walk.

As for my bird count, while I didn't get the variety of species I wanted, I made up for it somewhat in terms of numbers of individuals and I did see my first Rock Doves of the year.

1.  Common Raven - 42
2. Rock Dove - 6
3. Black-billed Magpie - 5
4. House Sparrow - 4
5. Black-capped Chickadee - 4

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