|Diagram of the crow flying|
I reached Petroglyphs about 9:00 a.m. and there was a sign assuring me that I was at the right place After parking at the locked main gate, I headed off into the forest.
|Sign at entrance of Petroglyphs Provincial Park.|
|The crow stopped flying and had a leisurely stroll|
2) I had just started thinking that there were no birds in the park when I heard drumming again. Off the trail, behind a tree, through the brush, and I still couldn't see what it was. Something flitted past me; red breasted nuthatches and chickadees. But what of the drumming? Then another pileated woodpecker flew over me.
3) I started to concentrate on animal tracks in the snow when, all of the sudden, the forest became alive with bird sounds. More red breasted nuthatches and chickadees! I am sure other birds were calling but I couldn't find them. Down the trail I headed again.
4) Something moved by a log off the trail ahead of me. Perhaps a grouse? Nope, just a red squirrel eating a nut.
5) I found a seat in the picnic area next to McGinnis Lake and stopped for a while and saw even more red-breasted nuthatches and chickadees. I trudged back through the snow to the main road and headed for the car.
6) I passed some other walkers (it was the first people I had seen all morning) and heard more drumming. I slipped off the main road and went the general direction of the sound. It was another pileated woodpecker. Were there any other types here? Once back on the road, I almost immediately heard more drumming. It was a hairy woodpecker! Much larger than the downy woodpeckers I had seen so many times before. And there was both a male and female moving from tree to tree. There were other woodpeckers here after all.
That was it. A little over 3 hours of walking, 5.8 km covered, 3 pileated woodpecker sightings, and 1 new species for the list: hairy woodpecker.
And for those of you not from Ontario who might be wondering what walking through the woods this time of year looks like? The trails are still snow covered (although I would bet for only another week or so) and there are still 2 and 3 foot drifts in places. It might be spring but it still looks a lot like winter.