Macnamara Duo Racks Up 94 Species

The very first of what I hope will be an annual event for us, the Baillie Birdathon for Fergus and I happened Saturday, May 29, starting at 10 a.m. We decided against getting up very early on the first morning of this 24-hour event, setting aside morning birding for the following day. We left with drinks and snacks for the road, a record book, pens, and a field guide just in case.

We started from home in Constance Bay, where we got many common species, a lot of them right in our yard at our feeders – the first record being a Chipping Sparrow. As we drove away from the bay through farm fields, we saw a Bobolink, a "species of concern" according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.


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Thomson Cabin Snowshoe Trek 2010

Many garages are filled with junk, although I’m told that some hold cars. Mine has snowshoes. Over the years, my instinct for self-preservation in deep snow has led me to snap up any offer of snowshoes. From ancient wood-and-babiche museum pieces from a naturalist uncle, to magnesium-and-cable Canadian Army contraptions, I’m all set for this interglacial period to end. Thing is, here on the River we hardly ever see serious snow. The relentless wind blows it away, or the January thaw starts early and leaves late. Even our beloved Macnamara Trail becomes a packed snow road, better for sneakers than snowshoes.

So it was with some anticipation that Gord Vogg and I drove the winding road to Kennelly Mountain to experience the deep fluffy snow that only high ground can sustain. Fellow coureurs de bois followed in the carpool, as we answered Sheila and Harry Thomson’s invitation to the top of their world. As we passed Calabogie, the temperature dropped and a forlorn film of melting snow turned to frozen whipped-cream drippings from evergreens – Christmas card scenery. At the end of the plowed road we parked, strapped on our raquets-de-neige, and trekked into a boreal landscape with viridescent Old-Man’s Beard Lichen clinging to the branches.


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