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HomeAlgonquin Winter Tracking

Algonquin Winter Tracking 2012

Sunday (Day 2)

I like to try to photograph birds in flight. It's quite tricky, and mostly relies on chance, coupled with a little bit of planning.

Here's a Grey Jay in flight.

And another one.
Today I spent a good part of the day exploring the bog surrounding Hermit Creek, off the Opeongo Road. This picture shows the typical environment I was hiking through. Snowshoes were mandatory for this area, as the snow was over 2 feet deep, and in many places quite fluffy with air pockets beneath the snow.
A pair of Grey Jays followed me through most of my exploration. Here are several sets of Grey Jay wing prints.
Out in the open area of the bog I came across a nice set of Red Fox tracks.

In this photo the fox is moving from the lower right towards the upper left. And it apparently found something under the snow to pounce on, missed, tried again, and then continued its journey.

As with most things in tracking, you will never know 100% for sure what happened unless you were there watching it happen. But you can often make pretty good inferences.

For the most part I followed a trail made previously by persons unknown. The reason being is the snow was quite deep and fluffy and quite hard to negotiate without a previously packed-down trail.

If you look at this photo carefully you will see a faint double line coming in from the upper right and crossing the snowshoe trail near the bottom left of the photo.

This is an otter trail, made as the animal slides along the surface of the snow! A lot easier than snowshoeing, that's for sure!

Here's another photo of that otter trail. It may be quite hard to make out, but the otter slides for a distance, then runs for a short distance to build up speed again, and then slides again. And while it is sliding it uses its rear feet to help push it along.

If you examine this photo carefully you may be able to see where it was making its short run towards the upper left of the photo.

A maze of Red Fox tracks. One way I knew these to be Red Fox tracks for sure, was that they led to a small black spruce tree where their scent had been left. Fox scent is distinctive.
A late afternoon and evening walk on Lake Costello finished the day. I may have found wolf tracks here, but I was not able to be sure, as they were old and eroded.

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