Monday, December 6, 2010

A winter visit to the Black Bay fen, near Nipigon

In late May we visited the Black Bay Peninsula near Nipigon. Our access point was via the Everard Road, which runs south from Hwy 17-11 (Trans-Canada) just west of Nipigon.

We returned today, following reports of abundant snow in the Nipigon area. There was lots snow but the semi-frozen state of the underlying peatlands discouraged us from putting on our skis. Instead, we tramped through knee-deep snow in our winter boots which regularly punched through the crust into muddy water. Despite the tough slogging, we had a great time.

A highlight was one (or were there three?) Northern Hawk Owl we saw a widely separated points along our hike. Overhead, a light morph Rough-legged Hawk hovered in search of rodent prey. We heard two Sharp-trailed Grouse calling although we were unable to locate them in the dense spruce-cedar-birch stands.

We look forward to returning with snowshoes to explore a larger portion of the wetland.

[click images to enlarge]

Related information:

Profile of the Everard Fen from the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists.

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