Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sandhill Crane dance near the Soo.

Every few months we drive to southern Ontario to see friends and family. Because we only have a handful of days in which to do our visiting and driving - about 2800 km - we typically set out an hour or two before dawn and stick to the TCH and 400-series highways. We do have a few favourite stops and minor diversions which relieve the tedium and provide some contrast to the cool, rocky, boreal landscape of home.

A favourite patch lies south of Sault Ste. Marie, between Desbarats and Echo Bay. The sod farms, sprawling corn fields and woodlots offer great habitat for wintering raptors, migrating waterfowl and shorebirds, and breeding open-area species. Our brief detour from the highway on Tuesday turned up a very pale Rough-legged Hawk, thousands of Canada Geese, Eastern Meadowlark and the inevitable Sandhill Cranes, our first of the season.

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