Thursday, January 24, 2013

Creek Side Walk

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Location: Creek Side Walk & Hidden Valley Multi-use Trail, Burlington, ON
Directions: Park at Hidden Valley Park, just off Hidden Valley Road, Burlington
Species of Note: Rough-legged Hawk
Obscurity: Very Low - lots of hikers go through here
Data: eBird Checklist | GPS Track

This is my first real hike of the year in Burlington, where the RBG's Hendrie Valley runs through. Grindstone Creek runs through here, and right now with the cold-warm-cold-warm phase this winter has gone through twice, there's a lot of ice chunks pushed up and on to the Creek Side Trail!

This hike began with a brief section of the multi-use trail in Hidden Valley. I think I save that trail as a whole for another post, when I can do a more thorough walk of it.

Today's highlight was a rather large hawk, one I later identified (not by photo, but by notes I made after seeing through binoculars) as a Rough-legged Hawk. During the whole time I was walking on the trail section it was scouting, it just sat there, turning its head every few seconds.

Could be nearly any kind of hawk, if we're ID'ing by photo
This is a tricky trail to hike in this kind of winter. A lot of the trails is very literally creek-side, in that a bit of erosion and it'd be in the creek. It really needs a bit more of a buffer between the hiker and the creek at many points. This made for a very slippery trail, one that was best to walk beside more than walk on. One slip, and you could be in the cold creek!

This trail connects up with a larger loop, one I'll be back for soon. The trails I took today were about an hour, if you account for about ten minutes of me staring at this bird. If I was looking for a good two-hour hike, the loop connected to the end of Creek Side Walk would have been a nice choice.

The trail is close to eroding into the creek...

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