Friday, January 11, 2013

Hopkin's Loop

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Location: Hopkin's Loop Trail @ RGB North Trails Cootes' Paradise Sanctuary
Getting There: Park off York Road at the North Trails
Species of Note: Pine Siskins, American Goldfinch, Carolina Wren
Obscurity Rating: 2.5/5 - Signed Trail at popular hiking area
Data: eBird Checklist | GPS Trace

From -15° C yesterday to 4 °C today! The trails were rather muddy and squishy, and the whole area was rather misty, which is a bit odd to see with so much snow around!

Once again, the Carolina Wrens were singing at each other, this time two of them back and forth. Also got a pretty close look at some goldfinches, and what I later figured out to be a lone Pine Siskin calling out.

This trail's shape is a bit odd, almost a figure-eight. It's one of the only trails that I've ever see intersect with itself to form more than just a single loop. There seems to also be a spot at the hydro towers where the trail continues off into the backyards of some of the nearby houses -- not sure if it leads anywhere or not. It was too mucky today to go check it out!

Overall this trail is a pretty nice birding area. In past visits I've seen plenty of species, most notable was this past summer when we spotted a family of Turkey Vultures perched on the hydro towers. Usually to see vultures perched in this region you need to be at the escarpment, so this was a bit of a rare sight.

If you like trails with a mix of not-too-much-uphill and not-too-flat, this trail seems to work well for that. It's mostly level, but has just enough spots with elevation to make it more of a moderate-level trail rather than just an easy one.

Very misty snow

Misty Trail

A caterpillar somehow surviving the winter

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