Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Side Trail Loop at Dundas Peak

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Location: Glen Ferguson Side Trail loop @ Spencer Gorge Conservation Area
Getting There: Park on the side of Fallsview Road/Ofield Road at the bend.
Species of Note: Red-bellied Woodpecker, Dark-eyed Juncos, Snow Buntings
Obscurity Rating: 1/5 - Major Conservation Area, Dundas Peak is a popular destination as it's one of the best views off the escarpment anywhere
Data: eBird Checklist | GPS Track

For the first time in weeks I've remembered to turn on my GPS tracking app, Cyclemeter. The app traces where I've walked, pace, time, speed, and so on. While its name indicates it's for cycling, it's actually the same app as another one called Walkmeter, just with different branding. This time though, instead of tracing my route just out of curiosity,  I'm putting the data to use! I'll be using it to add the Glen Ferguson Side Trail to Google Maps, and return here another time to get the main trail.

Today was a windy, cold day. Not a single other hiker out today, and it doesn't surprise me. These trails are usually very busy -- Dundas Peak is a great lookout point and Webster's Falls are an equally interesting attraction. But, for some reason people don't like hiking on windy days along the edges of cliffs...

Right at the entrance to the trail, I noticed someone has placed some birdseed here, and a small congregation of squirrels, mourning doves, chickadees, and juncos are having a feast. Not surprisingly, this is the only spot I really saw any birds on the trail, the rest of the loop was far too open and windy.

I lucked out however, at the end of my loop of this trail. Back again were the usual birds and mammals, and what flies in but a rather large and colourful Red-bellied Woodpecker! I got a great chance to see him pretty up close with some rather limited binoculars. This is yet another time I wish I had a good zoom camera for photographing birds like this. Oh well, someday!

As a very nice bonus, upon returning to the car I was witness to a full-on swarm of hundreds of Snow Buntings. The sighting didn't last long, however, they were sweeping in all sorts of directions for about a minute until flying off into the distance.

Looking forward to returning here, to add the remaining trail to Google Maps, and perhaps catch glimpse of some more species.

View from the trail

The narrow trail!

View from Dundas Peak

Side Trail signage

Through the berry bushes

Bruce Trail - Side Trail Blazes

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