Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sulphur Creek Trail East

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Location: Eastern section of Sulphur Creek Trail @ Dundas Valley Conservation Area
Directions: From Old Ancaster Road, take Turnbull Road right to the dead end and park
Transit Directions: Take HSR #52 and get off at Orchard Ave, walk to Turnbull to the dead end
Species of Note: Pine Siskins, White-tailed Deer
Obscurity Rating: 2/5 -- the trail off the Main Loop in DVCA may be known, but this entrance is likely not as well known, and traveled less
Data: eBird Checklist | GPS Tracker

The eastern end of Sulphur Creek Trail appears to be a former continuation of Turnbull Road, making it a ghost road of sorts. As you walk along this trail, it's pretty clear that at one time there was once a farm back here. The orchards typically found at abandoned farm sites in the DVCA become evident within about ten minutes of walking.

These kinds of areas are great for finding Northern Cardinals, Cedar Waxwings, and apparently Pine Siskins! I can't recall ever seeing these birds before, and I was lucky to dust off my unimpressive 4x zoom old Canon Powershot camera and bring it along with me. It's not very good for taking pictures of birds (unless they're two feet in front of your face), but at least with the digital zoom I can get a potentially adequate photo for identifying the species. Maybe.

And it worked! Being able to study the photo a bit, plus making note of certain characteristics (the tail-feathers in this case) helped me quickly identify these birds on iBird.

Along with this crowd of siskins was also some woodpeckers and chickadees. And a few White-tailed Deer!

Blurry, grainy Pine Siskins

Still no real snow!

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