Tuesday, 8 August 2023

Algonquin Park Canoe Trip - Tom Thompson & McIntosh Lake

 I just returned from a glorious canoe trip to Algonquin Park with my Paul, Dad, and my nieces Emma and Brynn.  It was a 3-night trip with the first night spent on Tom Thompson lake and the second and third nights on McIntosh Lake.  Getting to McIntosh required a 2.3km portage which everyone handled like a champ including dad as he nears his 71st birthday!  Our site on McIntosh was one of the nicest I've seen - awesome swimming rocks, a small cliff to jump right into the water from the site, lots of space for tents, sheltered and open areas, a log picnic table, and nearly all day sun.  

The weather was fantastic...except on the way out when the heavens opened and we were pounded with pouring rain for hours on end - I may have destroyed my camera as I didnt realize that it, along with my lenses were sitting in a pool of water in my pack!  The rain was so intense and persistent that water found its way into my water resistant day pack, inside my camera bag, inside my weather resistant camera, and into the SD card slots, battery slots etc (clearly the SD card was fine and I was able to retrieve the photos!) - I poured half a litre of water out of my camera bag when I got home :(.  Live and learn..the hard way sometimes.

As usual, I will allow the photos to do most of the talking.  Another special trip with loved ones in one of my favourite places on this rich earth.

Canoe Lake - starting out!

Tom Thompson relaxation - thanks for the hammock Fred!

Site on Tom Thompson

Tom Thompson sunset

Loons, morning mist, campsite across the lake on Tom Thompson

Common Loon photoshoot!

Ink Lake portage

Spruce Grouse male with female and fledged young

Male Spruce Grouse posing

Ink Lake portage end

Paddling the creek into McIntosh

McIntosh sunset

McIntosh milky way


Time for reflection

Relaxing on McIntosh

Beautiful site

Leaving McIntosh lake.

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Pelee Island

On the 2nd weekend in May I made the annual pilgrimage to the hallowed ground of Pelee Island to enjoy some excellent migration and R&R.  We were stationed at the 'Cedar House' right behind the (former) bakery on Sheridan's Point.  We were disappointed to learn that the bakery, a fixture of the island, has now closed permanently.  

Molly and Amy had a great time on the trails looking for snakes and salamanders and enjoying the spring wildflowers and beaches.  I spent some time trying out the new Fuji lens (150-600mm), and I was quite happy with how it performed.  A few of my favourite shots are below:

Palm Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

The first morning I was on the island I walked out to Fish Point and there was a decent reverse migration happening.  A few pelicans were also around.

American White Pelican

I always enjoy the reorientation flights, whereby birds that have overshot the night before attempt to correct things by flying back out across the lake.  This gives lots of opportunities to do some in flight photography.  Most of these birds were very high and as such the shots are heavily cropped.
Cliff Swallow

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Blue Jay

Baltimore Oriole

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Orchard Oriole

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting

Orchard Oriole

Green Heron

Yellow Warbler missing tail feathers!


American Redstart

Common Yellowthroat


Ferry dock in early AM

Great Egret in the rain

A wild Amy enjoying the hammock

Bay-breasted Warbler

Wilson's Warbler

Cape May Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Tunnel of trees on Sheridan Point road

Molly walking off into the sunset

Once again, we had an amazing time on the island.  More family memories to cherish.