Today I went out to Wanuskewin.IMG_1008

I hiked around on the trails for about 4 hours. It was great.


Although I didn’t see any new birds, I did add two butterflies to my list:


Common Wood Nymph


Cabbage White

Plus I came across Dr. Ernie Walker and Dr. Glenn Stuart from the University of Saskatchewan who were working on an archeological dig site.


Dr. Ernie Walker (left) and Dr. Glenn Stuart (right)

They showed me two fire pits they have uncovered.

IMG_1065The one in the foreground is approximately 4000 years old! No, that’s not a typo – 4000! The one in the background is newer because it’s not buried as deep. They’ve actually found 4 different fire pits at this site, at different levels, which means people continued to return to this site for thousands of years. Perhaps because it’s in a valley and therefore more sheltered, especially for winter. But we’ll never really know. I thought it was really interesting. Now I’ve added working at an archeology dig to my to do list!

Chappell Marsh

On Saturday June 1st I got up extra early and headed out to Chappell Marsh for four hours. It’s a Ducks Unlimited Conservation Area just behind the railyards in Saskatoon. I’d never been out there before. There are good walking trails and a variety of habitats – marshland, woodland and grassland. I saw lots of birds and even added a couple to my life list.  I would definitely recommend going out there. I will go again. Next time, though, I think I’ll wait until tick season is over – I brought 4 home on me, but none had attached yet. Also, evening would be a better time to visit as then you wouldn’t be looking across the water into the sun.

Here are some of my pictures from the day:

Gadwall - female (left), male (right)

Gadwall – female (left), male (right)

Lesser Scaup - female (left), male (right)

Lesser Scaup – female (left), male (right)

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Bufflehead - male (left), female (right)

Bufflehead – male (left), female (right)

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Clay-coloured Sparrow

Clay-coloured Sparrow

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Least Flycatcher

Least Flycatcher

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

Hiking at Redberry

I got up early this morning and headed out to Redberry Lake to walk their nature trail and see what birds I could find.

Here’s the map of the hiking trail I followed. Doesn’t look too bad. It says it’s 3.4 km round trip.

Here’s a picture to give you a better idea of the distance. The left arrow is the boat dock and the right arrow is the beginning of the trail. (One thing – if you are going to hike this trail, make sure you have waterproof hikers on, because there are a few wet spots along the trail.)

The first thing I saw when I got out of my car was this cutie:

Snowshoe Hare

Next I saw a new bird for me, an Alder Flycatcher. I was glad I had my digital recorder along, because its voice helped me identify what it was. The picture’s not great.

Alder Flycatcher

Next I saw a sparrow. Sparrows are tricky for me, so I’ll just say that I’m pretty sure this is a Song Sparrow, which I’m happy to say was also a new one for me. (But don’t hesitate to steer me in the right direction if you think I’m wrong.)

Song Sparrow (I think)

I saw a Gray Catbird and an American Goldfinch, but their pictures didn’t turn out any better than the ones I already had.

At the boat dock, I saw some Red-necked Grebes. Another new bird for my list.

Red-necked Grebes

All of a sudden I heard this “whoosh whoosh” overhead. I looked up to see a group of American White Pelicans. As usual, by the time I got my camera up, they were aways away, but I still like this picture.

American White Pelicans in (almost) perfect formation

Another new bird for me was the White-winged Scoter. Not a great picture, but recognizable anyway.

White-winged Scoter

I also got a new butterfly for my list – a Great Spangled Fritillary. Isn’t that a great name? They must be tasty, too, because this one’s missing part of its right wing.

Great Spangled Fritillary

You’ve heard of a two-fer? Well, I got a four-fer today. Two Cedar Waxwings and a male and female American Goldfinch were all perched in the same tree.

The Goldfinches eventually flew away as I got closer, but the Waxwings just stayed right where they were, even as the trail went right beside the tree they were in!

So, four new birds, a new butterfly and as you can see, the clouds did go away. All in all, a great morning.