Saturday, September 30, 2017

Away to Awenda and Other Places

After leaving Algonquin Park early Wednesday morning, I headed west through Muskoka.  Clouds were building in the west and rain was imminent.
I stopped by Port McNicoll to view the Keewatin.  As it was raining, I decided to take the tour of the ship!  Although I have been on it three times before, one cannot get enough of this national treasure.

Each time, there is something different to see, as new displays are added.  I started out the tour alone with the guide and she mentioned the sister ship Assiniboia.  I had to correct her, as she did not go directly to Philadelphia after being sold by Canadian Pacific.  In fact, the Assiniboia had a brief stint in Sarnia with JAL Steamships.  Being a friend of one of the owners, my father went aboard (and took me along when I was very young).  Here is a photo!

The Keewatin was virtually identical (Both originally burned coal, but Assiniboia was modified to burn oil and the stack was shortened).
Here are some photos.

Above "Flowerpot Lounge"

Quadruple expansion steam engine

After lunch I headed up to Awenda Provincial Park, another one of my favourite places to camp.
The skies were starting to clear, but the wind picked up considerably, as it switched to the north.  What a relief after the scorching heat in Algonquin!
The wind was strong off the lake and no birds were seen (not even a frigatebird!).

Shoreline at Awenda.  Giant's Tomb Island in background

I walked around Kettle's Lake, but few birds were seen.  This is a good birding spot at times.

After setting up the tent, I checked out Robitaille Trail, which is a decent birding trail.  A few warblers were seen including this Black-throated Blue.

For some reason, Black-throated Blues often come in pairs.

I also found an Ovenbird. It was in the shade, so the photo is not too good.

The trail is named after the Robitaille family which owned the property.  One can see the foundation ruins of the house and barn.

After supper, I just milled about the campsite hoping to hear Barred Owls,  Although I have had them on each previous visit, perhaps the strong wind kept them quiet.

After a little bit of birding, I headed out early the next morning and after lunch stopped at West Perth Wetlands, Mitchell.  It is always worth a visit when in the area.  There were quite a few shorebirds, but waterfowl stole the show.  Among several species of ducks, there were over 600 Mallard.
Lots of yellowlegs were present, as well as a single Pectoral Sandpiper and a Wilson's Snipe.  Dowitchers had been reported recently, but I did not detect any.

Over 40 American Golden Plover were present as well.

Despite the heat and humidity and rather few birds, it was nice to get away to familiar places.


  1. I saw on eBird that you had made a stop in Mitchell. It's a good time of year to visit there. Sounds like a great trip overall. Thanks for taking us along through these posts.

    1. I found the waterfowl at West Perth quite overwhelming. I only did rough estimates! I always like stopping there for a break.