Friday, April 29, 2011

Part 2. A hike on the West Bank of the Vermilon River, along the Abandoned Railway Track. A post to Camera Critters and Scenic Sunday.

Swamp Sparrow Playing on the Ice Skim

Swamp Sparrow

Red-wing Blackbird

We're picking up where we left of on the previous post.The two sparrows are in a small wetland just over the bridge. The Red-winged Blackbirds are on the wetlands of the abandoned RR line. So are the Grackles. The Pileated Woodpecker who I think was the model for the cartoon Woody Woodpecker was in the same area. For the full woodpecker series click here

Red Wing Blackbird


Grackle in the Sun

Pileated Woodpecker

Bufflehead Male Duck

Female Bufflehead

Male Bufflehead

Male and Female Bufflehead.

I normally don't have too much luck with ducks, but the Buffelheads were playing in the fast water just the other side of the small wetland shown below. I checked their range as this is the first time I've seen them and they are migrating or moving in as they're usually a bit north. The Wood Duck shown below which is not such a good photo was in the same area but right across the river. I'll have to figure out a way to get closer. I knew this trail would pay off as the active track cuts me off from the eastern side of the river.

Wood Duck.

Small Wetland to the East or on My Right
 The large wetland is still frozen but is home to the blackbird both Grackles and Red winged. The Pileated showed up in the frozen area also. The Wood Duck, really a colourful fellow, is a resident of the area.

Large Wetland To the West or My Left.

Lip of The Rapids.

White Water


Close Up

This whole trail, an abandoned RR track is easy to hike as it is elevated above the river and wetlands, which makes for easy viewing but creates a difficulty in getting closer to the actual river bank as the sides are steep. The trail ends at the rapids which are spectacular at this time of year. The old bridge is gone of course. The river is wide above the rapids and then narrows to create the rapids. The wetlands are in the wide area above the rapids.
The Fox Among the Geese

Boomer My Companion

These fox shots were not used in my earlier post. If you want to see the whole sequence click below. Boomer was with me but not in the post. You can see from his eyes how interested he was.

A Post to Camera Critters @   and to Scenic Sunday @

Click to enlarge all photos.


  1. love the rushing waters. love the grackles & red-wing shots. LOVE the fox. and LOVE boom!

  2. Perfect light for the woodpecker shots. They usually duck into the shade whenever I'm near them.

  3. These are great photos. Thanks for sharing.

    All the best, Boonie

  4. Oh, wow ... where to start! Love all the critters and Boomer (of course)! Water shots are wonderful. Happy Critter Day!

  5. Great bird and photos. My favorite photo is of Boomer.

  6. Hi Gary and Boom, thanks for stopping by today. I appreciate it. Your photos are gorgeous and I love the river. Walking along it must be fun.

  7. Another beautiful series, Gary and Boomer. You live in a veritable paradise.

  8. That's the most wonderful thing when they make hiking trails from abandoned railroad tracks. Great post. I've heard that about "Woody Woodpecker" and your pictures makes it seem very likely. Loved every bird -- miss my redwings (from Oregon). The fox among the geese picture looks like it should either be a postcard or illustrate a child's book. Loved every picture here. Thanks again for sharing your hike.

  9. great photos!

    i have a pileated woodpecker that comes to visit every spring, and keeps me awake in the early morning by pecking himself senseless on the chimney cap! i have since learned that pileated woodpeckers can live to be 10 or 12 years. Oye!

  10. Wow...amazing fox shot! Love those sparrow shots. You captured everything in its natural place and all so well done. Love this post.

  11. What a gorgeous series - so much beauty along the way - and what a lovely companion.

  12. Stunning photos!!! That red fox is just gorgeous in color. Oh and not to forget Boomer....that photo is my favorite of 'em all!!

    Thanks for stopping by yesterday. Here's my link for today if you'd care to stop by and say 'howdy'!!

    Sand, Surf, and Shadows

  13. Hi Gary

    What wonderful shots and I love hearing about walk itself. I am really impressed with your photo of the fox and Boomer looks great.

  14. Wow - you got amazing shots, Gary! I love the Pileated Woodpecker...have never seen one in person, though a few tiny varieties of Sapsuckers visit our suet basket daily.

    The fox pics are great, too, but the star of your post is Boomer...what a magnificent fellow he is...:)

  15. You are really rich in birds and wildlife sightings! I enjoyed all your images and really love Boomer.

  16. I do enjoy these walks, especially since it will be a while yet before I can get to my high elevation summer haunt.

  17. Beautiful and colorful birds.
    Boomer is very curious.

    My entry Spot Me

  18. Wow!! That makes everything texwisgirl.

  19. Thanks Buttons and come back!!

  20. That's true Mike you just have to catch wildlife!!

  21. And Boomer not even wildlife!! Eileen.

  22. They didn't make them Sallie the RR just abandoned them!!

  23. He's always the star, Lynette.

  24. Boomer always gets the attention Jean.

  25. Glad you enjoy them Martha!!

  26. Thanks Rajesh. Boomer thinks the fox is crazy going on that ice.

  27. I wish we had those buffleheads. They looks so good.