Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Ones that Got Away

From the camera, that is.

In the past week, we've had some pretty interesting wildlife sightings here.  None of the guests were in a position to capture that elusive photograph however, so we are posting here, borrowing photos from Stock.

Brian, out grooming the ski trails, found himself face to beak with a Great Gray Owl.

Pretty darn rare up here. They spotted four of them in Algonquin during the Christmas Bird Count and got all fluffed up with excitement.  Once spotted, they are easy to identify. First of all, they are BIG. Hence the word Great in their name.  Although much of that size is mis-leading. They are mostly a bag of feathers. The Great Horned Owl and the Snowy Owl both weigh half as much again and have bigger feet.  Great Gray Owls have  round faces, with no ear tufts. They are always in formal attire, with a black and white 'bow tie' under the face, and big yellow eyes.  The only owl with dark brown eyes is the beloved Barred Owl.  So when this owl sat on the tree limb and blinked knowingly at Brian on the Trail Groomer, there was no doubt who he was.

Up in the spruce bog, the Owl was watching for mice and other little mammals. Once located -- usually under the snow -- the owl makes an aerial dive down and plunges his talons through the snow to grab his lunch. It is the ultimate smash and grab.

They are magnificent birds. Their call is a series of deep and even hoots. You can listen in on them at this site.

Our neighbours were thrilled to find a pair of pine martens at their bird feeder, right by the kitchen window. One was pretty small, so most likely a juvenile.  The martens were equally thrilled to find the suet feeders full.

Martens don't usually hang out together, so we suspect these were related. Babies are usually born in March and April, so this would likely have been last year's baby. That's a guess. We're not sure, because, (see note at top of page) we weren't able to get a photograph, just a description. They are attractive little creatures, unless of course you are one of the smaller rodents or squirrels that they prefer to eat. As a member of the weasel family, they are definitely efficient predators.

Finally last week, some of our skiers had a fisher glide across the trail in front of them.
Fishers are big. Related to the martens and weasels, they are primarily nocturnal, so not usually spotted in the daytime.  Ferocious hunters, fishers (who live in trees, and don't fish, so go figure on the name  -- in fact, the name derives from the Olde English "fiche" which relates to a pole-cat and its thick dark pelt)  are about the only creature out there that will take on a porcupine and succeed.  There is a technique, and the fisher (or fisher cat as they are sometimes called) has it down to a fine science.  They are also pretty good at snapping up house cats that are out at night in wooded areas, which is another reason you have to look after your pets up in this neck of the woods.  From experience, we can also verify that they are terrifyingly efficient at getting rid of free ranging chickens, too, and are not shy about standing up to a person with a pitchfork. Just ask Dave.

They are predators... they are carnivores... they do what they have to do. You have been warned.  Fishers also make the most hair-raising screeches, usually late at night when you are outside in the dark. Similar to a fox, but harsher and more drawn out, it is easy to understand why people thought there were Wendigo in the woods, and preferred not to venture there.  As things that go screech in the night, the fisher is right up there near the top of the list.

1 comment:

  1. They're all amazing animals. I remember hearing years ago about how despite the size, there was relatively little weight in owls.