December and the holiday season can be chilly, but also the perfect time to get together with family and friends, pick a page in your Guide to Nature Viewing Sites In and Around Saskatoon, and head outdoors! Winter can offer a whole new experience at these sites.
Birding is an enjoyable activity any time of the year and Saskatoon has numerous locations to see species that call our city home in the cooler months. President Murray Park can be a great place to see pine siskins, crossbills, nuthatches, and woodpeckers. There was even a black-backed woodpecker sighted there in November of this year. Unique bird species have also been sighted feeding at the Sanatorium Site, in Holiday Park. This sheltered area can also be a good place to practice your animal track identification skills.
Pike Lake and Beaver Creek are wonderful places to visit to interact with winter birds, and spot others that are more visible against the white of winter. At Pike Lake you can feed the friendly chickadees and nuthatches, watch for cute red squirrels, and you may be lucky enough to cross the bridge and spot the skilfully camouflaged Great Horned Owl! You can feed chickadees at Beaver Creek too and keep an eye out for woodpeckers and redpolls while walking the trails. The snow-covered river can also be a great canvas for animal tracks.
If you’re looking for a more active adventure, grab your cross-country skis or snowshoes and head to the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, across from Chappell Marsh, to cruise the trails and look for wildlife and birds in a mostly wind sheltered setting. Keep an eye out for deer, hare, woodpeckers, and possibly a gray partridge!
The holiday season is also a time for traditions. One of the Saskatoon Nature Society’s traditions is Christmas Bird Counts! All levels of birders are encouraged to join. It’s the best way to learn too, as we have experienced birders leading the counts with so much knowledge to share, you may even cross a species off your life list! This year they run from December 14th to January 4th. Locations include Clark’s Crossing – Warman – Osler – Martensville, Qu’Appelle Dam – Elbow, Gardiner Dam, Borden-Radisson, Saskatoon, and Pike Lake – Whitecap. We also have the Christmas Bird Count for Kids at the Forestry Farm on January 2nd, which is a great way to start the year with young families. Additional details on the Christmas Bird Counts can be found in the Field Trip section of the newsletter and on our website at https://saskatoonnature.org/scheduled-trips
Happy Holidays to All!
Saskatoon Nature Society
Connecting People and Nature
Saskatoon Nature Society
Box 27013 Grosvenor Park
Saskatoon, SK S7H 5N9