Both yesterday and today I hiked Beaches Path, from Witless Bay to Little Bald Head and back. The snow is only a few inches deep in most places so that’s nice, the only ‘problem’ with the trail right now is that it has iced over badly in all the wrong places, places where secure footing would in fact be much preferable. It’s no issue for me though, my studded overboots have superb traction on most surfaces, I just love those things.

Yesterday the weather was basically a dud, the forecast lured me outside with promises of sunshine but all I found were clouds and shadow. On the wildlife side, I saw squirrels, a few seals, and of course eagles above. When you’re walking on the beach and looking at seals, they’re looking right back at you, they’re very curious about people. I strolled up and down Camel Beach yesterday and one seal followed me in the water, back and forth:

Curious seal in Camel Cove - Beaches Path

Curious seal in Camel Cove – Beaches Path

Today the weather was much better, even with a forecast that was less optimistic than yesterday’s. The trail was the same, the wildlife too, all the critters from yesterday were present, in the sky, the trees and the water. Additionally, I saw a Masked Shrew running around in circles underneath the boardwalk. When I stopped to inspect, it was startled and bolted into the forest. Those little guys can really go!

Here’s a few more images from Beaches Path, all from today:

Me on the trail - Beaches Path

Me on the trail – Beaches Path

The guy standing there is me, you can see this trail is covered in crusty snow, which is the easiest kind of snow to walk in, not too soft and not too hard. The island in the background is Gull Island, one of the major tourist attractions in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve. In summer months that island is home to over half a million Atlantic Puffins and well over a million Leach’s Storm Petrels.

Twelve O' Clock Beach - Beaches Path

Twelve O’ Clock Beach – Beaches Path

Twelve O’ Clock Beach is one of the many beaches on Beaches Path, the others are all similar to this one, hard and rocky. Not the kind of place to put down a towel, although I’m sure the local youth will give it a try in the summer time.

Breaking Beach is the rockiest beach of the bunch, it faces the open ocean and literally breaks up the waves coming into it:

Breaking waves on Breaking Beach - Beaches Path

Breaking waves on Breaking Beach – Beaches Path

Next up is Green Island, my favourite island in the Reserve, housing the second largest colony of Common Murres in North America. When getting closer to this island on a boat tour, you’ll see an immense cloud of activity surrounding the entire island, these are the birds, they’re flying absolutely everywhere!

Green Island - Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Green Island – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Lastly, a ‘close-up’ of Gull Island. The shack you see on the left is a place where biology students can stay when they’re doing fieldwork with the Puffins and such. The tour guides always call this place the ‘Gull Island Hilton’, or was it the ‘Witless Bay Hilton’? Either way, it’s just a small solar powered shack. I wouldn’t mind staying there myself though!

Gull Island Hilton - Witless Bay Ecological Reserve

Gull Island Hilton – Witless Bay Ecological Reserve