July 31, 2019
After visiting Dildo I proceeded back to the TCH and further east, then south on Route 90. I saw signs for this Nature Park and thought I’d make a quick stop and check it out.
I walked around the Visitor Center and asked the young lady at the front desk what there was to see here. She showed me a map of the walking trail but I told her I probably wouldn’t be doing that today (historically I don’t see many animals out and about mid-day, even in a zoo). She went on to explain what this facility is all about, and it isn’t a zoo…
The folks here at Salmonier rehabilitate injured animals and, when possible, reintroduce them to the wild. My youngest brother lives outside of Cleveland, Ohio and twice they have taken me to a similar facility there (in a county-run park!). The young lady explained that unlike a zoo, their animals are likely to be visible during the day but, of course, couldn’t guarantee it. She talked me right into it. I went back to the car to get my floppy hat (the sun was now out in full) and my digital camera.
There is a long boardwalk which meanders through the park and goes past various areas where the animals now live while recovering from their injuries.
The bird of the day was the red finch (not in for rehab, just native to the area). Children are asked to keep an eye out and alert the staff if they see one. I didn’t see any.
First up, this Snowy Owl:
Next, the first caribou I have ever seen in person:
Next, a Great Horned Owl – but first, a warning:
His eyes appeared to be open when I first saw him but after I moved the camera to see both eyes through the chainlink fence he had them shut in all the other photos (and his left eyelid appeared to be damaged).
Next up, a beautiful pair of Bald Eagles:
A Peregrine Falcon, which I have seen in flight but never up close. This one was on the ground near a tree trunk and shrubbery was hiding most of his body.
As we walked down the boardwalk to the next area this small bird landed on the railing.
The people I had befriended during the walk knew what it was but I don’t remember what they told me. I have looked up birds of Newfoundland but didn’t see it. I do know it wasn’t a red finch. It, too, was just passing through from the outside world. …
When we got to the Newfoundland Pine Marten area the people in front of us said that it had been out running around but had gone into a box up on a pole (to hide or nap) just before we got there. The red foxes were also hiding.
The moose were not. I present the only two moose I’ve seen in Newfoundland – Joey and Isabella. The young lady at the Visitor Center said that Joey often responds to his name but he was resting quite a ways from the boardwalk.
Isabella, the cow, was even further away, almost totally obscured by trees and brush (I don’t think I would have spotted her with the naked eye and had trouble even finding her with the camera when my new friends told me where she was. Looking at the photos she appears to have been facing away from me with her head pointing downward and to her left).
And maybe Joey did hear his name called after all, as he turned to face us directly:
And last up on my little excursion, a mink.
This little guy would come out in the open, grab some food and take it under some nearby plants to eat in privacy. He came out for more every minute or so.
And here he is licking his little mink lips after eating a tasty morsel:
Visiting this Park was time extremely well spent. I enjoyed meeting new friends and spending quality time in this excellent facility.