By way of a change we took a trip out to Parc Omega near Montebello on the north shore of the Ottawa River, this is a place we have taken several visitors to and they have all greatly enjoyed it. For those not in the know, Parc Omega is a safari park containing only Canadian animals, it also attracts birds to its grounds and feeders and I had seen flocks of Evening Grosbeaks there in previous years, so we took a look. It is not cheap to get in, the price is now $17.00CAN per adult, I can’t remember how much it was for kids but you can always stuff small ones under the seat, they don’t check too carefully and if any wander into the wolf pen there is a fair chance that you won’t take as many back as you arrived with..
The feeders were quiet, not a grosbeak year, but the driving loop was quite good value and the animals in their winter furs looked very smart. A new addition since our last visit was a group of Arctic Foxes and a young male Moose. We were quite surprised to see the Black Bears up and about, the weather was around -4 but they were waddling around having piled on fat for the winter. I presume when they wake up like this they are only active for short periods, I don’t know whether they eject their anal plugs created at the onset of hibernation or whether that happens once in spring, either way, when they do eject them you do not want to be stood behind one.
Whether you like places like Parc Omega or not and they are contentious places for the purist, there is a big benefit in showing people, especially kids, what animals that are out there look like. A general interest in wildlife can develop into a passion in later life and if seeing a few captive Arctic Foxes skitter around their pens plants a seed, good. Anyone thinking of going over to Parc Omega, Highway 50 is now open and takes you all the way there, no more slowing down for all those little towns.
Below a couple of shots of Common Raven and a winter male Wild Turkey followed by a few of the captive animals.
First up is an Arctic Fox, not quite in its full white ‘plumage’. The Arctic Foxes were very vocal and active and knew very well that they were being gawped at.
Next are a couple of Timber Wolf shots. We once saw and Eastern Grey Wolf at Tremblant, it crossed the road right in front of us. We later heard that one had actually been in he camp ground and had woken some kid by licking his ear, neat.
The Black Bears were very lardy, more ass than anything else, this gets them through the Quebec winter, this year they have not had it so bad, I hope the relatively mild winter continues, even at the expense of no skiing which I can live without, I have done so far.
Below are a couple of Coyote shots. They can be easily found around the St-Clet fields in winter, hunters go after them with skidoos. I once saw one legging it across the fields with an oven-ready Chicken in its mouth, no lunch for Granny.
Last but not least, Arctic Wolf, these lads are very impressive, they have a calculating stare. You really would not want one of these hanging by it’s jaws off your tender bits.