I bird Gabriel Dumont Park because it’s a beautiful spot with a panoramic view of the magnificent South Saskatchewan River. The park was once a fill site, and while it is owned by the city, it has been restored to a natural state under the auspices of the Meewasin Valley Authority, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the natural resources and cultural heritage of the South Saskatchewan River Valley. Since the mid-1980s, half an acre (more than 2,000 square meters) of native trees, shrubs, and grasses have been planted and now thrive. A riverside marsh was added in 2000, and the major work was completed in 2001. It is now an esthetically pleasing, bird-friendly natural area.
In the spring, look for migrant warblers such as Tennessee, Magnolia, Cape May, Wilson’s, Canada, Northern Waterthrush, and American Redstart. If you are really lucky, you might find a Connecticut Warbler.
My favorite time of year is autumn, when the foliage turns color and fall migrants refuel on the abundant berries and bugs before resuming their journeys south. — May Haga
May Haga leads and helps plan field trips for the Saskatoon Nature Society. Her photograph of a Dark-eyed Junco appeared in Fieldcraft in our February issue.