FON Island, Hidden Lake and Seal Cache Island

View from FON Island

FON Island (after the Federation of Ontario Naturalists) is a small island with a freshwater pond and a rocky ridge that sometimes houses a peregrine. Caribou often hang out here because of the fresh water, and a pair of red-throated loons often nest in the beach rye grass at the edge of the pond. Least sandpipers, semipalmated plovers, and occasionally rarer shorebirds skitter along the mud, and the rare red campion flowers on the shores of the pond. This island is also a riot of flowers, a new group emerging each week. The yellow of arctic poppies competes with the brilliant magenta of the wild sweet pea, and lupines crown the slopes.

The next stop is a lovely sandstone island called Hidden Lake Island. Here we can quietly sneak up over glacial rebound beaches to look out over a freshwater lake, to spot nesting tundra swans, red-throated loons, and a variety of ducks, including lesser scaup, long-tailed ducks, and occasionally black scoters. Some choose to hike around the lake, and others spend time observing the activities of the loons.

Then it’s on past flocks of long tailed ducks and scattered yellow-billed loons to another tiny, amazing island. Seal Cache Island is a yellow limestone island that, on approach, appears to have nothing of interest. Yet, visitors are amazed. The Thule (and later) inhabitants of the Inlet camped here in spring, hunting caribou by kayak when the caribou were returning from the calving grounds to the northeast of the Inlet. There is a lot to discover, including tent rings, kayak racks, taluit (hunting blinds), storage caches, and even a spot where the people chipped out stone tools.

Glaucous gulls nest on the end of the island, and often hover overhead. Thick growths of liquoriceroot and wild sweet pea, arctic oxtrope, and alpine milkvetch create a calico effect on the ground. Other surprises await the visitor to this amazing little island.