Sunday, May 17, 2015

X Canada 'Little Big Year' Part 1 and 2

May 11 2015 Salmon Arm Day 1 Sunny 12c

The first leg of my X country trip began May 12 in Cloverdale BC. Instead of birding the Okanagan I was anxious to get on with my journey so I headed straight for Salmon Arm, a six hour drive away where I would spent my first night. I arrived in the afternoon to a blustery day and lousy light. Next morning at the pier a single Dunlin fed on the foreshore while a Beaver dove down for plant material, only re-surfacing to chew on his meal.

Beaver feeding on tubers.
The morning light reflected off the the water made a fine backdrop for a Western Grebe. Last year when I visited the grebes were dancing and the water much higher due to the snow melt. This year the melt is yet to come and the dancing grounds were bone dry. Looking around I don't see much snow on the mountains and with the fire season around the corner I wonder if we are in for a very dry summer. Without the grebe dancing shots I decided to 'Monet' the bird, so colourful were the colours reflected in the water.

Western Grebe a la Monet
Next up was one of the nesting pair of Osprey that frequent the pier area. The pair have one chick which appears to be about the same size as the adults.

An Osprey scopes the water waiting for an unwary quarry.

It was time to move on and head over the Rocky Mountains, a true test of my underpowered VW Westfalia.

May 12 2015 Rocky Mountains Sunny 12c
Elk beside the road near Banff.

Climbing through the Rockies I decided to visit Lake Louise to do the tourist thing, as I have been there a number of times before I am not too sure why I wanted to see it again, maybe it would be different in springtime,. This time the lake was partially frozen. A Clarke's Nutcracker made most of the tourists picnic leftovers and the busload of Brits from Manchester stood open mouthed as they stared at the glacier and took their requisite photos. 

Sulphur Mountain 2451metres Banff .

The area where I will bird for the next two weeks before making my way to Winnipeg and beyond.

Some of the species found in the watershed flowing from the Rockies.
Clarke's Nutcracker shot with a 17mm-55mm at 50mm. I was shooting a scenic and left my telephoto in the van.

Lake Louise still partially frozen in mid May.

As I leave BC my 2015 BC year list is 155 Species. I will continue toad new species as I travel eastward for a Canada list.
"It's never too late to start birding"

John Gordon
BC Canada

1 comment:

  1. Going to be a fabulous trip John!! cannot wait to hear all about it.