Friday Sept 24 2021
Flat-out on Flatiron.
|Flatiron gleams in the sunlight|
The forest trail to Flatiron was steep, rocky, slippery and wet. There was hardly a sound in the forest, just the odd Chestnut-backed Chickadee and Douglas Squirrels. Mushrooms were abundant. A few pickers were out collecting. After a two kilometre hike the forest opened up providing 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains.
Then to our surprise a second owl perched alongside. The birds had their eyes on something, they seemed agitated. One of the birds plunged into the undergrowth and out of sight, looking back the other owl had left too. What a start to the day.
|Crossbills pry open the cones with their powerful bill and extract the seeds.|
|A climb from the lake to the summit took another twenty minutes.|
|Part of the covey.|
The descent I was warned could be as difficult as the accent. True to form the steep trail was a combination of wet moss and slippery granite, for me at least it was treacherous. I'm glad I carried a pole for balance.
On the decent I thought I heard chickadees. Eventually, after a bit of searching we found four Mountain Chickadee, right on the trail, the fourth year bird of the day. I screwed up the exposure but thankfully I had shot in Raw and was able to save the picture albeit the highlights were lost. A shame really as the background was perfect.
A hour later were we almost back at the car. My brain and feet were completely out of sync. I was exhausted, both mentally and physically. However both the birds and scenery were well worth the effort. Who knows, I might even try another hike one day.
Established in 1986, Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area lies in the territories of the Nlaka’pamux, Sto:lo, and Yale First Nations. (Outdoor Vancouver)
*A big year is a personal challenge or an informal competition among birders who attempt to identify as many species of birds as possible by sight or sound in any one year.
** A year bird is a new species found during a big year.
"It's never too late to take a hike"