This past Sunday morning I decided to take advantage of the mild weather and get out for a walk. One of my favorite places is the river valley and since it had been quite a while since I had last ventured down there, I figured that morning was as good as any. I took along my camera and binoculars as well. While it is still a little early in the season, the particular stretch of trail I had in mind has always rewarded me well when it comes to bird life. As it turned out I didn't see anything out particularly eye-popping like the pileated woodpecker Nick and I came across last time we were out, but it was still a good way to get some exercise.
Basically I saw pretty much what I expected to see for this time of year - a couple a grey jays, some chickadees and the ubiquitous magpie. I did manage, despite a general lack of coordination to get fairly close to the whiskey jacks and chickadees but wasn't able to get the camera ready without spooking them. Clearly, my bush creeping skills have gone a little sour over the course of a long winter. A one point I thought I heard a woodpecker though I couldn't locate him through the dense brush.
Not seeing anything else of interest I decided to head down this little goat trail to check out the thaw of the river.
While you can't tell from the above picture, there is a good 200-foot drop off right beside this little path to the river below.
Ice along the shores of the Athabasca to the south of the city.
Shot of the Horse River feeding into the Athabasca across from our very lovely water intake station. The Horse River Valley was at one time home to a salt factory and a fledgling community back in the 1930's. Its an area I really look forward to exploring more thoroughly in the future.
While I enjoy a good brew once in awhile, I find it really distressing the amount of empty beer cans I came across along certain parts of the trail.