Tuesday, July 14, 2015

B.C. Birding Bliss

I returned yesterday from another blissful weekend in BC.  I didn't quite get a break from the haze of forest fires as you can tell from my photos below.  (Much of this smoke is coming from forest fires in Jasper National Park.)

The Cranberry Marsh in Valemount was a place I discovered last month and is fast becoming a favourite for bird watching.  I spent a good part of Saturday morning there and this time around I did the 6km loop in reverse, spending most of my time on the sand dyke on the marsh's west side.  

The east side did reveal some pleasant surprises however as I spotted 3 Great Blue Heron up in the trees.  If you look closely you can see one of them here....


After last month's very rewarding outing I wondered how this trip would stack up in terms of species sighted or what I might see.  When I spotted my first ever Western Tanager I knew it was going to be a great weekend.  This species has been on my dream list of birds to see ever since I moved out here.

When I include the Rock Doves I saw in Jasper and the Gull in Grassland, AB on the way back my count for the weekend runs to 27. surpassing my total from my last trip.  Not too shabby.

Here's my list.  Like last time, my "first sightings" for the year are in bold...

1. Common Raven
2. Barn Swallow
3. Pileated Woodpecker
4. Canada Goose
5. House Sparrow
6. Chipping Sparrow
7. Tree Swallow
8. Yellow-rumped Warbler
9. Northern Flicker
10. Dark-Eyed Junco
11. American Robin
12. EUROPEAN STARLING
13. GREAT BLUE HERON
14. BONAPARTE'S GULL
15. WESTERN TANAGER
16. Black-capped Chickadee
17. American Coot
18. Redhead
19. Ruddy Duck
20. YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT
21. Yellow-headed Blackbird
22. Mallard
23. Marsh Wren
24. Red-winged Blackbird
25. RED-TAILED HAWK
26. Rock Dove
27. RING-BILLED GULL

Cranberry Marsh




Canoe Mountain and Mount McKirdy obscured by the haze of forest fires.





Fortunately, it did clear up the following day, though not as much as I had hoped.  The next afternoon I found myself up 2000 feet next to a small cabin by a small alpine stream.

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