Thursday, September 29, 2016

September Pictures 2016 Pika, Sooty Grouse, Gray Jay, Manning Park, Lark Sparrow

Although we travelled to the Kootenays and Lilloett we didn't get many pictures of wildlife this month.  An overnight trip to Manning Park at the end of the month garnered a few shots of the local fauna.  I went alone as Dian didn't want to camp overnight in the cold weather and it was cold.  I registered 2 degrees celsius in the trailer in the morning.  I was sleeping with a comforter and down sleeping bag over that.  I was quite comfortable as long as I didn't stick my head out to far.  If it would have been any colder I am sure I would have froze some water lines. The daytime temperatures were in the mid teens and the sun felt warm.  It was a beautiful time to be up there.  I did see 1 bear and 2 deer which didn't present favourable photo opportunities.

Glen Valley, close to Fort Langley, had a Lark Sparrow for a few days at the beginning of the month.  This is a rare bird for this area but common on its regular patch.
Sometimes on migration one finds birds out of their regular habitat.  Such was the case with this female Brewers Blackbird up on the Manning Park Lookout.

 Canada Jay, Whiskey Jack, and Camp Robber are names associated with the Gray Jay.  Fossils of this bird have been found that have dated back over 18,000 years.

A Cascade Golden-manteled Ground Squirrel looks like a large chipmunk.  This rodent is found only in the Pacific Northwest and will be hibernating soon.    The chubby cheeks indicates it has had a successful forage on a rock scree in Manning Park.

Manning is a great place to find cute Pikas.  They are lagomorphs-the same family as rabbits.  They don't hibernate but spend the winters under meters of snow.   

This Pika is busy adding to its "haystack" deep within the talus slopes. This will nourish it through the winter.  If it runs out of food it will eat its own, and others, feces 

There are 2 species of Pika in North America and 29 species world wide.  This one (scratching its ear) is the American Pika.  We have also seen the other species (Collared Pika) high on Surfbird Mountain, just south of the Arctic Circle.

Manning Park is believed to be an overlapping range with the Sooty Grouse and Dusky Grouse.  It is not easy to distinguish between the 2 species but most likely this is a Sooty.
I drove up to the lookout at Manning at dusk to see the sunset.  The golden leaves of this tree were blurred by a sudden breeze as I focused.

One last sunset shot.
And now for something completely different.   With the visit of the Royal Family here, I was looking at Prince George and had that nagging feeling he reminded me of someone.

And then I was watching the emmies and Louis Anderson solved my problem.  It's probably just me.

End of this blog.  Scroll down for previous blog.


  1. Hi Len

    Manning Park is one of my favourite places. These photos you got are beautiful love the composition of the gray Jay and the pikas never pose for me like that! Lucky you! The sunset shots are gorgeous ! Congrats again on seeing the lark sparrow was a tame bird and they are pretty to see at any time.

  2. I really enjoyed the Manning Park series, especially the Pikas and the scenics. Hope to see you in the field.