Tuesday, June 26, 2018

June 1-14 2018, Birds seen at Southern Alberta, Pakowki Lake, Writing-on-stone Park, Kettle River Campground, British Columbia

This blog is comprised of a collection of photos taken at various locations in southern British Columbia and Alberta between June 1 and June14, 2018.  
We made a stop at Kettle River campground for a few nights.  The object of our visit was to find a Black-backed Woodpecker.  A pair of Lewis's Woodpeckers first grabbed our attention.

A Black-backed Woodpecker is not rare but after 25 years of birding we had never seen one.  There were reports of one at Kettle River.  It took a few hours but we finally found it, making it number 400 on our British Columbia list.

One of the first stops on this trip was in Princeton, B.C.. We joined the BC Field Ornithologists here for a birding tour.  One of the highlights was this Lazuli Bunting.

This tour also provided a very cooperative female Violet-green Swallow.

We stopped at Writing-on-stone provincial park on our way back to B.C.  This little park is tucked away on the Montana border but always popular with local residents and tourists alike.
Two of the reasons for the popularity are the hoodoos and petroglyphs.  Formed by erosion, these interesting hoodoos can be explored by trails leading through them. 
The  Milk River winds its way through the valley.  The campsite is nestled in the grove of large trees at the top of the picture.
A bust of Trump or some other ancient inhabitant??

Rock Wrens were common amongst the hoodoos.
I have a feeling this Western Cottontail had seen many hikers pass by him before us.
Black-billed Magpie at the campsite.
A Yellow Warbler gleans the willows.
It blends in with the yellow flowers of the willow.

Another stop on our trip was Foremost, Alberta.  This was the closest campground to Pakowki Lake which is well known for its bird diversity.
There were many Eared Grebes courting on Pakowki.
American Avocets were filtering out food.  
As were Black-necked Stilts.
White-faced Ibis almost seem like a sub-tropical bird but they appear to like Southern Alberta.
  • Wilson's Phalarope.  Unlike most birds where the female has the predominant role in caring for young, female phalaropes desert their mates once they’ve laid eggs. While the male raises the young by himself, the female looks for other males to mate with. This unusual mating system is called polyandry, and it’s reflected in the way the two sexes look, with the females more brightly colored than the males.
Male Phalarope.
We found this Ferruginous Hawk as we drove around the south side of Pakowki.  It was beside the road on the only tree in sight.
You can barely see a Richards Ground Squirrel (gopher) in the nest.  When bison still roamed the west, Ferruginous Hawk nests contained bison bones and hair along with sticks and twigs.
Finally a White-breasted Nuthatch from Wasa Campground, close to Cranbrook.

End of this blog.  
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1 comment:

  1. wow Len stunning photography brought back memories of when I and Ilya lived in AB. Your FEHA shot on the nest is beautiful what a magnificent hawk. I love your duo shot of the eared grebes at Pakowki it is so cool they get hundreds there on a lake. I was happy to see 4 on one pond a few days ago near kamloops.

    I am so glad you found the black-backed woodpecker! congrats on 400 in bc! I know they can be real tough at rock creek good for you for searching for 4 hours! I know Chris recently dipped he told me but another friend found him like you after 2 hours.