Friday, October 13, 2017

October 2017 Jackman Wetlands, Aldergrove, BC. Yellowlegs, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher

A report of a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at Jackman Wetlands got me wondering, where the heck is Jackman Wetlands? An enquiry to Fraser Valley Birds got me an answer.  Thanks Nick.  It is located just north of the intersection of 272 St. and 8th. Ave. across from the Langley landfill.  This is a reclaimed area that was once a landfill itself.  It has been leased by a group of dog owners called the Fraser Valley Retriever Training Club.  The general public was given access about a year ago.  The district of Langley has done a lot of work here, landscaping and developing trails.  Here are some pictures taken in a recent visit.

The pin above Aldergrove Park indicates Jackman Wetlands.  Entrance is on 272 St.
Dian leaving the parking lot.
I was sitting by one of the ponds when a Wilson's Snipe came out of hiding.  A Lesser Yellowlegs approaches from the rear.
The sign says dogs should be on a leash but, as in most parks, many people simply ignore it.  The members of the dog club have permission to train their dogs here and they are exempt from the leash restriction.  I visited the site twice while they were there and they appeared to be a responsible group with well trained dogs.  I am grateful they have agreed to share the area with the general public.
The object of our visit was this Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.  Only its head was visible when we first spotted it.
It walked away before I could get a frontal shot.
Pectoral Sandpipers were also here and they can easily be confused with the Sharp-tailed.
Low water levels expose mud which the shorebirds need for foraging on their migration south.
A small flock of Long-billed Dowitchers.
Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs.
There are more ponds on the property but only one had suitable shorelines for the peeps.
Greater Yellowlegs appear to be fighting but they may just be having fun.

Here one stomps on the other's head.
Then one jabs its beak right through the other's head.  (Just kidding.  Optical illusion)

I'll grab your toe.
Leggo my toe!!
After a few moments they went their own ways, non the worst for wear.
Long-billed Dowitcher with what appears to be a Dragonfly nymph??

This pump had us puzzled.  We learned it is used to pump methane out of the old dump to fuel local green houses.
Another pond.
The major waterfowl pond.  It is nice to have a local patch for shorebirds.  Saves a lot of travelling to the coast for a sandpiper fix.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Aug 25-Sept 17, 2017 Circle route Jasper Park, Fort Nelson, Liard, Boya Lake, Stewart, BC, Cassiar and Alaska Highway

This year Dian and I celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.  To relive some of the memories we retraced the trails where we met and married.  The following pictures were taken during the 3 week long trip.
This map shows the major routes we travelled on this trip.  We had a side trip to Edmonton and another to Jasper Nat. Park.
We started out in Alberta where we caught up with son Fred, Granddaughter Ashley, granddaughter Makayla and great grandson Zachary.  This corner gas shot was deliberately staged to capture the funkiness of Pickardville.

We saw a moose along the Maligne Lake road in Jasper last June and it was in velvet.  It was featured in the 2nd previous blog. We believe this may be the same moose a few months later.
Maligne also offered up this young Pika.

Muncho Lake on the Alaska Highway was an area we visited many times during our courtship in 1967, as we lived in Fort Nelson.
Our rig on the shore of Muncho.

Mountain Caribou on the Alaska Highway.

We hiked a few miles back into the mountains at Muncho.  Our hope was to see Stone Sheep.  No luck.

Dian searching.
When we returned to the road we found sheep.  This has happened so many times before, when we have searched for birds.  We often find them in the parking lot where we started.

Our honeymoon was spent at Liard Hotsprings 50 years ago.  We had to climb down a rough post ladder to get into the rustic pool at that time.  The bottom was mud up to the ankles back then.  Now the bottom is covered with pebbles and the stairs and deck are PVC.

A Lapland Longspur from the Liard parking lot.
Wood Bison were introduced to this area after we left in 1968 and now they are plentiful.  This majestic old bull was moving very slowly.  He seemed to be arthritic.  We doubt he will make it through the winter.
We rounded the bend at Watson Lake and headed south on the Cassiar Highway.  A few Ruffed Grouse were close to Boya Lake provincial Park.

Spruce Grouse were also in the area.
Boya Lake is one of the prettiest campgrounds in BC.  Although the lake looks small, the many inlets supply 24 Kilometres of shoreline.
Our site at Boya.
Spot our trailer on the far shore.
Boya Lake.
A few years ago I photographed a friendly Red Fox close to Jade City.  This year we encountered another fox.  This one was blind in one eye.

We knew it was late in the season for seeing bears at Stewart but we dropped in anyway.  This Black Bear was our only sighting there.  Grizzlies had been seen but just briefly.
Finally, some scenes of Salmon Glacier in the Stewart area.

And that's what we did for our 50th anniversary.

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