Sunday, June 14, 2015

Canada day 1

after a poor night at the Sandman Signature, Crawley where a rave seemed to be going on all night in the hotel, (not recommended) and a good flight to Calgary after an hour delay while something was fixed with the cargo door and apparently bits from a wooden pallet! we arrived to temps of 19C and a rather overcast dull sky; our booked car was upgraded to a Jeep Cherokee by Hertz, very nice and only 1400kms on the clock but proved to be heavy on juice, and finding highway 2 south easily with the sat nav we were soon heading towards our first stop at Lethbridge in the prairies; en route several Swainson's and Red-tailed Hawks were along the road side but Frank Lake was a must stop over for gulls and waterfowl; only 50 miles south of Calgary but as we approached the black clouds to the south came steadily closer and by the time I had unpacked the camera the rain set in; at least 300 Franklin's Gulls were nesting and there were apparently Western Meadowlarks on most fence posts with Savannah Sparrows along each fence line and the odd Vesper's Sparrow plus Yellow-headed Blackbirds and Tree Swallows; White-faced Ibis flew around and American White Pelicans were obvious in the distance but the open gate suggested you could not drive in without permission so we stayed in the parking area outside; the rain got heavier and reluctantly after a lack of a night's sleep and a long flight we headed for out first hotel the Best Western at Lethbridge; along the road were hundreds more Franklin's Gulls feeding in the fields and a fine male Northern Harrier -- the first day's photos were decidedly poor but I thought we may not hit the gulls again in our schedule --

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