Thursday, June 13, 2019

May 27th onward to the Rockies

May 27th:
A cloudy start to the day with light rain but calm at Dungarvan a quick look around the property reveals that the drumming Ruffed Grouse is still proving elusive, the Belted Kingfisher returns, there is an Eastern Kingbird and Savannah Sparrow present and a Goshawkflies by probably my first record in Canada. Drive down to the marsh and lake near the entrance to Waterton Park for a last quick look and have 3 Sandhill Cranesen route, American Wigeon on the lake along with 30 American Coots that appeared to be new in, Ring-necked Ducks, 3 American Black Terns, Ruddy Duck, Bald Eagle and flush a Virginia Railfrom the grass by the side of the car park. The rain soon cleared but with a long drive in prospect today we set off north on the 23 towards Canmore. From the road American Kestrel Merlin, Swainson’s Hawk and Red-tailed Hawks plus the usual variety of waterfowl on roadside ponds then stop off at the Bar U ranch historic site for lunch and a walk around. Arriving Canmore late afternoon we walk the Bow Valley trail in town in increasingly high temperatures of 21C and get Common Yellowthroat, a singing Sora in the marsh, Violet-green Swallows and two Myrtle Warblers but the highlight is a Boreal Chickadee. After dinner at the Rose and Crown we drive up the Spray Lakes road but it is in terrible condition after the winter snow and its very slow going with a lack of the hope for mammals and no Moose but four Snowshoe Hares feeding on the road are compensation and at the Kananaskis end a Coyote is wandering around on the roadside. A long drive back to the Best Western Pocaterra Inn where we are staying, well recommended Hotel. 

Black-billed Magpie split from Eurasian birds I thought it best to take at least one record shot of a widespread species; Bufflehead, Sandhill Cranes and Horned Grebes saying goodbye from Waterton area; Dungarvan Creek B&B, 
The Snowshoe Hares up the Spray Valley road very late evening, appeared to be eating grit from damp patches on the gravel road -- looking up on the net only revealed that diet sometimes includes faeces and sand -- maybe something to do with he change of diet in spring? 

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