Saturday, June 15, 2019

May 31st -- El Nido, Lake Louise area and Peter Lougheed Park late evening

May 31st:
It starts out at 12C but warms up during the day. Around the B&B before we leave are two male and 3 female immature Cassin’s Finches and a male Purple Finch, Rufous Hummingbirds and a male and female Black-chinned Hummingbird that land on the feeder briefly then zoom off without showing its true colours. We drive to the Lake Louise Gondola where we are somewhat ripped off to the cost of $75 being told there is a trail at the top that is walkable with lots of birds; in fact you can only walk about 100m in an area with a high electric fence around it to keep out bears! We see a couple of Audubon’s Warblers and a Snowshoe Hare and then as we get off at the bottom a Buff-bellied Pipit with a leg injury is walking about on the snow at the bottom of the lift. Brunch at Lake Louise then we stop briefly at Vermillion Lakes but as its hot there are way too many people so go to Jack Peak where its also busy and a Boreal Chickadee plus Audubon’s Warbler are the only birds of note. With temperatures rising to 23C the weather takes a turn for the worse with thunderstorms arriving mid-afternoon so we head to our Hotel, the Best Western Pocaterra Plus at Canmore and chill until dinner at nearby Craig’s. After dinner we drive east and then down HWay 40 down the Kananaskis Trail then back along the Spray Lakes road. Weather is still a bit iffy with rain hovering and lots of cloud. The road is generally a bit disappointing but a pair of Barrow’s Goldeneye on one of the upper lakes are our first of the trip and the finale comes when a Grizzly is spotted feeding on the roadside. It allows a close approach and continues feeding as we drive off for a rather long trawl back to Canmore. 

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