More great stuff at Waskesiu – birds and friends!

Sat. May 23:  Got out with Moe and Marg to the Treebeard trail.  Interestingly, in all the years Moe has been coming here – leading kids on hikes, etc. he has never hiked this trail!  We were shocked!  We stopped a few places along the Narrows road on the way, but didn’t get a lot of new species .

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However on the first stop by a pond a beaver came along…then oops!  Disappeared!

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On the same pond, we did add Swamp Sparrow!

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These dead bullrushes provide good nesting material for birds.

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The Harris’ Sparrows are still here (which makes us a little wary of the weather), but a Savannah Sparrow made an appearance.  See the little bit of yellow on the streak above the eye?

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A pair of  Barn Swallows are nesting in the picnic shelter.  This guy sat and chatted to us the whole time.

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On the Treebeard Trail, the only  bird we photographed was this Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.

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Bill nicely captured these beautiful white  bracket fungus, as well as horse-tails.

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On the way back another vehicle had stopped ahead so we checked it out – a black bear!  This is our 2nd.

We had M&M over for dinner to our trailer.  How lucky the day was so beautiful, we could sit out at the picnic table – no mosquitoes yet!  They brought potatoes & wine (Moe’s home-made, delicious varieties) – we supplied steak & salad.  We had a delightful evening.

Sun. May 24:  Moe and Marg left this morning but will be returning Thursday – to join Don and Carman who are coming from Broadview and PA respectively!  Don is the best birder we know, so he’s bound to find us a few more species!

Today was another gorgeous day with high 25C & low wind.  We went to one of our favourite places – the “west side” of the park, right at the south end.

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Before we got there, we stopped at Spruce Lake where a Yellow Warbler was singing.

Past the kiosk to the south entrance, heading west, the road is closed to traffic at one point, so we moved the barriers and went through (don’t tell anyone!).  It’s just a little way along the road to the trail.  We weren’t sure if there would be much happening yet, but we were in luck!  We added 19 species to our Waskesiu list today!  Not many cooperated with Bill to get their picture taken.  With the trees now fully leafed-out, it’s hard to see those guys up there!

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Just this little frog – of which there were lots in every wet patch along the trail.  Can you spot it? Looks like another dead leaf (hint: has a light stripe down its brown back).  It’s only about an inch long.

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Also a House Wren singing from the top of a dead snag in a bog.

On the way out, we spied a couple of bears on the road – then a 3rd!  Yup – Goldilocks came upon the 3 bears!

With the addition of 19 species today, our Waskesiu list comes to 89 (157 for the trip).  Amazing!  A bit too hot of a day for us actually, lots of sweat.  Luckily we are willing to sweat for birds (but not much else!). Ha!

Mon. May 25:  Off to Boundary Bog.  First sight were these lovely calypso orchids!

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My hand shows how small they are.

We were hoping for a Palm Warbler, but no suck luck.  However, we added a Nelson Sparrow! Only the 2nd time I’ve seen one – then other in Red Deer, AB many, many years ago.  No photo, since it disappeared in the dry grass.

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The place is rife with pitcher plants.

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Our only bird photo is this Bay-breasted Warbler, who sang for us.  High in the shadows.

We stopped at the trail across the road from our campground on the way back, to check out the water treatment ponds and added a few ducks to our repertoirs.  There were lots of warblers singing, but I just don’t know their songs.  We need Don!

Tues. May 26:  Have to go into PA to see if we can get Bill’s 1 hearing aid fixed.  It’s not so easy to hear the birds with only 1 ear.

In the morning we walked along Waskesiu drive at the end of the cabins and picked up 2 new warblers.

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Canada (what a beauty with his black necklace)…

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…and Magnolia.  Showing tail, then head (or most of it).  Tough to get a shot high in the branches!

After lunch off to PA.  Bill indeed had a speaker out in 1 hearing aid.  Have to order 2 new ones, but they won’t come for a day or 2.  So another trip forthcoming soon.  Did a big grocery shop, ate in town and home by 7:30.

Wed. May 27th:  Drove to the other end of the park road by Gray Owl’s trail.  Not much new today.

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Stopped at one of regular bogs but the only shot we would get was this beautiful Bufflehead.  we did however, hear a lovely Winter Wren singing.

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This bog has lots of dead firs, providing good cover!

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The highlight of the day was this cinnamon colored black bear – a large male.  He only turned briefly a couple of times to check out our slow moving truck, then ran off into the bush.

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Every evening the elk come to visit.  Here is a flock of about 14!  Taken from our trailer door.

Tomorrow we meet Don and Carman at the south end of the park, Elk Trail.  Yipee!

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