Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Five Days in Waterton Area

Cameron Lake, Waterton Lakes NP

Sorry for the silence this last few days but we have just spent five days in the extreme south of Alberta in the Waterton area.  The Waterton Lakes National Park is perhaps the best known site in this area and we gave it a day and a half.  The weather at first was very wet but we did get some warm sunshine.

American Bison

On the first morning we checked out the Bison enclosure where wild animals are confined to a large but fenced off area.  Checking out this site we encountered lots of Mountain Bluebirds and some more Cedar Waxwings.  We moved on to a lake near the entrance to the Park and were delighted to pick up Sandhill Crane, Common Loon, Bufflehead and Bald Eagle.  Later that first day we encountered an extraordinary performance by about 300 Cliff Swallows.  After a heavy shower they were feverishly collecting fresh mud for their nests.

Cliff Swallow gathering mud

The Park itself was pretty poor for watching birds but the only place where we saw both Grizzly and Black Bears.  Most of the wildlife seemed to be on the outside.  The best wildlife experience of our trip was a couple of visits to the home and garden of Joan & David Glaister.  Joan is a naturalist and great enthusiast living in a remote but beautiful house with a magnificent garden and best of all dozens of bird feeders.  Here were many of the local species including some specialities such as Cassin's Finch, Black-headed Grosbeak and Red-naped Sapsucker.  More of these visits perhaps later.

Joan's garden
Male Cassin's Finch
Male Black-headed Grosbeak
Red-naped Sapsucker

All in all an excellent experience staying at  a cottage at Dungarvan Creek and enjoying the exceptional hospitality of Eileen & Bruce Russell.

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