Thursday, July 14, 2016

Alberta - Part 1 - The Trip and Elbow Falls

A couple weeks ago, I (William) went to High River Alberta for a friend's graduation. I managed to slip in some birding along the way. Most of these pictures were taken while driving, so excuse the blurriness of some pictures.

I got 6 lifers on the trip, and another 7 when I met up with Ethan (Birdboy). I don't think I got many pictures of the lifers on the drive over, it's hard enough to identify them when your whizzing by at 110 km/h.

Swainson's Hawk
 My friends and I started from our house at 5:30 AM. So I wasn't in any condition for birding that early in the morning. I started getting lifers in Saskatchewan, driving along, I managed a Ferruginous Hawk, Mountain Bluebird and Lark Bunting before Regina.

Entering Regina
 I stopped birding for the most part as we passed through Regina, but started again in earnest once out of the city.
 A pair of Shorebirds on two telephone poles alerted my attention, I managed to snap a picture of them. When I saw the short bill, I got excited, it was an Upland Sandpiper

Upland Sandpiper


 After awhile we passed through what looked like snow, but it we figured it must be salt.

 While driving by a small pond, I managed to get this picture of a Black-necked Stilt, another lifer
Black-necked Stilt


Medicine Hat Tipi

 We arrived in Alberta, with my life count for the trip at 5, I kept checking the fence posts for Owls or Falcons, and my persistence paid off, another lifer, Prairie Falcon.

 We arrived in High River, and spent the next few days keeping ourselves busy with the graduation, Calaway Park. And on Saturday we set out for Canmore, to meet up with Ethan for some birding. We were halfway there, when our car started acting up. It was overheating if we were traveling at anything but highway speed, and the way to Canmore was plagued with construction, which meant we'd have to travel way below highway speed. So we rescheduled with Ethan, to meet Monday instead, and we headed to Elbow Falls AB.

The water at Elbow Falls was crystal clear

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) 
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) 

Me (Second from the left) and my friends

My friend and his sister

I didn't get anymore lifers at Elbow Falls, but it was an amazing area, full of awesome landscape, and I had a great time.

Sorry for the amount of pictures in this post, but I decided to put the whole trip in two posts, the next part will be about birding with Ethan. Stay tuned for part 2!

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