As we live so close to Manning Park, and as it has so much to offer, we often pack a lunch and head there for the day. We try to make at least one trip up there during the winter, but this past winter there just hasn't been a suitable time, so it wasn't until yesterday, that we made the attempt.
As a birding trip, I'm afraid it was a bit of a bust!
We stopped in Hope for gas and coffee and then headed to the Hope Princeton highway (#3). Travelling through Sunshine Valley we noticed lots of Robins - a definite sign that spring was on it's way. This photo shows the Skagit river as it runs along beside the highway. As you can see the river was open and flowing with very little snow in the bushes. Pussywillows were in bloom. We kept our eyes open for any sort of bird life along the highway and with the exception of something very large and white that we spotted right at the works yard at Alison Pass and lost sight of in the trees, we didn't see a single solitary bird.
We headed to the day use area at Lightning Lakes. As mentioned earlier, we normally make this winter trip in winter - usually in February, and we are used to finding a full parking lot with people travelling about on cross country skis or snowshoes and the trees full of Gray Jays, Clark's Nutcrackers and Crows, all begging for hand outs. This year we got to the parking lot and there was nothing but this bus which was stuck and one other car besides ours and not a bird to be found!
While my husband was off exploring with the dog, I heard a woodpecker working on a tree and finally located this 3 Toed Woodpecker working over a huge big pine tree. Of course the bird had to stay on the shady side of the tree, way up over my head, so I was standing on a slope of slippery pine needles, looking straight up which is why this is the best of the dozen or so pictures I attempted.
By this time it is getting on, so we hit the road once again and were quickly on the Connector and heading towards Merritt.