Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Alberta Trip - June 3, 2008 - Cold Lake

June 3rd we had to make a decision, stay at Lac la Biche for a while longer....or continue on to see what else we could see. We figured we'd lucked out on the owl family, so it was probably time to move on. I took one last look at the lake while Ernie hooked up the trailer, and managed this shot of an American White Pelican as it flew past.
Back to the main road, now Highway #55 and headed east again, destination, Cold Lake Provincial Park, which we reached about mid afternoon. This is another large park, very well kept but quite busy, probably due to it's close proximity to the town of Cold Lake. The campground offered a choice of powered or non powered site, so we opted for some power so I could get some pictures downloaded to my laptop and some CD's burned.
As we were searching for the right spot, we spotted this Eastern Phoebe....this was obviously a favorite perch as I saw one there almost every time we went by. After we were set up I went for a walk along a trail that circled the campsite, but ran through the forest....and found a pair of these Eastern Phoebe

They were hanging out around a washroom. In fact I had noticed that when we were in the N.W.T., washrooms or shower houses seemed to be a favorite spot for these guys. You can only lurk around a washroom with a camera in hand for just so long before people get suspicious....but I did manage to get a few pictures of them in the bushes beside the washroom. The build their nests on the buildings, but I couldn't spot just where.

Here is another of those Albertan Song Sparrows.

Cold Lake was the first place where we actually ran into annoying bugs...that is mosquitoes! so we were sitting inside having our supper, when we looked through the screen door and saw this female Yellow Bellied Sapsucker sitting on the chopping block in the campsite. (a male would have red under the bill as well as on the head).

She jumped down and was picking up something on the ground - one thing about campsites in Alberta.....they don't keep the individual sites up like they do in B.C. In B.C., as soon as a site is vacated, an attendant is there with a rake, smoothing out the site and picking up any garbage - in Alberta, there is no such attention.

I honestly don't know what this bird is. It doesn't have enough white on the back to be a Hairy Woodpecker, it is the wrong shape to be a Three Toed, there is no red on it so not a sapsucker, and it is too early in the year for it to be a juvenile......

After supper we drove back to this marshy lake area near the entrance to the park. There was a viewing platform part way down, so we walked to the platform.

This was the view, looking back towards where the entrance to the park would be......

and this was looking back towards the campsite. There wasn't a lot visible on the water.

but there were quite a few of these red Dragonflies, on the viewing platform itself.

Spotted this male Hairy Woodpecker on a snag......

The ground, where ever there was a bit of moisture, was carpeted with these Canada Violets which are common throughout B.C., Alberta, and presumably other areas of Canada as well.

From one end of the park (the marshy lake), past the campground, to the very large, multiple parking lots at the boat launch area, that attest to the popularity of the lake for fishing. That is Ernie and Shantz out on one of the docks where there was a constant traffic of boats in and out. Remember this was northern Alberta and we were getting on to the summer solstice which meant it stayed light for a long time in the evenings....lots of time to get out and fish after supper!

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