Thursday, April 30, 2009

Alberta Trip - June 4, 2008 - Moose Lake

June 4th we decided to not spend a second day at Cold Lake and to move on. While Ernie was doing the hook up chores, I wandered off down the road, to see what I could see, and that is when I found the Warblers! The vegetation on both sides of the main road, leading to the boat launch was absolutely alive with Warblers. Of course all birders know that Warblers are small, blend into the environment well and never hold still! Another of my goals on this trip had been to get pictures of American Redstarts........ I had, of course, meant 'good' pictures of them, however these were the first and only American Redstarts I would see on the trip and these pictures are as good as they got! That is a female above....and a male below.
There are quite a few Warblers that are found in the east, whose western most range just dips into this corner of Alberta. The Chestnut-sided Warbler is one of those. So I was very fortunate to get pictures of this species.

It helped that the male spent a lot of time singing....and therefore, holding still!

more views of the Chestnut-sided Warbler.

Other Warblers spotted were Magnolia and Blackburnian - and how I wish I'd gotten photos of them! The truck and trailer were sitting out on the road, the engine running....Ernie did offer to unhook and spend another day....but alas...the road beckoned.
We didn't travel far that day. We were headed in the general direction of Elk Island National Park, north east of Edmonton, but weren't in a hurry and planned to check other campsites along the route. Headed south on Highway 55 from Cold Lake but then turned west on highway 28, headed to Bonnyville. We had been told there was good birding in that area, so headed to Moose Lake Provincial Park were we found ourselves in completely different habitat than we had been in for the past while.

This is the campground at Moose Lake, it was a much drier area, more open with little undergrowth. The trees were Spruce (Black Spruce I think) and covered in lichens. Birdlife was abundant. Yellow Rump Warblers, were of course everywhere. I saw what I am pretty sure was a Black and White Warbler, but couldn't get a picture.

A number of Northern Flicker, the Yellow-shafted variety as you would expect in this area.

This is a female Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker.

Dark eyed Junco (above), as well as the inevitable Chipping Sparrow. After setting up and having some lunch and exploring the campground area itself (there were only a couple of other units in the smallish campground), we took a walk towards the lake.

This is the eastern end of Moose Lake. There was a nice path that ran along the shore of the lake, so we started to follow it. Came to a sandy area which was the 'beach area' for the campsite.

It is virtually impossible to not see a Spotted Sandpiper on any body of water you encounter, anywhere in B.C., Alberta, the N.W.T. and prop ably lots of other places as well, but the Spotted Sandpiper here were some of the most co-operative for pictures........

more Spotted Sandpiper pictures......

and one more.....

Further along the shore trail we came upon this newly erected Osprey nesting site. There was a sign post with quite a write up about how the local service clubs, along with the local Boy Scouts had erected this platform....and considering the location, it must have been quite the chore, but there was a pair of Osprey, busy constructing a nest on it, so their efforts had been worthwhile.

About the only flower we could find, were these early Blue Violets that are found in such a wide range of open habitats.

The above picture, taken on an evening walk, shows some more of the interesting habitat. That light colored stuff is lichen and it, and the moss were very dry....'crunchy' if you walked on it.

An evening view of Moose Lake.

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