Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Alberta Trip - May 31, 2008 - Lesser Slave Lake - Day 2

One of the reasons we had wanted to come to Lesser Slave Lake, was to visit the Boreal Center for Bird Conservation that is situated in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, and was, in fact,having it's 14th annual 'Song Bird Festival' that weekend. So after not quite as early a start as we might have wanted, we headed back towards this center. Hadn't been on the road for too many minutes when we spotted this bear....it wouldn't have been too far from the campground itself. Alberta is way ahead of B.C. in practising 'bear proof' camping, and in enforcing it as all of their campgrounds are routinely patrolled by conservation officers....in fact many of the campgrounds are actually run by conservation officers.... but I digress....

We turned into the Boreal Center and found a wonderful facility, toured the marvelous building and gift shop and talked to a few people at the site. If anyone is interested they can check out their website at www.borealbirdcentre.ca and I notice that this years Songbird Festival is on June 6th and 7th. There were a number of trails to walk. Along one of them, I think it was the 'Warbler Walk' I finally manged to find one of those White Throated Sparrows. Check out the picture below and you'll see why they are so hard to spot. By the way, I've mentioned it before, but if you click on the picture, it will come up full page, then go back to the blog by using your 'Back' button.
Here is a closer view of the White Throated Sparrow.

and another, in this one he is giving his famous call.....

After leaving the area we took a drive up to a lookout. I can't remember the name of the hill this lookout was on, in fact I think it was called a mountain....it certainly was the highest elevation in the area.

This gives a good overview of Lesser Slave Lake, looking westward.

This one is looking southward. You can just make out the little town of Slave Lake on the shores of the lake.

and another view of the lake, again looking sort of southwest. We ate our lunch at the picnic tables at this viewpoint and then drove back down to explore some more. The day before, while we were setting up, two birds had flown through the campsite with a loud 'chatter' and I had realized that they were Blue Jays. Real Blue Jays - not our Steller's Jays. Now I know to the rest of the country Blue Jays probably aren't that exciting, but to someone from B.C., they are, so one of my goals was to get pictures of 'real' Blue Jays.
We found a marvelous road that followed the shores of the lake and had all kinds of places you could pull over and park and walk from and any number of times Blue Jays flew across the road in front of us....but pictures....no way, they proved to be very elusive.

I did get this picture of a Tern, I think a Common Tern, although anyone is welcome to correct me as I'm not positive on that.

and this picture shows one of those 'pool's' in the riparian habitat that ran between the two sandy beaches, all along the shore line. Blue Wing Teal and Northern Shoveler were very happy in this environment.

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