Friday, May 1, 2009

Alberta Trip - June 5, 2008 - Garner Lake

Woke up to another beautiful day and decided we would move on, but not before a morning walk at Moose Lake where this American Pelican obliged by flying by.
However, even better than that, was seeing another Blue Jay. It isn't a great picture, it isn't even a good picture, it is just 'proof it was there'. I had always thought that Blue Jay would act like Steller's and Gray Jays and that if they were near a campsite, they'd be right there visiting to see what you were having for supper.....but I guess not....
So back on the road, heading west on Highway 28, we hadn't gone far when we noticed a sign for a Garner Lake Provincial Park, so decided to check it out. The campsite only had one other unit in it and from the grass growing in sites, it was obvious that this wasn't that busy a campsite, at least in early June, so we decided to stay.

Our campsite, and if you didn't know, the ONLY reason they put tables in camping sites is for huskies to lay on.

This is Garner Lake. Not the most picturesque of lakes and the shoreline wasn't a sandy 'beach' type beach and had a distinct 'odor'

It was a warm day and April thought she might wade in and lay down to cool off, but then thought better of it.

Shantz, on the other hand got right into it....and then a strange thing happened. She was very busy digging holes that would immediately fill in with water, that she would have to dig out again, so there was a lot of splashing going on and suddenly a Loon appeared, then a second Loon arrived on the scene, and not long after, a third......

Ernie near the shore, Shantz at the end of her leash and the Loons, not that far out, in fact they came in even closer. When Shantz stopped digging, they would drift out, when she started splashing again, they would come in for a closer look. We assume that they likened her splashing to that of a caught fish, and this must be one of those places where Loons have been known to steal fish right off the line.

Of course whenever you get 3 Loons together in the same place, especially during breeding season......

You get a bit of a kerfuffle!

a while later we decided to take a walk along a marked 'nature trail' - unfortunately it didn't look like any maintenance had been done to the trail since the past season and there were a lot of deadfalls to climb over and the grass, because it was long, harbored more than a few mosquitoes, but we persevered until we reached a viewing blind. This Spotted Sandpiper was visible through the bushes....

I walked down the very overgrown path towards the water where there was a Red Neck Grebe on this nest. The Grebe left as soon as it heard me approaching and the Spotted Sandpiper immediately climbed onto the nest and started picking up, what I presume, were little bugs. I took this one quick shot and then retreated so the Grebe would get back on her nest.

After our excursion, I went and sat on the little pier that jutted out into the lake. I hadn't been there very long when I saw this herd of Pelicans round the corner into the bay beside me.

I had a fascinating view of them as they would all swim in one direction for a while and then would decide to make a great splash and carry on......

then settle in and proceed to, presumably, herd fish into a tightening circle.

This whole process went on for quite some time. When the Pelicans finally left, there wasn't really much to see on the lake and it was getting pretty warm, so I went back to a marshy area I had seen right at the entrance to the campground.

There was a steady stream of bird life heading to this pond to bath, so I settled myself down in the grass at the edge of the road and watched.

an American Robin of course, they are always up for a matter how green the water!

another one of those Eastern Phoebe - there had been a pair of them hanging around the entrance shed that wasn't being used.

This male Baltimore Oriole dropped down for a bath but was most unco-operative for picture taking. I saw him, and heard him, a lot, but he was alway's high up in the tree tops in the area of the sani-dump which was sort of across the street from my boggy area.

This Red-eyed Vireo chose a quiet corner to have a bath, but made such a show of it that I was able to spot him. The sun was going behind the trees about this time and Ernie was calling me for supper (he cooks when we are on the road and he makes me carry a radio so he can get hold of me as I get sort of carried away at times when the birding is good!)

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