Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Yukon Trip 2009 - Day 1 & 2

Our trip to the Yukon (and North West Territories and Alberta), now complete, it is time to start posting on the blog again. At the moment I am working under the not most ideal conditions as the key board for my desk top has given up the ghost (at least I hope it is just the keyboard), so the old laptop has been dragged out until we get things straightened around, and boy am I missing my nice big flat screen monitor! not to mention a keyboard that I can work on comfortably.......
So on with the trip! We pulled out our gates at 3:15 on the 22nd of May. It was 22 degree's (centigrade) and sunny. Travelled up highway 1 - the Fraser Canyon, with a stop for a burger in Boston Bar and then on to Goldpan Campsite. This is the same campground we started our 2008 spring trip with.....the difference this year was that it was over 30 degrees when we got there - a bit of a shock to the system! Had to quickly learn how to open the windows in the new camper and to use the 'Fantastic' Fan! Fortunately the sun went behind a mountain fairly early so it cooled off. Another difference was the lack of birds as compared to the previous year, possibly due to the heat....and the level of the river was much lower by comparison as well.

We did see some birds, notably a Western Kingbird, Western Tanager, Wilson's Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Towhee, Red Eye Vireo, Steller's Jay, Robin, Common Merganser (on the river), Brewer's Blackbirds, Raven, and American Crow.
Above is the campsite at Goldpan Provincial Park. Fee $15 Distance driven - 175 km

Next morning we were on the road by 8:15 as we had a long run ahead of us, planning to be at Ten Mile Provincial Park, just north of Quesnel where we had planned to meet friends. Headed north on Highway 1 to Cache Creek and then continued north on Hwy. 97 where we ran into construction off and on the whole way as the road is in the process of being turned into a 4 laner.

Took a slight jog into Chasm Provincial Park, to give the dogs (and us) a bit of a break. The above is a scene of the 'chasm'. Temp. was 14 degrees and sunny.

Lunch was eaten at the picnic site on Lac la Hache......a Spotted Sandpiper was running along the shoreline here. Not a surprise, as you will find as the trip develops that Spotted Sandpipers are anywhere there is some water!

There were a number of these Richardson Ground Squirrels living in the picnic site, especially along the drive to the boat launch. This would be the first of many 'critters' to be encountered on the trip.

Reached Ten Mile Provincial Park about 2:30 and had no problem finding where our friends were set up.
Campground fee: $19 (we were to spend two nights here) Distance traveled - 570 km

The above is a view of Ten Mile Lake taken from the water as our friend (Don) was kind enough to take us for a ride around the lake in his boat while Elaine dog sat Shantz and April. Ten Lake and campground is a lot busier and more 'civilized' than we prefer...the entire shore of the lake that isn't park, is lined with houses....a few of which could best be described as 'mansions'....I think there were also a few private lodges on the lake.
However the area between where we were camped on the road closest to the lake, was very 'birdy' as it consisted of scrub trees just leafing out, and marshy areas of grasses and bulrush. There were Rufous Hummingbirds eagerly checking out every red tail light in the place, so I quickly put out my little hummingbird feeder. The camp hosts always have a feeder out apparently, but they hadn't arrived yet.
Some of the birds we saw were:

Vireo - there were both Warbling and Red-Eyed - think this one is a Warbling one.

Yellow Warblers, this one being a female. Wilson's Warblers were also here but eluded photos. Saw Yellow rump Warblers and heard Red breasted Nuthatch...both stuck more to the coniferous areas which made up the bulk of the park.

The first 'Lifer' of the trip (a bird you've seen for the 1st time ever) was this Northern Water Thrush

It was the song that lead me to it - actually there were more than one....they seemed quite predominant!

a closer view which shows the yellowish wash on the breast a bit better.........

The above is the best picture I got. There was a breeze blowing, hence the ruffed feathers.

While looking for birds, spotted this Beaver down at the edge of the moist area. Beaver had been very busy in the area, there weren't' many trees left standing!

Sunset at Ten Mile.....


  1. Really interesting trip.I hope to try it in the future.

  2. Kathy, loving all your pictures!

    I wonder if that vireo is a Phillidelphia Vireo. Looks almost yellow enough and the eye line looks pretty dark too.

    Did you get any more shots of this bird?