Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yukon Trip 2009 - Day 20 Part 1 - lower Dempster

Woke to what would be our last full day on the Dempster. There had been thunder and rain off and on overnight but morning dawned partly sunny and 16c. Hadn't seen any moose....despite the ideal location....That morning, Ernie and Shantz had walked around the edge of the water so I figured it was probably safe for me to do so a bit later....figuring they'd have scared any moose, bears etc. away. I had just got to the far side of the water, away from camper, when I looked back and saw this looking at me.....

My immediate thought was that it was a wolf and my heart jumped into my mouth....when we got back to the Tombstone Campground and the Dempster Interpretive Center...I found out it was a Silver Fox - the white tipped tail had been very obvious when it turned to skirt around the water, the opposite way that I was going to get back to the camper.

It took us the whole day to cover the 35 km or so, back to Tombstone Campground. We stopped at every place it was possible to pull off at. Checked the Semi-Palmated Plover on her nest...had hoped that there would be some little ones running around...but there weren't

Just opposite from where the Plover nest was we found a narrow track leading off away from the highway and first walked, and then drove up is as there was a nice camping area way back, suitable for a compact rig (in other words not a towable). Finally I was able to get some decent shots of these American Tree Sparrows - one of the commonest birds in the Yukon but that managed to elude being captured by my camera, to this point.

another shot of an American Tree Sparrow.

A view of the tundra from this secluded camping spot, this would be looking directly north.....

and this looking towards the west.....

There was a pond back beside the road, it hadn't been terribly visible due to a screen of trees and Ernie was madly signaling me to come that I walked back I saw this Snowshoe Hare in the bushes beside the road.

The reason he'd been calling me was that there were Red-neck Phalarope in the pond...along with a number of other shorebirds, including what we assume was the partner to the nesting Plover.

The Phalarope weren't terribly co-operative for pictures....this was the best I could do.

Ernie took this shot of this interesting mountain (hill?) to the north east of the area......

this shot shows a close up of the 'tundra' in this area and why walking on it is a soggy proposition!

We'd just got back on the road when I spotted this Whimbrel right beside the highway.......

and unlike the one we'd seen back near the Arctic Circle, this one co-operated for some pictures.
part two coming up!

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