Friday, January 8, 2010

N. W. T. Trip 2005 – Tunkwa – the last night

From rainy Jasper, we decided to make the long run to Tunkwa Lake, B.C., which as any of you know who have followed this blog, or know us, is our favourite ‘home away from home’…..


the quickest route is down the Yellowhead Highway, to Kamloops, then south on the Coquilla, following the directions to the town of Logan Lake, and ultimately to Tunkwa Lake Provincial Park.  It doesn’t matter what time you arrive, there is always room at Tunkwa (well maybe not on the May 24th weekend!!!!) and it is just a good place to unwind.


and here we are at beautiful, peaceful, Tunkwa Lake..looking very ‘green’ – this was mid June and it had been a wetter than usual spring.  That is our canoe tucked in the reeds at the edge of the lake.


 There goes Ernie and April for a canoe ride, no doubt Willie was in there somewhere.  WE used to do a lot of canoeing, back when we had two small dogs….we’ve only tried it once since Shantz joined the family – everybody got wet! and we haven’t tried it since.


here is one of the Chipmunks that are always found here, especially near the campsites.


and one of the Yellow Bellied Marmots that live throughout the park…on the bluffs, in the culverts, under the pit toilets…


There were a pair of Cinnamon Teal (this is the male), that appeared to be nesting in this sheltered location. 


of course there were Red Necked Grebe as there are always quite a few pairs nesting on Tunkwa…


believe it or not, this is also a Red Necked Grebe – this particular bird(we’re not sure if it is a male or a female because Red Necked Grebes share in the raising of a family) was found at Tunkwa Lake for a number of years, paired up with one of normal coloration, they raised a number of families, always nesting in the same location just at the end of the ‘spit’.


speaking of families….here are a bunch of Yellow Bellied Marmot youngsters…


and another one of the adults…


the spillway from Tunkwa to the slightly lower Leighton Lake, had a lot of water in it….often this spillway is virtually dry.


I’m just going to run through the rest of the bird pictures I took that particular visit…this is a female Brewer’s Blackbird..


and here a male.  Brewer’s Blackbird population has been increasing in the area as the habitat changed from pine forest to grasslands, thanks to the removal of the pine beetle killed trees.


a mother Barrow’s Goldeneye and her family…swimming through a patch of Smartweed.


a close up of a Barrow’s Goldeneye duckling.  All ducklings are cute, but in my opinion, these guys head to the top of the list.


speaking of babies….here is a pair of Common Loon with a very young chick.  Despite popularity of this lake for fishing, canoeing and kayaking, there are usually a couple of Loon pairs that manage to raise a family each year.


Yellow headed Blackbirds, one of my favourite birds….are always abundant at Tunkwa…..


and we’ll leave this trip with these half grown Canada Geese…sort of at the ‘ugly duckling’ stage.

Next day it was down to Merritt, over the Coquilla and so to home.  Another trip over and done with.


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