Friday, April 9, 2010

Tunkwa P.P. – Easter 2010 – April 3

Woke up Easter morning to high thin cloud, sunshine and no wind!  While we were having breakfast we watched a small flock of Swans land out on the ice in the middle of the lake…

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I quickly took a picture from the window of the camper although needn’t have rushed as they settled down and stayed there the entire day, only taking off about 6 in the evening.

When breakfast was finished we set off for a walk around the side of the lake…as we approached the lake we saw a dark object on the shore, head off across the ice to the little island off shore…

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Unfortunately by the time I got a camera out and ready it was already across the ice, but it was an Otter!  the first one we had ever seen there.  It actually crossed the little island and continued on across the ice to the far shore.  We had to go around…

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down through the little dip where these geese were standing on ice that had reformed during the night…

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past the slough…that I think is actually called something like ‘bluff lake’ – looking much better with blue skies behind it, but also freshly frozen over….

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and over and up the little mountain where I stopped to take this picture looking back over to the campground…there was also an interesting crack in the ice here…in fact the ice was really creaking and groaning this day where it hadn’t the days before…

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the whole south facing hillside was covered in Sagebrush Buttercups…

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closer look at some of the buttercups…

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and down the other side and then we spotted – yes! a Mountain Bluebird!

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and then a pair (male on left, female on right).  Mountain Bluebirds were still here when we were last here at Thanksgiving (go back in archives) and here they were again. 

Off we went again, along the back of the little mountain, and the back of the slough, over to the aspen grove….on the way we had to transverse what will hopefully be a future aspen grove but from the looks of these poor aspens….

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where every tip was chewed off – they were having a hard time of it.  The amount of deer droppings in the area explained who was doing the pruning!

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and here we found another pair of Mountain Bluebirds…this is the male…

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soon this aspen bird nursery will be alive because Mountain Bluebirds are one of the species that will be making their nests in cavities in these trees.

From here we circled back to the campground and lunch.  After lunch I took April out for a little private meander (about all she is capable of these days) and while I had her out I could hear all sorts of bird activity up in the back corner of the park, so later set out on my own…

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That big mass of Robins was up there…..

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they’re probably hard to see in this picture, but the ground was hopping!

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this guy seemed rather curious as to what I was doing!

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this was just one of the many Northern Flickers in the area as well – this one is a female.

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and if you wonder what they were all doing – well look at the size of the worm this guy is pulling out of the now soft, un-frozen ground!

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I learned a long time ago that one of the best ways to see birds is to just pick a likely spot and then sit and wait and see what shows up….this little ‘pond’ back in the forest was a definite ‘likely spot’…

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this male Downy Woodpecker was one of the first to appear….another one almost landed in my lap before he realized I wasn’t another stump!

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a steady stream of Robins came for baths…

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another female Flicker joined the crowd…

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and then a female Hairy Woodpecker arrived as well…

It was getting on by then so figured I should (reluctantly) head back to the camper….

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on the way I got stopped by some Mountain Chickadees.  There were also some Golden Crowned Kinglets in the same spot, but didn’t manage any pictures, nor could I get a picture of the Marmot that dove into his culvert when he saw me approaching – not to worry – I’d get pictures the next day!

1 comment:

  1. Nice bird "finds" Kathy.As cold as it must have been,it looks like you had a good long weekend.
    I hope to spend more time there this year.Surprised to see the bluebirds so early.The area has surely become a bluebird haven.