When you spend the entire day, doing what you like doing best, wandering and taking pictures, that results in a lot of pictures to go through….which is why it has taken me a few days to get back to this and why I’ve had to break it into parts…. So let’s get busy!
Tuesday, May 25th got up to cloudy, but dry skies….
Started the day with a walk out on the river bank behind the campsite….there is the visitor center up there on the hill…
walked along the shoreline….there was a Spotted Sandpiper in this area, but never managed a decent picture…
up on the rocks, we had some more of those ‘sentinel geese’ (remember the ones at Dinosaur Provincial Park?)
here is another pair, coming in for a landing on the river… My perceptions of what constitutes ‘goose habitat’ certainly changed on this trip!
Back in the campground, that female Downy Woodpecker continued to work on all the trees in the vicinity ~ maybe there was more than one, but I never saw more than one at one time.
Chipping and Clay coloured sparrows were back and busy in all areas where dandelions had gone to seed…although this isn’t a very clear picture, I put it in just so you could get an idea of the quantity of them….at times it looked like the ground was hopping.
Black billed Magpie were around…..and as we set out for our big walk of the day, along the approx. 2 km trail that winds up and over and through the rock formations….
caught sight of one of those American Redstarts again….this one a male, and no more co-operative for picture taking then they’d been the evening before!
as we start out….look at what is up on that ledge….another Canada Goose!
here is a closer look…..
This view, taken from one of the high points on the trail….the Milk River down there and another ‘sentinel goose’.
there are several spots along the trail where you drop down right beside the Milk River. A popular canoe trip is from the town of Milk River, approximately 40 km away, and then paddle back to the campground. A group had actually set off from the campground that morning, to do just that. It is a trip I’d love to do but requires being part of a group as someone has to bring the vehicle(s) back to the campground after launching the canoes (and babysit dogs)….being part of a group isn’t something we seem to be able to do!
back up in the rocks, here is a higher view of the Milk River…you can see the skies are breaking up and the sun is starting to shine….
and there, upon top of one of the rock formations…is another Canada Goose….this one on a nest!
There she is….and believe me the top of that rock, although lower than the surrounding ones, was still a long long way down to the ground….it would be something to see how the goslings get down to earth…being ‘light as a feather’ I guess they just sort of float!
of course there are also wildflowers growing along the trail….this little yellow flower has the rather ungainly name of ‘Spatulate Bladderpod’ and is only found in this extreme southern section of the province (at least according to my ‘Plants of Alberta’ book.
and this, which looks sort of like a white for-get-me-not, is Macoun’s Cryptanthe. Surely these plants have common names but my reference book doesn’t list them..
a bird I’d been watching for on this walk….was a Rock Wren….and here is a little guy singing his heart out. These birds nest in holes in the sandstone formations….we watched a pair carrying nesting material. When we had been here previously, it was about a month later and we had watched them carrying food into their nests…
back to the wildflowers….here is Hooker’s Townsendia….remember we saw this wildflower at Dinosaur Provincial Park as well, although this plant is much pinker than the ones I saw there.
here is one of the really high sections of the trail…..this is looking westwards….
and here we are, pretty much looking eastwards now, the campground is situated in the area that the river is about to bend around.
there is one of those Rock Wren with a mouthful of nesting material…
and before we take a break….wanted to throw in this picture of a Spotted Towhee. There were a lot of Spotted Towhee, both in the campground itself and in a bushy area down close to the river. I’ve seen them here before, but I’m always surprised to see them, as to me, they belong back home in our west coast forests ~ I guess that is because they winter with us, although many remain with us all year.