Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well’s Gray P.P.

OK, I’m sitting here in real time waiting for the rain to turn to snow as the temperature drops ~ so it is about time I get back to finishing up this late summer holiday!

We go back to August 30th, where we woke up at Tunkwa Lake…

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to another beautiful calm morning…

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While eating breakfast we spotted a family of River Otters in the bay….

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and watched, fascinated, as they caught breakfast…and took it on the shore to eat…

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The little guy who had caught it was not going to share!

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after the meal the family did some mutual grooming…  after watching their antics for almost an hour, it was time to hit the road…

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so a final look back (we’d be back in less than a week!) – it was on to Well’s Gray Provincial Park, somewhere we hadn’t been for many years and had forgotten just how far it was, even from the nearest town of Clearwater.  Sixty kilometers of narrow, winding and eventually dirt road later we reached the furthest most campground, figuring we’d drive all the way in and work our way back out.

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Well’s Gray is mainly a wilderness park with not a lot of it accessible by vehicle.  We weren’t sure of what to expect in the way of camping spot availability, but not to worry.  This is Clearwater Lake campground, that with about 39 sites occupied was only 3/4 full and Fall’s Creek campground, right next door was virtually empty.

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Once settled we decided to go for a walk along the lakeshore trail.  This is the south end of Clearwater Lake…a water fall where that mist is, starts the Clearwater River.

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The trail travels along the lakeshore and I kept hoping we’d reach a spot where I’d get a better view of the lake…it never happened…the lake is very long and narrow and never really opens out to any great ‘vista’….we decided to turn back..

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by walking over to the Fall’s Campground (a trail runs the whole route), you get a bit of a view of the falls from the lake to the river.

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another view of the Clearwater River from the Fall’s Campground…

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and just because there wasn’t much else to photograph…here is what the main road of the park looks like…it didn’t help that it was ‘showery’

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This is in the campground itself…the sites are well spaced and private.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tunkwa Lake – August 29, 2010

In real time it is a beautiful sunny November day but I’m about ‘walked’ out, so figured I’d continue on with our late summer trip.

Being the middle of the weekend, we decided to spend one more day at Tunkwa, before moving on…

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It was another beautiful calm morning as we decided to take a walk over to Leighton Lake

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Leighton, too was perfectly calm and as you can see from the few units at the far end, also sparsely populated.

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walked along the shore line until it was time to head off across the grasslands towards June Lake.

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Shantz has spotted something in the distance…

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a group of horseback riders setting off on a ride….Shantz would have loved to have joined them!

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up at June Lake, 3 Mule Deer took off – all good reasons why dogs, especially Siberian Huskies ~ should be on leads at all times!

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June Lake, in late summer, was it’s usual uninspiring self…

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at least until we spotted activity on the shore…

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There were Killdeer – lots of Killdeer!  Seventeen of them to be precise!

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Skirting around the lake and headed now over to the aspen grove and Bluff Lake….this pair of Chipmunks were busy giving either us, or each other, what for!

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This Mountain Chickadee co-operated for one of the better pictures I’ve ever managed of these guys.

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By the time we’d made it back to the campground (it’s about a 2 hour walk with lots of stops for pictures)…the weather was definitely deteriorating!

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We’d only just made it back when the skies opened and it poured!

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and then the system moved on…

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a Northern Harrier was out checking the grass along the lake edge…

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Mallards and Coots were busy preening after the deluge…

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When it was all over I ventured out for a walk along the shore….the Baird’s Sandpiper were still there..

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Here is another look at a species we don’t see all that often…

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Looking southwards…the weather remain unsettled and stormy…

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This Brewer’s Blackbird was the last picture I took that day before another rain squall sent us inside.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Tunkwa P.P. – Late August, 2010

Took advantage of an unexpected week off in late August to do a bit of B.C. exploring.  Started off heading to good ole’ Tunkwa as we hadn’t been there since the Canada Day long weekend.  Arrived at 8 in the evening…

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Just in time to catch this sunset.  With only about 20 of the 220 sites occupied we settled in on the spit which we had pretty much to ourselves.

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August 27th was  my definition of paradise ~ the temperature had dropped to close to freezing overnight with a heavy fog over the lake that had dissipated by 8:30 or so, with the sunshine.

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The lake was like glass and so quiet….

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We set off for a walk around the north end of the lake, over to Bluff Lake….

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Lot’s of Lesser Scaup families over here – I’ve mentioned before how this species of ducks are really late nesters….

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Raising young Lesser Scaup seems to be a community affair….

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We counted over 70 ducklings….

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This being late August we knew shorebird migration was well underway…this pair of Greater Yellowlegs were poking about on the shoreline.


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Here is a late summer look at Bluff Lake….there wasn’t a bird on it. 

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The spillway from Tunkwa to Leighton was now totally dried up.

Heading back to the campground I spent the rest of the day just wandering and taking pictures….

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The whole area was over run with Yellow Rump Warblers….there had to be hundreds of them…

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The Canada Geese were very relaxed after a summer of activity…

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In fact they made for some artistic pictures as they blended in with the late summer grasses..

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I especially like this one…

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Quite a few Starlings hanging about….not in the massive numbers you find around farms and ranches though…

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Here is another one of those numerous Yellow Rump Warblers…no longer in his brilliant breeding plumage.

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Someone else no longer in his brilliant plumage is this male Mallard….he’ll only change his brilliant emerald green head to this dull one for a couple of months before turning back into the colors everyone associates with Mallards.

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In the quite area between the spit and the main part of the campground, there was a family of Pied bill Grebe.  I’ve seen Pied bill Grebe here before, but never a family of them.

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It was a treat to be able to watch them.  One of the little guys came up with a frog almost as big as he was!

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A walk along the shoreline in the afternoon found some more shorebirds.

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The inevitable Killdeer of course….

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but also a Semi-palmated Sandpiper (closer bird) and a Baird’s Sandpiper (further bird)

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I even managed to get my kayak in the water, for the first and only time this year!

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Snuck up on these sleepy ‘eclipse’ plumaged Mallard.

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an after supper walk found us another shorebird species….this one a Solitary Sandpiper…

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poking about along the edge of Leighton Lake…

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and so an absolutely perfect day, drew to a close.