Saturday, May 12, 2007

Alberta May 2007

A working trip to Edmonton, Alberta gave me a free Sunday to explore. As I didn't want to spend a lot of time driving I headed for Elk Island National Park - the closest reserve to Edmonton. Having driven the Bison loop (seeing about 30 Plains Bison) I set out to walk the Shirley Lake Trail. During the 12 Km walk I met no one else apart from 2 Porcupines, 1 Beaver and a lone bull Bison.

The birding was steady - Yellow-rumped Warblers were far and away the commonest warbler. I only saw one other species - a lone Tenessee Warbler. There were good numbers of waterfowl - Lesser Scaup, Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Ruddy Duck, Bufflehead, American Wigeon, Goldeneye and a couple of small groups of Canvasback. A flock of White Pelicans circled over the east of the park as I arrived and a flock of Sandhill Cranes flew through. Best bird was probably a Clay-coloured Sparrow which I flushed while trying to avoid a flooded section of the trail.

Just before I left I drove up to the top of the park and spent half an hour drawing a pair of Red-necked Grebes as they drifted around a lake side bay. 

Posted by Martin
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