Thursday, July 23, 2009

B.C. Trip Part X

June 20

One More for the Road

During our stay at the Tara Shanti Jean and I would start the day birding from our room's window and being closely located to a latitude of 50 degrees N, it sometimes involved attempting an identification of a very loud bird between the hours of 4:00 and 5:00 AM.

This morning we had our last venture of finding a lifer in the gardens below before leaving for a day of travelling to Radium Hot Springs in the Rocky Mountains. I awakened shortly after 7:00 AM and viewed some movement in the bushes below our window. Eventually the 71st addition to our B.C. list would emerge, a male Nashville Warbler. Only one other bird would appear before our full English breakfast, a nemesis Empidonax flycatcher. This time we were successful in our indentification.

This was the bird responsible for waking me at 4:00 AM with its sharp "peek" call. Our geographical location eliminated 7 Empids from the list of possibilites. The bird appeared to have a large head and the white eye ring expanded in a "teardrop" at the rear. We were sure we had a Hammond's Flycatcher. Listening to audio on the All About Birds site when we returned home confimed we had observed our 281st lifer.

Leaving the Tara Shanti, we travelled south to Creston where we would then head east along the Crowsnest Highway, eventually losing an hour upon entering the Central Time Zone.

Arriving in Cranbrook, it was time for a break and Elizabeth Lake looked to be the perfect spot, not just for picnicing but for observing birds as well.

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