Sunday, 22 July 2012


This posting was written by Matthew Sim who accompanied us on a trip to Waterton last Wed./Thursday.  All photos in this post (except the one below with him in it) were taken by Matthew.  Thanks Matthew (and we appreciated your good eyes and ears as well!)
Matthew (right) with Mike and Phil
The Fur & Feathers team made a trip down to Waterton Lakes National Park in the hopes of adding 3 new species to the team list and they kindly invited me along for the voyage; an invitation which I gladly accepted.

The afternoon of Wednesday, July 18th saw us leaving Calgary en route south to Waterton. We made a stop along the way at Clear Lake, just east of Stavely where we picked up some shorebirds including Red-necked Phalarope and Stilt Sandpiper as well as some Caspian Tern.

From there it was fairly straight forward and we checked into our motel in the town of Mountain View outside of Waterton early in the evening. We headed out to the national park and did a loop around the bison paddock in search of the first target species; American Badger. Unable to find any Badger despite a good search, we did see Red Fox and Columbian Ground Squirrel for mammals.

From the paddock, we traveled up the Red Rock Canyon Parkway in search of our next target species- Dusky Grouse, which had been seen in the area several times lately. Though we were in the right area to se the grouse, the species was able to constantly elude us. As the sun set, we made our way back to our comfortable motel in Mountain View adding Elk and Great Horned Owl to our trip list.
Elk at dusk

 Thursday morning saw us rising with the sun, in a bid to maximize our chances of spotting the Dusky Grouse. Once again, our search was futile though we did see some good birds along the way. After a few hours of searching for the evasive grouse, we headed to the Waterton town site where we picked up a delicious breakfast and several Violet-Green Swallows during breakfast as well as Brian’s good sighting of 3 Pileated Woodpeckers at the feeders in town.

Once we had finished eating, we went to Cameron Lake to see our third target species; Red-tailed Chipmunk. We arrived at Cameron Lake and admired the gorgeous scenery before soon finding the Chipmunk easily enough.
Cameron Lake
Though we found the one Red-tailed Chipmunk right away, we did not see another one during a walk along the lakeside.  After Cameron Lake, we birded the road back to the Waterton town site before having one last and again unsuccessful look on the Red Rock Canyon Parkway for Dusky Grouse.
Red-tailed Chipmunk
We left the park in the early afternoon and went back to Mountain View where after a couple minutes we found a male Bobolink in the fields north of the town.

 Turning the car north, we commenced the drive back to Calgary with one final stop at Frank Lake along the way where we had some good looks at lots of flying White-faced Ibises.
White-faced Ibis
It was an excellent trip and I greatly enjoyed getting out with the Fur and Feathers team. I know I, for one, will continue to follow their adventures excitedly in the hope that they achieve their goals.


1 comment:

  1. Great post and some nice photos Matthew!

    Has the team had a look for Dusky Grouse at the Ptarmigan Cirque trail near Highwood Pass? This is one location I've seen them in the past.