This week, my family and I took a trip down to Kimberley, BC. As we did this last year and saw a lot of interesting species, I was really excited to get down there. On the drive in, we stopped at a friends house in Radium. Spring was in full stride by the time we got there. I went out by myself, to see what I could see, and found some House Finches, a few Merlins and other birds including Red-winged Blackbirds.
Later in the drive, we caught a Coyote pouncing on a mouse or vole underneath the snow.
It was quite fun to watch it leap and stick its forepaws and head under the snow,
only to come up empty-pawed.
Farther on, we found a Red-tailed Hawk and a Bald Eagle, the only non-falcon raptors so far.
When we got to Kimberley, it was too late to do any birding, but the next day we went to the nearby town of Marysville and took a trail that lead along a stream into the bigger river.
On the drive to Marysville, we stopped a few times, once for this moose:The second time we stopped was because of a flash of red and black: American Robin.
As we identified it, a glint of blue caught our attention. After a while, it turned out to be a Mountain Bluebird – Year-first!
When we got back to the condo we were staying in, I stepped out onto the porch in hopes of seeing a Stellar’s Jay – these birds had been numerous the year before. Instead I heard a mixture of Dark-eyed Juncos, Black-capped Chickadees and American Robins. As a Hairy Woodpecker landed on a nearby trunk, a clear, melodic sound pierced my ears. Unsure of what it was, my dad, my brother and I walked down to the area I had heard it in. Suddenly, a small brown bird sped over our heads and landed in a tree, calling. The same song. Upon further inspection, it turned out to be a House Finch – more than one!
As we started to walk again, a bolt of movement called for attention – a Stellar’s Jay with a nest! It wasn’t extremely cooperative, but we managed to get a few photos. This is a male – you can tell by the blue stripes on its forehead.
The next day, we started off for Elizabeth Lake, a birding hotspot in Cranbrook. The drive was not a long one, but proved to be a good habitat for Western Meadowlarks.