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lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

lyskonoh úzkozobý, samice / Red-necked Phalarope, female (Phalaropus lobatus)

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Monday, 08 September 2008 13:43

Birds of British Columbia III – inland

mapbc 1D3_9324PS In this third and last part of the series about birding in British Columbia we will have a look at the inland of this Canadian province, especially at two major areas – the Canadian Rockies at the boundary between British Columbia and Alberta and at the area of Okanagan Lake and surrounding located in southern part of British Columbia close to USA borders. Unlike the habitats close to the pacific coast, in the interior of British Columbia we can hardly see many waders; but we could observe diverse passerines and good amount of raptors there. In higher altitudes we could see less abundant species as for example the White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus).

 

Canadian Rockies

1D3_8296PS We had only few opportunities to bird during the long drive from Vancouver to Canadian Rockies at the eastern border of British Columbia. The only exceptions were the raptors seen through the windshield and especially Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) , which obviously thrives under the Rockies. Thanks to the suitable climate and landscape with many lakes and also the effort of ornithologists who rose up many poles with platforms suitable for building Ospreys` nests, this raptor can be seen almost everywhere there. 1D3_8582PS We were also lucky to see the young birds sitting in their nests. The area of Rockies and its Parks is so huge that we hardly could look around a bit; there were not many chances for birdwatching in those 5 days we spent there. From the local species we have seen e.g. Clark`s Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana), who pecked up the pine seeds from the forest ground. One of the highlights in Rockies was the watching of White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus) at the top of Whistlers Mountain close to Jasper city in northern part of Rocky Mountains. A small bird colony consisted of a few adult and about 10 young birds. Ptarmigans were so well camouflaged in the rocky terrain that we could get as close to them as few meters (in the case we could recognize them from the surrounding). 1D3_8983PS It shows how these birds are sure with their masking. Another great and unexpected experience was the Hummingbirds watching on the way to Valemount west of Jasper National Park. Searching for a place for overnight led us to charming little B&B in the middle of forest. Presence of two Hummingbirds` feeders was promising and we were hoping to see what we were only anticipating and read in books – Hummingbirds can be found almost everywhere in northern America although not in such number and variety of species as more to the South. One almost refuses to believe that in such relatively high latitude and in dense dark forest there might be some Hummingbirds present – and we saw tens of them whirling around feeders or resting on surrounding trees. The prevalent and almost the only species in this part of Canada is the Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus).

 

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Okanagan Lake and surrounding

1D3_9496PS A few last days of our Canada trip we spent at the Okanagan Lake in southern part of British Columbia. The climate is much warmer and dryer compared to Rockies and I southern part of the valley there is even a desert area. The surrounding of Okanagan Lake is prefect place for birdwatching – especially of passerines and woodpeckers. It is of course better to go birding early in the morning – not only the birds are more active at that time but also because Okanagan is popular touristic spot and many people are disturbing element for watching and taking pictures during the daytime. 1D3_9557PS While based in campground between Peachland and Summerland for two days we could see e.g. Swainson`s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni), California Quail (Callipepla californica), Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus), Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus), Brewer`s Blackbird (Euphagus cyanocephalus) or Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis). Highlight was the Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), with the prey in claws slowly rising up in a spiral.


1D3_9713PS On the way back To Vancouver we made a stop in Osoyoos at the Canada-USA border for short visit of the Haynes Point Provincial Park with short wildlife trail where we could observe American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) and Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus). 1D3_9812PS The Park is also known for the occurrence of the smallest bird of British Columbia – Calliope Hummingbird (Stellula calliope). The very last bird we have seen in Canada was the Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon), who just passed by and disappeared somewhere in the bush.

At the end I must say I was quite surprised by the variability and amount of birds in British Columbia. Although we hardly saw a fraction of them, it was all great experience that we made in British Columbia in few weeks and I already hope to come back one day again to discover another piece of beautiful Canadian nature.

 

All pictures of birds taken in British Columbia can be seen by clicking HERE

 

All pictures from our trip to Canada can be seen by clicking HERE

 

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Related articles:

Birds of British Columbia I - Vancouver and surrounding

Birds of British Columbia II - Vancouver Island

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 February 2011 08:37
 
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