Young Birder Trip to Manning Park
|Young birders with Spruce grouse above them at Manning Park - Photo: Melissa Hafting|
We had a fantastic trip to Manning Park this Saturday. We met up in Langley and it was our first time meeting young birder Justin who was awesome!. On the way in just before the lodge Katya spotted a Band-tailed Pigeon! It was a new bird for me for the park and quite uncommon here. We then drove up the road to Cascade Lookout where the youth and I enjoyed feeding the Clark's Nutcrackers and Canada Jays. The young birders and I never tire of having these birds land on our hands and heads. We also had fun feeding the Ravens and the Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels and the Yellow-pine Chipmunks. We had a Pika calling here too.
|The young birders loved feeding the Canada Jays - Photos: Bridget Spencer|
|I loved feeding the Clark's Nutcrackers as much as the youth! - Photos: Bridget Spencer|
After this we went up to the Heather Trail and enjoyed the wildflowers and saw a Fox Sparrow and Hermit Thrush and a Columbian Ground Squirrel. The youth also had fun with a few Canada Jays we got to feed that kept landing on all of our heads!. These jays are really the cutest birds.
|Justin with Canada Jay|
|Katya with Canada Jay|
|Bridget with Canada Jay|
|Young birders Sasha and Bridget on the Heather Trail feeding the Gray Jays - iPhone Photos: Melissa Hafting|
We had our lunch at Lightning Lake but were surprised the Columbian Ground Squirrels we love so much were nowhere to be seen. The squirrels begin hibernating in July but this thoroughly disappointed the kids who love to feed them. At the lodge we had Northern-rough winged and Barn Swallows but no hummers! We did see a few Steller's Jays though.
Next we were off to Strawberry Flats where Katya spotted a family of Spruce Grouse - a hen and 2 chicks. Spruce Grouse is the most uncommon grouse in the park so we were thrilled to see them. The mom clucked and was protective over her chicks but allowed us for great views. It was a real special interaction.
|Spruce Grouse Hen at Manning - Photo: Melissa Hafting|
|Spruce Grouse chick at Manning Park - Photo: Melissa Hafting|
|Spruce Grouse hen - I loved how close she came to us! - Photo: Melissa Hafting|
|Spruce Grouse at Strawberry Flats walking up close - Photos: Bridget Spencer|
I spotted a Sooty Grouse by the side of the road and we went into the woods and found her also with her older chick posing nicely which was fantastic!.
|Female Sooty Grouse near Strawberry Flats - Photo: Bridget Spencer|
|Female Sooty Grouse at Manning Park - Photos: Melissa Hafting|
At the parking lot at Strawberry Flats as soon as we got out of our car Bridget spotted a male American Three-toed Woodpecker!. Usually they aren't right at the parking lot. We joked "we could go home now" but decided to continue on our hike. We ended up seeing many Mountain Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches harassing a Red-tailed Hawk and we found another female American Three-toed Woodpecker tapping away.
|Male American Three-toed Woodpecker in Manning - Photos: Melissa Hafting|
|American Three-toed Woodpecker in Manning Park - Photo: Bridget Spencer|
We enjoyed a leisurely walk around Lightning Lake and Twenty-Minute Lake and had a Olive-sided Flycatcher and some Townsend's and Yellow-rumped Warblers but it was not too birdy and there were lots of noisy people. We heard someone had seen a cougar there recently but we were not so lucky or unlucky depending on how you look at it!. We did end up seeing a Mule Deer but no bears as in past visits together.
|It was a nice day at Manning with the Young Birders - iPhone Photo: Melissa Hafting|
It was our final trip for the year and a great way to end our summer. Thanks also to Ilya for volunteering to help during this trip.
It was hard to say goodbye to the young birders especially to Bridget who will be heading off for Uni soon in California!. She will be thoroughly missed by all but we know great things await for her ahead!.
Thanks to everyone for a great year and taking part in the young birder program.