A trip to the Kootenays!

I went up to the beautiful Kootenay Region of BC to join the BCFO 2 day Field Trip in Creston. The trip was led by Gary Davidson and Paul Prappas and it was fantastic. Craig Sandvig helped out heavily as well with his very skilled ears. We had a fantastic time and I made 3 lifelong friends in them in the process. On Day 1 in Creston and we got 110 species! We birded Leach Lake, Wilson and Kootenay River Rds and Duck Lake and we got some good birds including Forster's Terns (incredibly close views of them diving for fish and perched right by us), Black Terns, Bobolink, Gray Catbirds, Over 40 American White Pelicans, Wild Turkey with 7 Chicks, Clay-coloured Sparrow (and Lark Sparrow before Creston), Black-chinned and Calliope Hummingbirds, Eastern and Western Kingbirds, Veery, many Northern Waterthrushes, Bullock's Orioles, Tundra Swan, Lazuli Bunting, more Least Flycatchers than I've ever seen, Western Wood-Pewee, Pacific-Slope Flycatcher, Red-naped Sapsucker, Say's Phoebe, Vaux's Swifts, Yellow Warblers, Bank Swallow, Blue-winged and Cinnamon Tealsan, All 3 Vireos (Red-eyed, Hutton's and Warbling), Ruddy and Canvasbacks and lots of other ducks, Wilson's Phalaropes, Virginia Rail and Soras , a nice Swainson's Hawk and more!

We also had a Moose with 2 calves, black bear and elk. It was a beautiful day in a beautiful valley!

On the second day we birded the Wildlife Centre, Balancing Rock Trail and Reclamation Rd and hoped for Yellow-Breasted Chat and other goodies maybe even a Rose-breasted Grosbeak ;). We never found the Grosbeak nor Chat but did find many other great birds.

I loved the pristine beauty of the area. I have passed through their a lot but never stopped too long to bird before. I sure will from now on. The Creston Wildlife Management Area is especially fantastic!
On the way home I stopped at Road 22 where I had great views of Bobolinks and Yellw-breasted Chats and at Nighthawk I found a Sage Thrasher, Clay-coloured, Vesper, Lark and Brewer's Sparrow here. Rocky Mountain Sheep were in Hedley and Bluebirds were my constant companion on the way back home.

Wild Turkey with one of her 8 chicks in Creston, BC - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Forster's Terns breed at Duck Lake in Creston - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Eastern Kingbird at Leach Lake - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Male Tennessee Warbler in Creston - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Male Bobolink in Osoyoos - Photo: Melissa Hafting
Lark Sparrow in Nighthawk - Photo: Melissa Hafting


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