A BIRDING BLOG -
hong kong AND
hong kong AND
On 29th July, we visited Sunshine Meadows, an alpine area 2159 metres asl a few miles west of Banff. The meadows are accessed by cable-car and at the top there are a number of possible hikes. We walked a seven km circular trail, taking in Rock Isle Lake and Monarch Viewpoint. As in all of the places we’d visited since leaving Red Deer, bird density was relatively low but we did encounter a number of interesting species including Mountain Bluebird, White-crowned Sparrow, Gray-crowned Rosy-finch, Clark’s Nutcracker, American Pipit, Hermit Thrush, Mountain Chickadee and Boreal Chickadee. From a rise, I also picked out two Greater Yellowlegs feeding on a distant, inaccessible muddy pool.
The next day, we checked out of our hotel and drove back to Calgary, stopping at the small town of Canmore, 25 km from Banff, en route. This is another town where there are streams, small woods and attractive gardens within a stone’s throw of the centre. Birds I added to the trip list were d Fox Sparrow and Western Tanager.
Back in Calgary later that afternoon, I walked out from our hotel in the environs of the airport to check out a couple of nearby roadside ponds. One pool held a pair of Horned Grebes with a tiny chick, and a juvenile American Coot. Another pond had several Lesser Scaups and a Redhead.
Our onward flight to the UK on 31st July was not until the early evening, so we spent a couple of hours at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary in the morning. Situated besides the Bow River near the centre of the city, this reserve boasts 270 species of birds, 21 species of mammals and 347 species of plants. It was a very pleasant place to wonder around. Small pools held Mallards, Wood Ducks and Common Goldeneyes. The river itself produced 40+ Ring-billed Gulls, several Californian Gulls and five Franklin’s Gulls along with a few Double-crested Cormorants and a Common Merganser. Overhead, we saw a Red-tailed Hawk, two Swainson’s Hawks and three Ospreys. Smaller birds included a family party of Eastern Kingbirds and several Northern Rough-winged Swallows perching in dead trees. A female Mule Deer fed in the area along with two fawns.