Friday, October 01, 2010

Lillooet to Whistler

Varied Thrush
I have to say that the weather during the second half of our tour has exceeded all our expectations; I haven’t even seen a cloud in 3 days! One of my twitter friends in Vancouver tells me that apparently the 45C heat they’ve currently had in LA is filtering up the west coast, albeit 20C degrees cooler, but hey I’m not complaining!

Today’s leg of the tour took us along Highway 99 on a direct route to Whistler, not much chance today of any back road detours. We had very little opportunity to check out any soaring raptors, the traffic as we approach civilisation once again becoming more and more intense, but we did stop at a few points of interest along the route picking up Golden-mantled Squirrel, Western Grebe, Red-tailed Hawk, Great Blue Heron, Common Loon, Northern Flicker, and Red-head.

Dave, who’s been travelling in his RV behind us since Calgary, is convinced he sighted a Rough-legged Hawk as we passed through Pemberton; this conclusion is arrived by trawling through my Sibley’s guide for a likely candidate. Dave is not a birder but is fast becoming one and who can say, we are definitely within the birds range, although it does prefer wide-open marshes and tundra!

Arriving in Whistler I must say that I’m tinged with a little sadness as we’ve now left the real wilderness behind us for this tour and are now entering a more commercial part of the country. Whistler Mountain itself and the surrounding area still has stunning scenery but a walk in the early evening around our campground, with mountain bikes steaming past you at break neck speed, Frisbee throwers, joggers and dog walkers is not my idea of bliss. We searched for a place known as Lost Lake, this is fascinating we thought, only to find the lake awash with boats and more Frisbee throwers, we soon lost it again!

But you know having said the above it’s still a stunningly beautiful place with real friendly people and you never know what you’ll see around each corner, we did manage an addition to our list with Varied Thrush during our walk, a very secretive bird with an amazing orange coloured supercillium and a real pleasure to see.