Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mirror Lake- Nakusp

Solitary Sandpiper @ Mirror Lake
Before setting off on the next stage of our tour I took an early morning opportunity for another look at the top reed bed. The sun was just peaking over the mountain tops when I arrived and it wasn’t long before I discovered several Red-winged Blackbirds, Song Sparrow and a lone Solitary Sandpiper in the muddy vegetation.

Also on view was a pair of Wood Duck, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Bufflehead and Hooded Merganser. The surrounding Pine held White-breasted Nuthatch and perched on the overhead electric cables, my first Violet-green Swallows of this visit. Just prior to driving off a Killdeer landed directly opposite the RV and offered a nice photo opportunity.

Today we made a slight detour to our planned route and decided to head further south towards the US border. We headed down highway 31 which runs alongside the beautiful Kootenay Lake and at one stage stopped to take a look at an Osprey nest which was positioned atop a wooden pylon within the lake. Ordinarily I wouldn’t dream of disturbing any nesting birds but this was a designated stopping area and she was obviously used to the attention. After watching the female proudly sitting on her nest from the comfort of the RV and taking several photographs we left her in peace and continued on our way.

Osprey on Kootenay Lake
We eventually arrived at Nelson, a largish town on the Kootenay River and managed to take on a few more provisions and also take advantage of the FREE supermarket Wifi, another lesson for the UK. Dee and I decided at this point that this particular area, although beautiful, was too built up for our particular taste and so we made the decision to head back northwards towards Nakusp.

Taking highway 6 north we made a slow accent back into the mountains with some stunning views of Valhalla Park and Slocan Lake. Unfortunately the weather had now deteriorated and we encountered a number of snow flurries before eventually arriving at New Denver, having now completed a full circle. From here we continued on northwards until arriving once more at Nakusp and chose the Nakusp Hotsprings Campground for tonight’s stop over.

Although with stunning scenery all around it wasn’t the most prolific day in our journey with little wildlife to report and I suppose its one of the disadvantages of heading into the unknown. However, we used the same philosophy during our 2010 tour, heading away from our planned route and ended up discovering some stunning places, so if you don’t investigate you’ll never know. Having said that, the American Robins have been entertaining us this evening, ever the companion and a number of Varied Thrush with their amazing whistling calls have also been very vocal. The stars are also very stunning this evening and now there’s not a cloud in the sky!