Friday, May 11, 2012

Nakusp - Cherryville

Common Loon
My usual early morning walk produced Dark-eyed Junco, Varied Thrush, Black-capped chickadee, Pine Siskin and the ever present Raven and American Robin. However, the best of the morning was when I was filling our waters tanks and the unmistakable buzz of a Hummingbird whizzed passed. Another Rufous was scurrying around in the morning sunshine; I’m always amazed how these tiny little nectar feeders survive so high up in the mountains!

Back on track and heading west for the Fauquier/Neddles ferry and then from here onwards into the Okanagan. This time the ferry crossing went according to plan and we made the brief 5 minute crossing without a hitch!

After disembarking at Needles we headed west on highway 6 encountering a few Mule Deer. Not a cloud in the sky we managed a number of Raptors which included Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle, Turkey Vulture and Swainson’s Hawk.

Spotted Sandpiper
As per my last post regarding investigating the unknown we decided to pull off the main highway at one of the designated rest areas to have lunch. Here we found a track leading down towards a lagoon, just about big enough to take the RV. I have to say that the hour we spent over lunch was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding of the tour so far.

Out towards the middle of the crystal clear water was a stunning Common Loon, accompanied by a pair of Common Merganser. Over lunch we watched as firstly a Bald Eagle came in to fish, shortly followed by a pair of Golden Eagle. Each time the Loon would send out one his amazing calls and instantly dive for cover!
A short walk after lunch and prior to leaving this wonderful oasis produced of note; Hairy Woodpecker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, White-breasted Nuthatch and Spotted Sandpiper.

Brewer's Blackbird
As we progressed towards our overnight stop of Gold Pan Campground Cherryville, we encountered more Common Loon on the Kettle River, managing to film two birds as they dove and swam alongside the RV as we drove slowly by. Both American Kestrel a Merlin were also seen along the route.

Before parking up for the day at Gold Pan we decided to drive down the 30 or so kilometers into the towns of Lumby and Coldstream, mainly to make use of the free Wifi at the Visitor Centre. It was noticeable, having come down from higher levels, that the temperature had raised quite a bit and we were now in the dizzy heights of the high 20’s.

The drive down itself took us past an Ostrich farm; sadly no species tick on that one but what was noticeable was the amount of Brewer’s Blackbird in the area, they were literally everywhere!