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Trip Report – April 6 2013

This trip report covers Kelowna, White Lake Basin and Oliver for April 6 2013

The day started out with rain and generally bad weather.  I managed to get a shot of a Dark-Eyed Junco in my back yard and then headed to Peachland to meet up with Flickr friend Tania.

We first headed to the Summerland Ornamental Gardens, but the heavy rain prevented us from getting out of the car.  We continued towards the White Lake Basin.  On the way we spotted some Killdeer.  Stopped for a few photos and it started to hail, the killdeer were not very pleased and eventually sought cover.  We continued on to White Lake and when we arrived we were very surprised to see many Sandhill Cranes on the edge of the lake with more coming in to land.  The light was miserable at this point but at least it stopped raining.  Got some shots of the cranes as well as some coming into land and then continued on towards Oliver.  Along the way we spotted some Western Bluebirds and could hear Western Meadowlards off in the distance.

Traveled down No. 22 Road in Oliver and spotted some Curlews out in the field.  Managed a few reasonable shots and then continued to the wildlife viewing area near the bridge.  There were hundreds of Swallows (Tree and Violet-green) flying over the river catching insects so we stopped for awhile to try for some flight shots.  As we were shooting an Osprey flew by hunting for fish.  Just after we finished up and got back into the car the Osprey flew overhead with a fish in his talons, just missing a great photo op.

After the bridge turned right and proceded a short distance.  Saw a Northern Harrier in the fields below hunting for food but could not get a decent shot.  Off in the distance on the river we saw a group of about 5 American White Pelicans (too far away to get a shot).  A beautiful male Pheasant crossed the road in front of us and we stopped to see if we could find him.  As we got out of the car and approached the side of the road he spooked and flew away, with Tania managing to get a decent flight shot of him.  Only a second later the female which we had not seen also spooked and flew away, although I got a few flight shots none of them were very clear.

We decided to head back the way we came via the White Lake Basin.  We found a Western Meadowlark in the field along the road and with a short bird call on the iPhone had him on the fence near the road.  After the Meadowlard we spotted a Northern Shrike and watched it for awhile.  We saw it grab some prey but could not make it out until we zoomed in the picture, and we were both surprised that it was a mouse.    Continued up the road and saw both Western and Mountain Bluebirds.

By this time the light was much better at White Lake so we took a few more pictures of the Sandhill Cranes.  Finished off the trip seeing a Light Morph Rough-Legged Hawk perched on one of the poles near the Observatory.

Although the weather started out pretty bad, by the end of the day we were in sunshine.  I saw four new species on this trip (Sandhill Cranes, Curlew, American Pelicans and Rough-Legged Hawk) and got some nice photos.


Equipment used on this trip (click on the link to see more details or to buy from Amazon):

  • Wood Duck
  • Western Bluebird
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Western Meadowlard
  • Western Bluebird
  • Red-Tailed Hawk
  • Song Sparow
  • Cedar Waxwing

Trip Report – March 30 2013

This trip report covers Kelowna, BC, Canada for March 30, 2013

So I started out by picking up my Flickr friend Glenn  and we headed over to the Rotary Marsh bird sanctuary.  Instead of heading straight into the sanctuary we headed to the park right across the street from in. The previous day I had spotted some Green-Winged Teals in there and I was hoping Glenn could get a shot of them.  They were there, but they were upstream and any shots would be facing directly into the sun, so we left them.  Along the trail we also spotted Red-Winged Blackbirds, Song Sparrows, House Finches and a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

After getting a few shots at this park we went across to the Rotary Marsh.  This sanctuary has a lot of variety of birds, especially in the spring and fall during migration.  Highlights from the park today included two male Wood Ducks, Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, Song Sparrows and Red-Winged Blackbirds.  The Wood Ducks were the real stars but they did not hang out close to any of the viewing piers which meant that I had some reasonable shots with my 600mm but Glenn had a harder time as he was shooting at 300mm.

Next we headed to Fascieux Creek Wetland, where I was hoping Glenn could get some shots of the Red-Winged Blackbirds here as they tend to come very close on the reeds next to the sidewalk and do they calls.  We managed some nice RWBB shots and then toured the rest of the park, eventually coming across a large flock of Cedar Waxwings.  After a while several Wood Ducks flew in so we found them and took a few pic’s of them.

Next I took Glenn to see the raptors near the airport.  We found several Red-Tailed Hawks and one hawk which was not a Red-Tail which I am still working on IDing.

After dropping off Glenn I headed up to Beaver Lake Road to check on the Bluebirds.  I was not disappointed and saw several pairs of Western Bluebirds and one pair of Mountain Bluebirds.  I also saw Western Meadowlark and American Robins.

I ended up being a long day but we got to see and photograph some nice birds.


Equipment used on this trip (click on the link to see more details or to buy from Amazon):