Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It Begins

It's 530 in the morning, Paul Lake Provincial Park, just east of Kamloops. I had made it there around 11pm the previous night. I left directly from work around 8pm. Light rain is smattering the roof of my car, creating a relaxing calm while I get my binoculars ready, my sweater on, and when I open the doors the bird song wafts around me, and within this instant it has begun.

A short walk through the typical dry interior forests and I have my first Veery of the year. It's ethereal song carries from a swath of green cutting through a dry creek bed somewhere. From Paul Lake it was northward bound. Through Kamloops to 100 Mile House, Lac La Hache to Quesnel.
I made few stops, one was 100 Mile Marsh, to take in a few Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

Yellow-headed Blackbird 100 Mile Marsh

From Quesnel my first major stop; 10 Mile Lake Provincial Park. The entrance to the park follows a road lined on each side with an impressive mix of dry forest. Both sides absolutely filled with singing birds. American Redstart's chased each other in the twos and threes, while Pewees were less conspicuous calling from anonymous locations. A lone Olive-sided Flycatcher announced that he wanted 3 beers and quick. Hammond's Flycatchers were in the darker reaches of the conifers, while three species of Vireo all made themselves known.

Northern Waterthrush-10 Mile Lake

Northern Waterthrush, the loudest of the bunch by far, sang from the blankets of shrubs.
At least 5 Waterthrush were heard

Somewhere in all this cacophony  was something a Yellow-rumped Warbler but sweeter..sweeter, sweeter. It took a bit more bushwhacking than I had expected, the forests were definitely nature, with a lush underbrush that swallowed me whole, but I pressed on through broken branches and wild rose brush towards the song.

I knew how he felt i was getting itchy too

The sun had started to come out and warm the place up, bringing about the first of many, or should I say millions of mosquito's that would feast on my blood. I looked up into the taller snags to see a bird fly catching. A beautiful yellow breasted bird, with a black mask and a necklace of streaks down its breast as if it were hit with a splatter of black paint. It was my first lifer of the trip, a Magnolia Warbler.

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