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Rockies in September

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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 16:31   #1
Zarac
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Rockies in September

I am travelling by car in mid-late September from Calgary through the Rockies - Banff and Jasper - and then across to Saskatoon. I am sure there are things to see wherever we go but does anyone have any suggestions of particular places to visit or places to stay.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 20:45   #2
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I am going in August/Sept this year and am currently gathering info myself. Not completed it yet but here is some info on Banfff at least. Must say I have not been before so this is based on other reports/guides. I am heading from Calgary then, Banff, Jasper, Clearwater, Kamloops, Whistler, Victoria and Vancouver.

Banff Sites
Cave and Basin Marsh (2km west of Banff town) - Mallards, Green-winged Teal, and Barrow's Goldeneyes are the most common ducks. Warbling Vireos, Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, American Redstarts, Wilson's Warblers, Song Sparrows and Savannah Sparrows

Vermilion Lakes (just west of Banff town) - Osprey, Canada Geese, Common Yellowthroat, Killdeer, Song Sparrow, Mallards, American Robin, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Black-billed Magpies

Johnston Canyon (On Highway 1A 23 km. west of Banff (just west of Castle Junction). Park at the Johnston Canyon trailhead and follow the trail up Johnston Creek 3 km. to the lower falls or 5 km. to the upper falls) Black swifts, American dipper, Winter Wren, Cordilleran Flycatchers, Townsend's and Yellow-rumped Warblers

Bow River (Banff to Lake Louise)

Hope this helps.
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Old Saturday 11th July 2009, 21:37   #3
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Many thanks. Have a great trip.
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Old Monday 13th July 2009, 13:41   #4
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I'm also going out to a similar area in late August, road-tripping from Calgary to Vancouver over 16 days. As the research continues, I'll post what I've found. However, it would be good to hear from some local birders with some tips, since their info is bound to be more up to date!

First, some useful books: the compact Sibley guide for Western North America is an ideal reference being comprehensive and portable. A couple of 'Where to Watch' type books look good, covering British Columbia and Vancouver Island. Judging by a flick through the former, it sounds like the Okanagan valley, especially the southern end, offers some excellent birding including some difficult Canadian birds.
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Old Monday 13th July 2009, 17:19   #5
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Which way are you heading/passing through on way then??

I have a few sites in Vancouver I have picked up on.

Vancouver
Iona Island/Sea Island (Nr Airport) - Lagoons near sewage works and 4km jetty out to sea for sea watching

Boundary Bay (South coast between 88th and 96th St) - Good for shorebirds but need to check tides

Stanley Park - Vancouver

regards
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Old Monday 13th July 2009, 19:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgeland View Post
Which way are you heading/passing through on way then??
Ah, if only I knew! So many possibilities, so little time....

We need to take in a trip to Fernie to meet up with friends who've moved out there for a while, hopefully Okanagan, and I also want to get onto Vancouver Island for a few days as well.... plus get up to the Banff / Jasper / Yoho national park chain if I can.

Not really sure how that's going to work out!
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Old Monday 13th July 2009, 20:22   #7
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Here are links to the most useful trip reports I've found so far:

http://www.realbirder.com/BC.html

http://www.travellingbirder.com/trip...ct.php?id=4744 [PDF File]
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Old Monday 20th July 2009, 14:25   #8
Peter C.
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When travelling through BC: a tip...

You really want to spend some time in the Okanagan Valley, especially the section south of Penticton. This is right along the U.S. border, and has a semi-desert habitat quite unusual in Canada - and is therefore home to several birds seen nowhere else in the country.*

I found the areas around Okanagan Falls and Vaseaux Lake to be particularly productive. When in I went there for the first time, I saw several lifers each day, despite the fact that I had had birded in British Columbia for several weeks beforehand; White-throated Swift, Canyon Wren, California Quail, Lewis's Woodpecker... there is also a good chance at finding Western N. A. specialties that are more widespread, but are sometimes hard to pin down (Mountain Bluebird, Lazuli Bunting, Townsend's Solitaire, and so on).

For more details, you can look at a report I wrote elsewhere about this location.
http://www.naturesbestcreations.com/...hp?f=36&t=1874

I would also strongly recommend that anyone headed out that way make the trip across Vancouver Island to Pacific Rim N.P ("next stop - Japan"). Not so much for birds (although American Black Oystercatcher is reliable there), but just to see it - the sheer abundance of marine life is spectacular! I've been there three times, and would certainly go back if I had the chance.

Peter C.

*Some of the specialties may be gone by September, though.
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