Yesterday we decided to travel down to the south of the city to Fish Creek Provincial Park. This is a pretty big park, the 2nd largest in Canada, so we decided to go on an exploratory mission to see what’s there and plan future visits.
We started off at the Visitors Centre which is located to the east of the park. There we picked up a map and some brochures. We decided to start off at the Glennfield area of the park as there are more trails there and we hoped it would be quite quiet.
The first thing we saw when we got to the parking lot was an osprey nest with a young bird calling for its parents. As we watched the two parents flew back, one with a fish in its claws.
We set off on the paved trail which runs along the side of the river. There were lots of birds flying around especially waxwings and kingfishers. But they were too fast for me to get a photo.
But, the next thing we saw were three deer wandering along the opposite side of the river. They knew we were there but didn’t seem the slightest bit bothered by us.
At one point we watched a Downy Woodpecker pecking at a tree. We were joined by an older couple on bikes who had binoculars and were looking out for birds. We pointed out a nuthatch on another tree and they said it was the first they had seen this year. We used to see them year round back in our garden in Ontario.
After chatting to them for a few minutes we wandered off further down the trail, but about ten minutes later the woman came cycling up to us saying they had spotted a Piliated Woodpecker. She guided us to where her husband was and sure enough, there was a Pileated hammering at the tree.
Pileated woodpeckers are the largest woodpecker in Canada and we had them in Ontario, but rarely saw them, just heard them hammering away. I managed to get a poor photo, but due to its position against the sky, it came out a bit dark.
After this excitement, we carried on following the river and went off the main path to some of the smaller, tracks. We kept seeking kingfishers, but unfortunately, we could not get decent photos of them. As you can see, the area is very pretty.
I then spotted a killdeer in the water and as it was making a huge rumpus, as they do, I think it had chicks nearby and was trying to distract us. I couldn’t spot the chicks, but got a quick pic of the parent.
I also spotted some pretty thistle flowers, which I suppose are really weeds, but who cares, they were pretty.
Finally, we came across a beaver dam.
We will definitely have to come back to this park as there is so much to see and we only explored one small area of it. There are lots of other areas to explore and it is only half an hour from our apartment, so great for a quick break from the city.