Lake Louise, Banff National Park


Calgary & the Rockies
Aug 1-5, 2003
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

A trip with Suzanne to visit our friends Al & Helga in their summer home--Calgary, Alberta! 
94 species total

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Al and Helga picked us up on a sunny Friday afternoon.  As we drove to their home, we got our first introduction to Canadian birds, Black-billed Magpies and numerous Swainson's Hawks.

Least Flycatcher

After settling into their home, we made a short trip to Fish Creek, where we added Downy Woodpecker and the first of many Least Flycatchers and Clay-colored Sparrows.  This was the first Least Flycatcher I'd ever seen away from Illinois. 

The weather was a wonderful change from Yuma, never exceeding the mid 80s and dropping into the 50s at night. On Saturday morning we headed an hour west of Calgary to the breathtaking Rocky Mountains of  Banff National Park.  

Downy Woodpecker

Suzanne, Al, and Helga
Rundell Mountain sits at the base of Banff, providing a beautiful backdrop to the town.  Behind Suzanne, Al, and Helga are the Vermilion Lakes, and Rundell Mt.
At "Cave and Basin" we were treated to our first exclusively northern forest denizens, Boreal Chickadees.  They were associating with both Black-capped and Mountain Chickadees.
Boreal Chickadee

Young Elk

At Fenwood Trail we entered the dark fir & lodgepole pine forests, and were rewarded with views of our first Gray Jays, Three-toed Woodpeckers, Wood Duck, Yellow-rumped Warblers feeding juveniles, a lifer Winter Wren for Al & Suzanne, and our first elk.


White-winged Crossbill
Al spotted a male, and then a female, White-winged Crossbill fly into a fir across the stream. As we watched them, the male flew to our side of the stream and then started drinking not 8 feet in front of me--it was an outstanding view, and my only lifer of the trip!

On Sunday morning we returned to Banff, only this time with Johnston Canyon as our first destination.  The Black Swifts were not in evidence, but we did find a Dipper at the Lower Falls, as well as hundreds of gawking tourists.     

Lower Falls at Johnston Canyon

Chateau Lake Louise

This is the back of the fancy hotel on the lake's edge (photo at top of the page).  Indoors a harpsichordist strummed her melodies, while in the courtyard a man in lederhosen belted out Amazing Grace on a long elk horn.

These nutcrackers were abundant around Lake Louise and at many of the camping areas, fond of the handouts and table scraps left by the many picnickers.

Clark's Nutcracker

Cherry-faced Meadowhawk
During our five days there, I spotted only two types of dragonflies, both species quite numerous.  These mid-sized red meadowhawks blanketed the grasses around Fenwood trail.

We wanted to eat lunch here at beautiful Lake Morraine, but the haze you see in the picture is not fog--it's smoke from fires raging over the mountains in British Columbia.  The bad air forced us to feast on lunch farther down the mountain.

Lake Morraine

PAGE 2 - More Pictures

Calgary and the Canadian Rockies, 1-5 Aug 2003

# Species
1 Common Loon
2 Eared Grebe
3 Double-crested Cormorant
4 Great Blue Heron
5 Canada Goose
6 Wood Duck
7 Blue-winged Teal
8 Mallard
9 Northern Shoveler
10 Bufflehead
11 Common Goldeneye
12 Barrow's Goldeneye
13 Common Merganser
14 Osprey
15 Swainson's Hawk
16 Red-tailed Hawk
17 American Kestrel
18 Sora
19 American Coot
20 Killdeer
21 Greater Yellowlegs
22 Lesser Yellowlegs
23 Solitary Sandpiper
24 Spotted Sandpiper
25 Semipalmated Sandpiper
26 Long-billed Dowitcher
27 Wilson's Snipe
28 Franklin's Gull
29 Ring-billed Gull
30 California Gull
31 Black Tern
32 Rock Dove
33 Mourning Dove
34 Common Nighthawk
35 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
36 Rufous Hummingbird
37 Belted Kingfisher
38 Lewis' Woodpecker
39 Downy Woodpecker
40 Three-toed Woodpecker
41 Northern Flicker
42 Western Wood Pewee
43 Least Flycatcher
44 Cordilleran Flycatcher
45 Western Kingbird
46 Eastern Kingbird
47 Gray Jay
# Species
48 Blue Jay
49 Clark's Nutcracker
50 Black-billed Magpie
51 American Crow
52 Common Raven
53 Tree Swallow
54 Violet-green Swallow
55 Bank Swallow
56 Cliff Swallow
57 Barn Swallow
58 Black-capped Chickadee
59 Mountain Chickadee
60 Boreal Chickadee
61 Red-breasted Nuthatch
62 House Wren
63 Winter Wren
64 American Dipper
65 Golden-crowned Kinglet
66 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
67 Western Bluebird
68 Townsend's Solitaire
69 Hermit Thrush
70 American Robin
71 Gray Catbird
72 European Starling
73 Cedar Waxwing
74 American Redstart
75 Common Yellowthroat
76 Yellow-rumped Warbler
77 Yellow Warbler
78 Orange-crowned Warbler
79 Western Tanager
80 Chipping Sparrow
81 Clay-Colored Sparrow
82 Savannah Sparrow
83 Song Sparrow
84 White-crowned Sparrow
85 Dark-eyed Junco
86 Red-winged Blackbird
87 Yellow-headed Blackbird
88 Brown-headed Cowbird
89 Gray-crowned Rosy Finch
90 Purple Finch
91 White-winged Crossbill
92 Pine Siskin
93 American Goldfinch
94 House Sparrow


Photos Henry D. Detwiler