Sunday, July 24, 2011

Birding in Revelstoke BC

We stopped in Revelstoke BC which is about an hour or two West of Banff National Park in BC. If the Okanagan Valley is in the middle of BC, Revelstoke is about 3/4 over from the left if that makes any sense. Revelstoke was the only two days of our trip where we had bad weather.

Multi-coloured roadside wild-flowers are easily enjoyed in Revelstoke BC

Again, birding was not the primary function on this trip, but I had a "Hello BC" tourism booklet that promised beatuful mountain-top meadows with a sea of colour in mid July. So when I pulled up to Mt Revelstoke National Park entrance booth, the lady told me: "There's a meter of snow up there. You'll have to come back in mid August to walk the "Meadows in the sky boardwalk". So I figured I would go into the park anyway, but at the 10K mark, our visibility was like 20m so we turned around and walked the first trail in the park which was not foggy. The trailhead sign featured beautiful colour photos of Varied Thrushes and Stellars Jay's so I was excited to go. The bird list for mid-summer in Revelstoke was incredible. I could of had 20 lifers if I had some time to bird the park, but that wasn't happening today. Long story short, not a single bird chirp after hiking 10 minutes so we turned around and went to the next birding destination in the park: the Skunk Cabbage Trail.

Skunk cabbage trail was really beautiful. It had many types of vegetation which ranged from grassland, then forest habitat, along with a major rushing stream, then scrubby bushes and wetland. Birds seen while hiking this trail were not overly exciting. Cedar Waxwings, Red eyed Vireo, Fox Sparrows along with some Mountain Chickadees was about all I saw. I was really hoping to get a chance to see a Stellar's Jay on this trip. Not seeing that bird may be my most painful miss.

Revelstoke is a nice little town. We had a great dinner on the main street and the Best Western Hotel we stayed at was brand new. I think we were the first people to sleep in our room. The weather was cloudy but not raining, so if this was the only bad weather on our trip, that was still a good deal in terms of luck.

No lifers in Revelstoke even though there should have been! On to Banff National Park.

Good Birding!

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