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A Great Trip to the Creston Valley

Every year, I go birding in the Creston Valley at least 6-11 times. The Creston Valley is a very important migratory bird flyway and is a designated Ramsar site, a wetland of international importance designated by the United Nations. Over 300 bird species have been the Creston Valley with only 685 ever seen in Canada. This trip was my third to the area this year and by far the best bird wise.

When we arrived in the valley after the 1.5 hour drive from our home town of Nelson, B.C., we drove over to Peterman Rd. where we saw Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser, and a Eurasian Wigeon tucked in a flock of American Wigeon.

Next, we went to Reclamation Rd. and watched other interesting birds like Western Meadowlark, many Rough-legged Hawks and three Northern Harriers.

Western Meadowlark

After seeing the Harriers and Meadowlark we continued to Channel Rd. on the way to Duck Lake where we found a Northern Shrike, over 200 American Wigeon, 2 Cinnamon Teal, a Blue Jay, and a Northern Rough-winged Swallow.

I then walked out to Duck Lake from Channel Road. Duck Lake hosts thousands of migrating waterfowl during the spring and fall months and is one of few places in B.C. where Western Grebes and Forester's Terns breed. When I arrived at the marsh that surrounds the lake I heard and saw a Sandhill Crane and a Downy Woodpecker. At the main lake I found two Snow Buntings, 800 Green-winged Teal, 1000 American Wigeon, and over 6000 Northern Pintail.

Snow Bunting

On the way back to our car I heard a Sora and spotted 4 more Sandhill Cranes feeding in the Duck Lake marshes. Next, we went to Kootenay River Road were we saw a flock of 22 Mountain Bluebird, many more Rough-legged Hawk, and three Northern Harrier.

Rough-legged Hawk

Northern Harrier

It was a very good day and I was quite happy with the great birds we found.

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