Today was another early start as the weather improved vastly. Scooting across the lake we took in the glorious sunrise falling on the lake, with clouds acting like vast smoke clouds above the mountains it really was a view we could never get bored of seeing each morning. As usual we started off searching for the Loon family who didn’t disappoint as usual. With the sun still hidden by the small bay of large coniferous trees one of the adult loons fished ravenously as the sun slowly creeped over the canopy. With the sun cutting through the Loons where lite up and revealed one of the chicks tucked into the feathers on the back of one of the adults. For the chick is must have been a very relaxing morning with breakfast in bed.
Throughout the morning the adults continued to fish and the chicks ,try as they might, had to leave the comfort of the adult. The adult Loons would often leave the chicks around the boats as there were watching eyes from the trees surrounding the lake. Bald eagles had been seen taking chicks in previous days and so we were deemed good deterrents by the adult Loons.
An array of prey items were bought in and a favourite were leeches. Often the chicks were a little taken aback by the breakfast that fights back. The leeches would suction themselves on to the top of the chicks beak in a bid to escape. It was quite funny watching the chicks trying to relieve themselves of the leeches. Small trout were also among the easy treats and these would mostly be eaten by the adults.
As the sun rose higher in the sky the lily infested roadbeds were the next port of call. Here we caught up with the Red necked Grebes. Busily building their nest and calling out to each other. Some lillies that had caught on our boat were picked up by the grebes who put them to good use, adding to their already impressive nest structure. It seemed as though one had become the builder and the other the foreman, placing each lily in just the right place.
Before heading back to base we stopped off to photograph a rather confiding tree swallow who proudly posed at the entrance hole of his nest in an old dead tree stump.
After lunch we searched out the Mountain Blue bird nest hole we had seen near the owls. The female took the lime light but the male still wanted to impress, a real symbol of the Canadian wilderness.
A stone’s throw away the owls were as active as ever. Tonight we got treated to a new prey item, a mountain hare. The female had bought in a few remnants of the carcass to feed the hungry chicks. She was tender in her delivery of dinner and each chick was given a fair share of the catch.
The chick would wait patiently for it’s turn for a meal whilst the female took larger pieces including the bones. This continued until all that was left was the hare’s foot !
With the sun setting I took some time to explore the surrounding area. It really was incredible to be immersed in such a true wilderness, completely different to what I had experienced before. The deep forests seemed to go on forever and with trees covered in bear claw marks it’s hard not to fall in love with the place.