Posted by Matthew Sim
When we woke the next morning, we were hoping for fewer bugs but, much to out dismay, neither the numbers nor the ferocity of the mosquitoes had diminshed. Fortunately we had only planned to stay the morning anyways. I decided to brave the bugs and went out birding along the river where nighthawks and swallows seemed to do little to keep the bugs at bay! An Eastern Kingbird did pose for me, as did a preening Northern Flicker.
Robins and Mourning Doves sang continuously and eventually I managed to spot three of the doves.
One of the highlights of the morning for me, however was a mammal. I enjoyed close-up views of a pair of Nuttall’s Cottontail, a species pf rabbit we don’t get to see in Calgary.
The other highlight was watching a group of Common Nighthawks chase down insects in the sky. While I was watching one particular individual, it proceeded to do a mid-air shake, ruffling out its feathers and fanning out its tail; of which I only managed to capture a mediocre image.
After spending an hour or so birding, we finished up our time at Dinosaur Provincial Park on a bus tour throughout the badlands where I got more good looks at Western Meadowlarks and Rock Wrens. I definitely loved the park, but I guess now I have to figure out when is the best time to visit without the bugs! I imagine there would be very few mosquitoes in December…