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 Kootenay Rockies Area of British Columbia
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By: SMW (offline) on Sunday, March 17 2013 @ 01:26 AM EDT  
SMW

It's almost a year ago to the day that herons returned to the rookery at the Mission on the St. Mary River. However, last July a severe windstorm toppled several trees destroying all the nests.

Today I was delighted to see one heron fly overhead and land on a treetop nearby. Although I approached slowly and cautiously, it took off, heading downriver. Two hours later I returned from my walk upriver to discover not one but four herons consisting of two pairs. One flew off while I was more than a hundred metres away and partially hidden by foliage, so I kept my distance as I circled around the remaining three. Then another took off this time from the second pair. It was followed shortly after by its mate. However, I was able to get to the other side of the rookery and walk back until I stood underneath the last heron. It watched me closely but remained where it was, while I spoke to it in a quiet, reassuring voice. Then I walked back to my vehicle hoping to catch sight of the returning herons, but there was no sign of them after twenty minutes.

I can't wait till my next visit.

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By: SMW (offline) on Sunday, March 17 2013 @ 09:38 PM EDT  
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A cool day with a biting wind blowing in the afternoon. Looking towards the Purcells and Kimberley Ski Hill.

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This pair of mallards were enjoying a swim in an open shallow pool of meltwater on the grassy area beside Idlewild Lake, Cranbrook.

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Idlewild still has ice but it is safe only for waterfowl. Baker Mtn. is in the background.


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By: SMW (offline) on Tuesday, March 19 2013 @ 11:17 PM EDT  
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Since spotting the eagle's nest by the St. Mary River near the St. Eugene Mission (see January 21, 2013 entry), Judy R. and I have speculated as to whether it could be an active nest. Today I saw two bald eagles circling over the nest area from a distance. When I got closer, I spotted an eagle on a perch near the nest suggesting that the nest is still active.

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As I watched from the river bank, the eagle kept looking towards the nest as if it had a partner there. Then it flew off.

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Walking to higher ground, I was able to catch sight of its mate, suggesting that it was sitting on eggs? Only time will tell. It's unfortunate for observers that the nest is so well hidden and inaccessible.


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By: SMW (offline) on Friday, March 22 2013 @ 01:00 AM EDT  
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Today's walk up the St. Mary River to show Judy R. the eagle nest on the opposite bank revealed the male sitting on the nest while the female flew off to find food.

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On our return we spotted all four herons and managed to capture this shot of one flying overhead.

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This cheeky Canada goose will have some explaining to do when the osprey returns from its winter vacation.


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By: SMW (offline) on Sunday, March 24 2013 @ 04:30 PM EDT  
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Kootenay River near Wasa looking E towards Rockies

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Columbia Lake looking W towards Purcells

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Columbia Lake looking E towards Rockies


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By: SMW (offline) on Sunday, March 24 2013 @ 04:34 PM EDT  
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Obliging bald eagle on perch overlooking Columbia River, Radium
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By: SMW (offline) on Sunday, March 31 2013 @ 10:21 PM EDT  
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A glorious Easter weekend in the E. Kootenays!

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Western painted turtle, Elizabeth Lake

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Bald eagle over the St. Mary River

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Chipmunk by North Star Rails to Trails


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By: SMW (offline) on Sunday, March 31 2013 @ 10:29 PM EDT  
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Taken from North Star Rails to Trails which runs from Cranbrook to Marysville and Kimberley

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Looking W towards the St. Mary Valley

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Marysville Falls

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Looking E towards Rockies with Fisher Peak, highest mountain in the local area, to the right


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