[Tweeters] O.T. # Week Road Trip To B.C. & Yukon Territory Part #2 (Long)

STEVEN ELLIS sremse at comcast.net
Fri Jul 26 15:45:26 PDT 2019

Days7/8/9: Our plans for 3 days at Kluane Natl.Park were changed due to vehicle trouble and a health issue. Both were resolved in 2 days- I can't say enough good things about the terrific folks in Whitehorse who took care of our troubles! We managed to find Arctic Ground Squirrels (Lifer for Martha) in town. .

The 3rd day we went to KLuane Park, seeing 5 Elk, a Golden Eagle in flight and a Porcupine gnawing on clay (they eat clay in order to stomach the toxins plants produce to discourage herbivores). While having lunch in the park at Kathleen Lake, some Am. Robins were kicking up a fuss which, in our yard, means Barred Owl. Just then a man stopped by and said he'd seen Dall Sheep further up the hwy. What to do? Chase after the possible owl or go for the sheep? Smoke from wildfires was beginning to obscure the mountain tops so we elected to race up the road for the sheep. We found 17 white as snow Dall Sheep high in the mountains, another lifer for Martha.

Day10 Whitehorse to Carmacks I was astonished to see a Lynx bound into the hwy and then disappear into the shrubs and trees. This was IN Whitehorse! Apparently the Snowshoe Hare population in that area is at the low end of the cycle while Lynx numbers are high. I believe the big cat was after ground squirrels in the right of way. Lots of lakes ,ponds and bogs. Wildflowers were at peak bloom incl. showy crazy weed (great name for a garage band!).Twin Lakes produced Bonaparte's Gull and Arctic Terns. At another lake, we spotted a Red-necked Grebe carrying a small fish (stickleback?) to a waiting chick. In Carmacks, we found a small pond that had Horned Grebes with young.

Day11,12 We drove to the Robert Campbell Hwy which runs east/west and is only paved for a few miles on the west end. While visiting a small pond, we heard an unfamiliar bird song and then a thrush flew in- Gray-cheeked Thrush- a lifer! Another pond had a female Bufflehead with 7 young. Day 12 was a repositioning day.

The summer, no sweeter ever,

The Sunshiny woods all athrill;

The grayling aleap in the river,

The bighorns asleep on the hill.

excerpt from Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service

----Steve Ellis

sremse at comcast.net mailto:sremse at comcast.net

Coupeville, Wa
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