Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Grasslands National Park

Last weekend my wife and I enjoyed a few days of nature-watching and relaxation at Grasslands National Park with our friends from the local nature society. The park is in south-western Saskatchewan, and is as close as you can possibly get to the US border.
Rolling hills and plains are all you can see for miles around, and the park is home to Bison, Rattlesnakes and Burrowing Owls ( all of which I sadly did not see this time )
I had a few target species to find and was happy when I came home with some photos for my files.
A couple of bird species I have had fleeting glimpses of closer to home, but down south I ended up getting 5 new birds for my life list.
The weather was not kind to us for the first few days with pouring rain, strong winds and overcast skies, but it finally relented before we left, finishing up our trip in Cypress Hills , Maple Creek , Stewart Valley and Saskatchewan Landing.

Highlights were :

Lark Bunting
Chestnut-collared Longspur (lifer)
Yellow-breasted Chat (lifer)
Rock Wren (lifer)
Common Nighthawk
Long-billed Curlew
Dusky Flycatcher (lifer)
Estern Bluebird (lifer)

Also some cool new mammal species such as Black-tailed Prairie Dog.

Here are some new photos from the trip :

Black-tailed Prairie Dog

Lark Bunting

Chestnut-collared Longspur

Rock Wren

Common Nighthawk

Dusky Flycatcher

Coyote - During some heavy rain we found this Coyote with his meal of Richardson's Ground Squirrel :

Pronghorn Antelope

Garter Snake

Yellow Warbler


grammie g said...

Great photos from your trip...cute bird the bunting very formal in his black and white outfit!!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Looks like the trip was a success.5 lifers is a good result,and excellent pictures to boot is the icing on the cake.

Carole Barkett said...

Wonderful pictures, I love that Longspur, I've never seen one, and never even knew they were in that area.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

All images are very striking, and looks like your trip was blessed by all you saw~

Chris said...

pfff This is becoming difficult as I have the feeling that I tell you all the time the same thing, but truly you amaze me... This is a fantastic set of pictures once again, and one should definitely admire your work and the way you present nature in your photograph... These are really high quality pictures Nick... I love your work!

Nick S said...

Thanks for the very kind words guys. Chris, you must be a mind reader. I just came back from your blog and was very impressed as usual :-)

holdingmoments said...

Nick, superb as always. Every shot a winner.
The second Black-tailed Prairie Dog amongst those blue flowers, is a beautiful shot mate; and the Garter Snake looks like he's coming out of the screen.

Philip said...

Excellent shots Nick that Prairie Dog is something I have never seen before :)

FAB said...

Another fabulous set from your trip Nick. Especially enjoyed seeing the Nighthawk so clearly..what time of day or night were these taken? I watched Nightjars flying at 10.30 p.m. whilst we were away but far too dark for shooting.

Nick S said...

Many thanks guys. Frank, the Nighthawks were taken around lunchtime actually. They were quite active swooping around catching mosquitoes.

Unknown said...

Class images and great site.I found your site via others really enjoyed it. Will follow yours and add your blog to ones i follow. If you have time to look in on mine would be pleased.

sebi_2569 said...

nice blog and nice photo; bravo

Chris said...

Wow i did not know i was a mind reader ;-)

sebi_2569 said...

nice photo; and nice blog congratulations

Shelley Banks said...

Great photos! I was at Grasslands last weekend, and wish I'd got as good a shot of the prairie dog in purple vetch as yours. (Yes, I have the pd/pv, but not so detailed.) Beautiful birds, too!