Canada West Day 4 - Elk Island National Park

Wednesday, 10 May 2023 01:58

Last night’s heavy rain passed overnight leaving a pleasant morning for a visit to Elk Island National Park, my first of the trip. So, annual pass in place I was quickly enjoying bison gently grazing. I accepted the ranger warning to stay in the car if they were close and stay 100m away outside the vehicle. A nice way to start. I had driven out earlyish as rain was forecast for the afternoon. I picked three shortish trails which made clear that this is a beaver dominated landscape. A combination of birch and black pine surrounding boggy areas and some sizeable lakes, like Astotin where I actually saw a beaver (maybe a muskrat) alongside a curious grebe. It is a sizeable lake and the trail was the hlighlight of my wandering. Away from the lake the typical landscape was easy to view and strongly beaver territory. There were little birds to enjoy along the way with scaup, buffleneck, red-winged black bird and some I don’t know. After a snack lunch the eastern sky darkened with towereing clouds to the west and I got some use of my Arianespace rain poncho, it’s first since the Iguazu Falls in Brazil 5 years ago. It did not come to much but when the distant thunder got a bit closer I decided retreat was the sensible plan. It turned out to have made the drive to Edmonton worthwhile