Banff: A National Treasure Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

After visiting Peyto Lake, we headed to magnificent Bow Lake, which has views of two glaciers; Bow Glacier and Crowfoot Glacier as well as views of Wapta Icefield, Bow Peak, Mount Thompson and Crowfoot Mountain.

We were at Peyto Lake in search of a small, cute mammal at home on rocky slopes: the Pika. Giving high-pitched alarm calls when they spot danger, the Pika, also known as the ‘rock rabbit’ or the ‘whistling hare’, is always alert. After waiting a dozen minutes or so and getting eaten alive in the process, we found Pika on the scree slopes at Bow Lake.  The sight of these short-limbed creatures was well worth the bites though.

As we walked around the lake, we also saw a family of Barn Swallows and a group of Clark’s Nutcrackers.

The best bird sight however, was a White-crowned Sparrow drinking water from the lake’s edge right next to us.

By the time we had finished our walk, it was early evening and we headed back to Johnston Canyon Campground. On the way back, along the Bow Valley Parkway, we spotted a family of black bears; a mother with two young by the side of the road. The bears were contentedly munching on grass and gave us only the occasional glance. It was definitely a beautiful sight to behold.

We arrived back at the campground and I did a short walk beside Johnston Creek as the sun began to set and the thrushes began to sing with renewed vigour before the night closed in.

The third and final part will come on Thursday.

Posted by Matthew Sim

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