Wings Over The Rockies – Part I

Last week I had the opportunity to visit The Wings Over The Rockies festival, a festival of birding just south of me in Invermere, BC.

I attended a few events over the course of the week and was very surprised at the attendance of the events and the knowledge and passion of the local birding crowd.

Although I would not consider myself a birder I certainly enjoy photographing various bird species, especially of the raptor variety.

The interest in the festival was to get out with some bird experts and like minded people into some Kootenay wilderness and to see if I could make some nice photos of local migratory species. I returned from the festival with some new contacts, a few nice photos and memories of some of the most passionate and accepting people I have ever encountered.

Birder or not, I would seriously recommend taking in an event or two next year.

My first event was an early morning at Burges and James Gadsden Provincial Park. Despite its beauty, this park is not well marked and coincidentally not well known, even to most locals. Ellen Zimmerman is an exception to this rule and was our volunteer guide for the trip. With her help, our eager group set out to walk along the parks’ dikes, peering through the brush lining the Columbia river looking for shapes, shadows and signs of other species.

A flock of Mountain Bluebirds was out to greet us and splashed in the puddles on the grassy field.


The sky was overcast and the light was soft making for some nice shadowless scenes.


Later in the week I met a group for another early start in Invermere. Our leader was the knowledgeable and exuberant Cathy Parkes, a local Invermere artist who promised to divulge some Bald eagle and osprey nesting sites. Cathy arrived at the meeting location with a trunk full of owl pellets she was giving away to interested parties. I reluctantly declined to acquire a pellet.

One of first stops was near an osprey nest where we watched this one tearing into some breakfast.  He later dropped the fish and it nearly landed on my car.

Although the rest of the day produced few sharable photographs it was a great time and I really enjoyed the trip.

Cathy also knew of a raven nest that we visited later on in the day.

Thank-you to all of the Wings Over The Rockies volunteers and the organizing committee. I hope to return next year and the one after.


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