Wings Over The Rockies – Part II

Later on in the week, I attended a wildlife tracking seminar with Northstar Bushcraft’s Nick Furfaro. Nick is passionate about survival and tracking and this shows in his courses and talks. Although I didn’t manage to take away any interesting photographs, I always learn a lot with Nick and end up taking away knowledge that I am sure will come in handy while walking around in the bush.

The real highlight for my week was the last day I attended. Brian Keating was at both events I attended on the Friday of the festival. As an unexpected bonus, Brian and I were paired up during a “Birding by Golf Cart” event, exactly what it sounds like. We looked a bit like a group of clown cars attacking a golf course at 7am, long lenses and binoculars in hand, a really fun way to go looking for wildlife.

We managed to get a look at a number of species, and this playful Northern Flicker turned out to be quite cooperative.

A number early birders on the trip were hoping to see a Lewis’s Woodpecker out on the course. I was not familiar with this species, but thanks to the avid birders on the trip we ourselves flocked to a tree where the mystery bird had landed. I noticed the lack of pecking wood, something you would expect based on the name.

Some research has uncovered an interesting fact, that the Lewis does not often bore holes in the trees for insects but feeds mostly by catching flies out of mid air. Something of a “fly-hawk” perhaps more than a woodpecker.


I found myself in Radium with a couple of hours to spare before my next event. During this pause I explored a few seldom used roads in the area and stumbled upon a protected wilderness area near Wilmer, BC. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of this area before.

A narrow pathway led me down some rolling hills winding around some small hoodoos and descending towards some wetlands near the Columbia River. The park was alive with bird life and although they remained unseen at least to me, there were some obvious signs of carnivores in the area, including an entire hind leg of a small deer.

I sat in the wetlands for about an hour attempting to become invisible and managed to get a few images I was happy with.

It was odd to end the festival in a conference room in the basement of the Fairmont Hot Spring Resort as I had been attending outside events for the entire week.

I enjoyed a tuna sandwich and coffee while I watched videos of some of Brian and Dee Keating’s latest travel adventures. While the videos played, Brian narrated the video and told us of some of the challenges carrying gear and pleading with the counter agent for a business class upgrade.

If you have the chance to see Brian speak, please take the opportunity to go. You will be happy that you did.

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