Pre-AGM Extension Trip – June 18 –21, 2019

Southern Alberta Prairie Potholes and Foothills

Lots of birds, spectacular scenery, and completely new areas for most members to explore will mean a feast of highlights for all participants. Meet up with your BCFO friends, make some new ones, and enjoy some spectacular birding.

This year’s Extension Trip is offered as a pre-conference event. We start and end the tour in Calgary from where it is about a three-hour, comfortable drive to Golden and the AGM.

Photo: Daniel Arndt

NOTE: The Registration and Payment pages for the AGM and Extension will open at 9:00 am PDT April 6, 2019. In order to participate in the Extension, you must be a current BCFO member, and registered for the AGM.

The fixed opening time for registrations and payments gives equal opportunity for members throughout the province and elsewhere to sign up for the Extension and avoid the vagaries in postal service from more remote parts of the province. You may certainly ask someone to register for you, if you are unable to make the opening time, or do not have internet service.

Photo: Daniel Arndt

BFCO Extension Trip 2019
Southern Alberta Prairie Potholes and Foothills – June 18-21, 2019


Day 0: June 17, 2019 18:30 – Meet your leader and co-participants at Avenue 16 Kitchen and Bar for dinner and socializing:
Accommodation: Four Points Sheraton, Calgary West

Day 1: June 18, 2019
Morning – Depart Hotel at 4:15 AM for early morning birding for Yellow Rail, Sedge Wren, LeConte’s and Nelson’s Sparrow. Birding north towards Winchell Lake, Water Valley and area for eastern boreal specialties like Sandhill Crane, Great Gray Owl, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Blue Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Winter Wren, Evening Grosbeak, Bobolink, Baltimore Oriole, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Tennessee Warbler, Connecticut Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, and many others. Bird NW of Cochrane until lunch time. Lunch at Water Valley Saloon. Opportunities for coffee/snack/restroom stop in Water Valley early in the day.

Afternoon – Depart Water Valley and head due east towards Hanna. Birding various prairie potholes, wetlands, and roadsides. Target species include Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Northern Pintail, Canvasback, Redhead, Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Western Grebe, Clark’s Grebe, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Piping Plover, Upland Sandpiper, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Wilson’s Phalarope, Franklin’s Gull, Black Tern, American White Pelican, Swainson’s Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk.
Accommodation: Canalta Hanna

Day 2: June 19, 2019
Morning – Depart Hotel at 5:30 for birding along the highway south towards Dinosaur Provincial Park. Bird Dinosaur Provincial Park in the morning. Target species for the early morning birding in the area include Upland Sandpiper, Ferruginous Hawk, White-faced Ibis, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Least Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Brown Thrasher, Loggerhead Shrike, Rock Wren, Veery, Lark Sparrow, Baird’s Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
Lunch options at either Patricia Hotel or visitor’s center in Dinosaur Provincial Park.

Afternoon – Depart Dinosaur Provincial Park and bird the prairies between the park and Brooks. Prairie target species include Sharp-tailed Grouse, Common Nighthawk, Upland Sandpiper, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Wilson’s Phalarope, Burrowing Owl, Sprague’s Pipit, Chestnut-collared Longspur, McCown’s Longspur, Grasshopper Sparrow, Brewer’s Sparrow, Lark Sparrow, Lark Bunting, Baird’s Sparrow, and Yellow-breasted Chat.
Accommodation: Days Inn, Brooks

Day 3: June 20, 2019
Morning – Depart Hotel at 5:30 for birding at near Brooks. Specific location dependent on prairie species that we’ve missed so far, but likely include habitat for Grasshopper Sparrow, Baird’s Sparrow, Brewer’s Sparrow, Chestnut-collared Longspur, McCown’s Longspur, Burrowing Owl, Long-billed Curlew, Upland Sandpiper, and Sprague’s Pipit.
Lunch – Lots of options in the town of Brooks, Vulcan, or High River, dependent on amount of ground covered.

Afternoon – Birding prairie potholes en route back to Calgary. Target species include White-faced Ibis, Ferruginous Hawk, Upland Sandpiper, Long-billed Curlew, Purple Martin, Baird’s Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, longspur sp., Burrowing Owl, and Sprague’s Pipit.
Accommodation: Wingate by Wyndham South

Day 4: June 21, 2019
Morning – Depart hotel at 5:30 for birding southwest of Calgary. Target species include Spruce Grouse, Dusky Grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Yellow Rail, Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Evening Grosbeak, White-winged Crossbill, Ovenbird, Tennessee Warbler, and Northern Waterthrush, along with any other species we missed on our first day of birding. Starting along Sheep River valley, then working our way north and west towards Kananaskis Country.

Trip should wrap up around 1 pm at the Four Points Sheraton West (where we stayed the first night) with plenty of lunch locations around. Driving time between west Calgary and Golden for registration for AGM Conference is approximately 3 hours.

Transportation (included in price)
Three SUV’s are being rented for the trip, and will be boarded in Calgary. Five persons, including a driver, will occupy each of the three vehicles. A number of the locations to be visited on this tour will require 4×4 capability. No private vehicles will be used.

Look forward to some adventurous birding.

Cost $350.00 per person.

Additional Costs
You can expect an additional approximately $50.00 per person to cover fuel costs. This amount will be collected at the end of the tour and will comprise the actual fuel expenditures for the tour. Actual distances travelled, off-road conditions, and fuel prices are unfortunately not precisely known in advance.

Group rates, listed below, have been arranged for this BCFO tour.

Download full itinerary pdf here.

Day 0
Four Points by Sheraton, Calgary West

Day 1
Canalta, Hanna

Day 2
Days Inn, Brooks

Day 3
Wingate, Calgary South

All above include breakfast.

Private Charter Transport from Calgary to Golden
Beyond Banff Inc
tel # 1-587-897-1354

Xplore Golden Tours
tel# 250-939-8419

Photo: Daniel Arndt