On June 1st Paul Pratt and myself made our third attempt at a big day in Alberta. In 2009 we tallied 207 species and in 2010 we tallied 213. After the success of these days we firmly believed it was possible that a new Canadian big day record might be achievable in Alberta. Since 1987, the province of Manitoba has held the national big day record. For most of that time it was 205 species until Paul and I tallied 212 species in Manitoba five years ago. That record was best by a team from Manitoba that reached 214 species three years later.

We are happy to report that on June 1st we tallied 218 species wholly within the province of Alberta to establish a new Canadian big day record. Our route took us from the boreal forest in the Cold Lake area to Waterton National Park in the southwest. Full details of the big day will appear in the 2011 ABA list and big day report.

The day was so intense that I had virtually no chance to take any photos. Here are two that document some memorable moments (sunrise over English bay picnic site on the west side of Cold Lake and a White-rumped Sandpiper).

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