NWT Big Day - PART 5

Our last bird as we left Hay River was a group of 13 AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER walking around a vacant lot filled with trash! Below is a pic of one of the group.

We left Hay River with 133 species and knowing that we really had very few gaps left in the list! Our final destination was Yellowknife, which was almost 450 km or about 5 hours straight driving to the north. As there was now a bridge over the west arm of Great Slave Lake, we didnt need to worry about the ferry over this site! The road was in excellent condition with virtually no traffic and we made good time. Several speculative stops along the way added TUNDRA SWAN, CANVASBACK and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW.
The next key stop was km 90 of Hwy 3 on the way north to Yellowknife. A report on eBird mentioned a marsh here with BLACK TERNS so we thought it was worth a shot. When we arrived at the appointed kilometer marker there was the marsh, and it was full of BLACK TERNS!!! Unfortunately there was only a narrow viewing angle to the wetland by looking down an old flooded road bed that led to the lake and marsh. I decided to grab my rubber boots and walk the hundred meters along the flooded road to where it provided a full view of the lake. Paul waited to see what I would find. I was thrilled to find 13 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, 2 SURF SCOTERS, and several pairs of RED-NECKED GREBES! I returned to the road and Paul donned the one pair of rubber boots and now repeated the process while I watched. Below is a pic of him wading back from a successful mission!


We finally arrived in Yellowknife around 10:30 pm but the sun was still up and there was lots of light for finding birds. Unfortunately we had few possibilities left to find here! Nonetheless we did enjoy a wonderful view of the harbour and below are some pics of a cottage in evening light and the sunset when it finally came after 11 pm! It was a beautiful way to end a fantastic day with our final total being a record Big Day for the NWT of 145 species!!!!


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