Lifers in Edmonton, Alberta

After waiting for my fellow traveler, renting a car, heading over to the motel to drop off our luggage, we drove to Elk Island National Park just outside Edmonton. It is a pretty nice park although it can be hit-or-miss if you want to see megafauna such as moose, elk, and/or bison.

Sky-watching from Elk Island National Park
The weather was very nice when we were in the car. Out of the car, however, was another story...

The beautiful park ranger at the information center told us the best place to see a bison was to go on the "Bison Loop Road" where we drove a small loop looking for wildlife (almost like an African Safari). Unfortunately, it was quite disappointing because we didn't see any bisons there at all. And our rental car is red!!

Plains Bison (Bison bison bison)
However, while driving back from the North Gate, we came across this single male Plains Bison feeding on the roadside!!!

Plains Bison (Bison bison bison)
This is why I think it is a Plains Bison.

Just munching away.

Looking at its mangy fur.

After leaving the bison to be bothered by other travelers, we came across this Coyote parading through the road without a care.

A bison wallow. We got off the car and were walking along the Shirley Lake Trail but ended up on the wrong path and had to walked back to the car on the main road, in the road. And we didn't see a single bison either.

On our second try through the Bison Loop Road, we saw no bison but a few Richardson's Ground Squirrels (a.k.a. flickertail, Urocitellus richardsonii) though.

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor)
On our way out of the park, we were across the highway and checked out the entrance of the Wood Bison Trail, where we saw these birds!

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

LinkBlack Tern (Chlidonias niger)
Including this lifer - Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)!

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger)
There were two of them, and they were skimming the water, probably looking for insects.

After going to EINP, we then drove to the Edmonton and headed to the University of Alberta campus. My impression? Very big, very clean, lots of interesting and beautiful buildings, also many places in construction, and many magpies and jackrabbits! It is probably the two animals that impress me the most about this school.

White-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii)
The White-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii) , although it is more of a hare than a rabbit.

White-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus townsendii)

And then the Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) that is very similar to the magpie I saw back in Taiwan!

Holding on the slippery rail.

Climbing on tree.

Common Magpie (Pica pica)
Looking as handsome as any bird out there.

So many lifers today - bison, ground squirrel, Ruddy Duck (not photographed), tern, jackrabbit, and magpie. Such a great day!

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