While out for an evening walk with Suz, our conversation was interupted by a flash of orange in the spruce tree beside us. We turned and right at eye level 2m away was a smart looking black bird with orange markings and a white bar on the wing. I couldn’t figure out what it was and had to ID it at home. Lo and behold it was a Black Headed Grosbeak a very rare visitor to this region. I reported the sighting to those who are interested in these things. When time permits, I’ll lurk this location with my camera.
Banff National Park has only one other sighting of this guy near Vermillion Lakes. Alberta sightings have been mostly in Waterton.
While work is delayed, I have the opportunity to take a weekend course in mountain weather forecasting. The course is being taught by the Alpine Club’s Rod Plasman and promises to focus on local weather patterns and forecasting. Up to now my weather forecasting skills, which are pretty good up north, are little better than studying entrails here in the mountains! I’m looking forward to making some sense out of the complex factors that affect local weather. Rod is a great teacher who was the driving force behind the backcountry course Suz and I took this January and February.