Banff: Wildlife on the doorstep

Sunday was a day-off skiing for Ruth and Tim, and for me too for that matter.  That means a day for chores including a visit to the launderette with big bags of laundry.  On the way back we heard a hammering noise as we crossed the hotel car park to get to the apartment and traced the noise to a woodpecker seemingly intent on ripping chunks out of a pine tree presumably to get at the aphids and other insects overwintering under the bark.

It was not at all put out by being watched and we managed to get quite close without scaring it off.  It looked to be covered in down or fur rather than sleek feathers and I certainly didn’t recognise it.  Looking it up on the internet it turns out it was a Hairy Woodpecker.  There are so many things on this planet that I haven’t heard of let alone seen.  But that’s one off the invisible list.

First sighting of Hairy Woodpecker

Russet patch on its head clearly visible

Hanging around

Ripping chunks out of the bark

Sunday was also noteworthy fort the fact that we also ate in two of Banff’s iconic eating places.  We had breakfast mid-morning in Melissa’s, apparently famous for breakfasts, timing our arrival perfectly and going straight to a table.  By the time we left there must have been 20-30 people in the queue waiting to be seated.  In the evening we ate in Bumpers Steak House at the edge of town, famous for steaks and with the slogan: “If you haven’t been to Bumpers you haven’t been to Banff” . Both meals very enjoyable.

And a walk back under clear, starlit skies and plummeting temperatures.  The planned walk for tomorrow should be good.


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