After 12 years in Canada, I saw my first wild beavers!

After 12 years in Canada, I saw my first wild beavers!

We had quite a fun packed day yesterday. First off we drove up to the Crossiron Mills Mall to do some shopping. We both needed some new trainers, or sneakers as they call them here and Chris needed some t-shirts, so off we went.

Crossirons is an outlet mall that does obviously have a lot of outlet stores, but also a lot of non-outlet stores as well. We like this mall as it has plenty of down to earth shops that don't cost a fortune. 

The first place we headed off to was Second Cup for their delicious hot chocolate and a chocolate muffin for me and a slice of lemon cake for Chris. Then we hit the stores! We both really like Skechers footwear as they are usually really comfortable. There are several shops in the mall who sell them, so we went in a few before going to the actual Skechers outlet. We both ended up finding a pair we liked and even better was that the second pair had 30% off, so not too bad at all. Next, it was time to shop for clothing for Chris. He managed to get a couple of polo shirts and some socks. We then had lunch before we returned home. 

We pottered around for a couple of hours, had dinner and then headed out to Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. We haven't been here since last fall and we were looking forward to seeing some birds and really hoped to see the muskrats again or even better, a beaver.

Now, we have lived in Canad for 12 years and even though I've seen literally hundreds of beaver dams and lodges, I have never seen a live beaver in the wild. I say live, as I have seen roadkill. Chris has seen one when out photographing back in Ontario, but I was still waiting for that elusive moment.

We got there about 6:30 pm and the first things we saw was some Common Goldeneye ducks. A male and a female were swimming in the river and I managed to get a quick photo or two of the male. 

We wandered along the trail and suddenly we found a herd of mule deer. They were so close and didn't seem in the slightest bit bothered by us. In total there were about 10 or 12 of them along the riverbank and one young one who was almost within touching distance of us. 

This is the closest we have been to deer, so this encounter really made our day. We would have been very happy if we hadn't managed to see anything else, but we had a treat in store. 

Wandering along the riverside trail we saw the beaver lodge where we had previously seen muskrats, so hoped to see them again. But, as I was looking down the river, I noticed a disturbance in the water and low and behold a beaver was swimming towards us. A real live beaver!

As it turned out we followed the beaver and he was soon greeted by another beaver. They actually seemed to kiss as they touched noses and talked to each other in little squeaks and hums. They then proceeded to groom each other in the water for ages. We managed to get some good photos as a video.

After about ten minutes, they split up and one of them swam to the bank and got out within a few feet of us. Again, some photos and a video.

To say we were overjoyed with this encounter would be a complete understatement. Not only did I get to see my first beaver, I actually saw two. They were really close too and not at all bothered by us. I feel so privileged to have seen these amazing creatures.

There is a lot of beaver activity in the sanctuary and I couldn't resist taking a photo of some of their handiwork.

I also managed to get a quick photo of a robin which turned out pretty good. Well, for me anyway!

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By now, it was starting to get dark, so we left and returned hope, completely elated. Then we had a brilliant sunset over the mountains to really end this day on a high.

Hawks, Deer, Prairie Dogs and Grizzly Bears in the Rockies

Hawks, Deer, Prairie Dogs and Grizzly Bears in the Rockies

A snowy day in the Alberta Rockies

A snowy day in the Alberta Rockies