Ian McTaggart Cowan

Ian McTaggart Cowan field notes (1930, journal) : Newgate, B.C. (East Kootenays) ; Jasper and Banff, Alberta

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-2- May 7, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing took large [female symbol] and small [male symbol] flying squirrels in tamarack swamp. In afternoon visited Loon Lake 9 miles northeast of Newgate. Several large prairies on the way. Redwing blackbirds, song sparrows and red-tail hawk nesting; black-headed jay taken. Holboell grebes. May 8, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Set line of traps at Loon Lake for voles in sphagnum bog. Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing took small [female symbol] flying squirrel. May 9, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing caught a single vole in the sphagnum. Looks like M. [Microtus] drummondi [underlined]. None of my traps touched. Snails eaten, also sedge. Set line for flying squirrels. May 10, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Nothing in traps at Loon Lake. Shot [male symbol] redwing. Mr [Hamilton Mack] Laing shot horned owl and [female symbol] cooper's hawk. I took [male symbol] Cooper's hawk. These were a breeding pair. [female symbol] had double ovaries; owl had grasshoppers and mouse in stomach. Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing set for flying squirrels. May 11, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing took a large [male symbol] and [female symbol] flying squirrel and a pocket gopher at Loon Lake. None of my traps sprung. In afternoon I took 5 chipmunks on the bench at the west of the Kootenay and north of the bridges. One juv. [juvenile] ground squirrel. May 12, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Loon Lake, 6 horned grebes, 3 coots, 2 Holboell grebes, 1 pied-billed grebe, Sora. Mr [Hamilton Mack] Laing shot 2 blackbirds with much brown. I shot a [female symbol] blackbird. Found mallards nest, 8 eggs. I set 20 small traps and Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing 17. No flying squirrels. I took [male symbol] ad. [adult] ground squirrel. May 13, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] At Loon Lake, took a [male symbol] flying squirrel, small and very red. Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing took a juv. [juvenile] vole and a peromyscus. Lifted all traps. Examined prairies. Nothing but a few ground squirrels and jasper sparrows. One sharp-tailed grouse. Heard a black-throated grey [words crossed out] Townsend [handwritten] warbler. Marginalia: STJA [Steller's Jay]
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-3- May 14, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Set traps up Meadow Creek. Found large 4 point white-tail horns in old cabin. Saw first Arkansas [western] [handwritten above] kingbirds. Saw large yellow coyotes in meadow on west side of river. No badger east of bridge and 2 to 3 miles back. May 15, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Took 1 M. [Microtus] mordax [underlined] and 4 Peromyscus [underlined]. Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing took a jump- ing mouse on Meadow Creek. I also saw one. They were in the thickets of briar or snowberry. Took a pair of downy woodpeckers. Thrush and Hummers [Hummingbirds] back. Rufous hummingbird arrived [handwritten] May 16, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Took 3 [male symbol] Zapus [underlined] in grassy area west of irrigation flume over Meadow Creek, on Mr. Tomlinson's ground, 2 Mordax [underlined] ad. [adults] 2 juv. [juveniles] and 1 short-tailed vole. Cowbirds and warbling vireo, yellow-throat and western tanager back. House wrens common. arrival date for all 4 [handwritten] May 17, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Caught 3 [male symbol] Zapus same places as yesterday. Lifted the traps and reset over the Smith's ranch. A little vole sign and muskrat sign. Took caliope hummer [calliope hummingbird], [female symbol] cooper's hawk and yellow-throat. Saw fox sparrow. Groundsquirrels very common. May 18, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Went up to Smith Lakes, Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing took 3 large short-tailed voles, I took 2 voles and 2 jumpers at Tomlinson's. In afternoon I set two badger traps on the Smith place and Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing took a pair of western bluebirds. May 19, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Raining - went fishing and caught 4 trout. Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing set 5 muskrat traps on Smith Lake and a badger trap in the old den. In P.M. [afternoon] examined Deatt ranch area. May 20, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Rain all day. Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing took muskrat and I set trap for one. A gopher had been eaten out of badger trap. May 21, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Rain- fine P.M. [afternoon] I took a muskrat and Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing caught a small [male symbol] badger 16 3/4 in same burrow as my large 30 [male symbol]. Lifted all traps. P.M. [afternoon] I examined Linn place for badger, a lot of fresh work, set 2 traps.
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-4- May 22, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Traps visited but not sprung. Shot [female symbol] Williamson sapsucker and olive-backed thrush. Caught young kildeer. Set another badger trap. May 23, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Went up Gold Creek. Found flying squirrel's nest, 3 1/2 feet off ground in a hollow bur [space left] in a small fir, [female symbol] and 3 small young taken. Nest made of black "Old Man's beard" moss. [female symbol] stomach full of same. Drove a [male symbol] flying squirrel from hole in stump and shot him, Rocky Mt. [Mountain] jays, olive-sided flycatcher and Townsend's warblers seen. Townsends singing like black- throated gray. Bear sign examined, contained vegetation, such as grass and lupine. May 24, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Rained. Shot [male symbol] badger, 23 1/2 lbs. [pounds] as he was entering den at 7 o'clock in morning. Lost another that pulled out of the trap. May 25, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Skinned badger in morning. Stomach contained [female symbol] and 3 young ground squirrels. Young ones had been bitten in back of head and swallowed whole. Old one torn into 5 or 6 pieces and eaten in chunks. May 26, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Went due northeast on range to small lake north of Tamarack swamp. On the grassy uplands I took a pair of horned larks and saw 6 or 8 more. Took pigmy nuthatch and [female symbol] squirrel that had completed moult except for tail. Badger abroad at 4.30 P.M. Set traps for voles in bearberry in timber. May 27, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] A.M. [morning] Followed boundary back past Tamarack swamp then north and west towards Horseshoe Lake. On rise west of lake took pair of dusky horned larks; took pigmy nuthatch and moulted red squirrel. In traps on west side of river in Tamarack woods, took bearberry vole, [female symbol] ad. [adult] P.M. [afternoon] skinned and set out more traps. Took redstart and Alaska three-toed woodpecker. Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing 22 1/2 lb. [pound] badger. May 28, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Went back to horned lark prairie and took 5 [male symbol], 1 [female symbol] and 2 juv. [juvenile] Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing 1 [male symbol], 1 [female symbol] and 2 juv. [juvenile] [female symbol] McCown longspur. Saw pair of Bartram sandpipers and 12 sharp-tailed grouse. Set traps for voles around rocks on prairie. May 29, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Thunderstorm. Went back to prairie, 1 [male symbol] and 2 [female symbol] larks. Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing another [female symbol] McCown longspur. Took [male symbol] and [female symbol] adults of the voles
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-5- by the rock pile. These are small and dark with black, dark feet. 5 ...........and one [space left]. Baited up traps for bearberry vole. Took Bendict Crossbill. Red [handwritten] May 30, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Rain all day. May 31, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Took adult [male symbol] bearberry vole in some burrows, [Phenacomys intermedius levis] [editorial insertion by author] as adult [female symbol] eating lupine and bearberry make very fine runways - midden heaps and dry earth closets. Took [female symbol] Richard squirrel that had completed moult. June 1, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Dull, occassional [occasional] showers. Broke camp. June 2, 1930, Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Left Newgate 2.30, arrived Cranbrook 11.00. Left 1.30 arrived Radium Hot Springs 5.30 and stayed there, because Mrs. [Hamilton Mack] Laing [Ethel Hart] ill. Description of country around Newgate, B.C. [British Columbia] Kootenay River flows north and south through centre of area covered. On each bank of this river is the usual thick growth of black poplar (P. [Populus] trichocarpa) with some spruce and juniper, On the nom flood areas. On the west side of the river is a belt of jack pine and douglas fir with the jack pine predominating. Directly west of our camp is an area of farm land and back of that a short stretch, about a square mile, of more or less open plain where the chief vegetation is the shrub Kuntzia. In this area the Col. [Columbian] ground squirrel and pocket gophers are very abundant and consequently most of the badger work is confined to this area and for a short distance into the surrounding woods. This area is bordered on the west by an open forest of douglas fir and western larch that rapidly becomes thicker and changes its character as the altitude increases until in a few miles it is a thick spruce and pine forest with a few douglas fir. More to the northwest there is quite a lot of cultivated land where the open forest has been cleared. The cultivated areas cling closely to the course of Meadow Creek. This creek rises in the mountains to the west and flows south and east receiving the drainage from the Smith Lakes - two small bodies of water on the Smith Ranch, - and continue to flow into the Kootenay a few hundred
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-6- yards above the International Boundary. Five miles north and also coming in from the west is Gold Creek, this is bordered by the Poplar belt and then the thick woods and has quite a number of beavers. On the east side of the river above the poplar belt is a belt of jack pine and douglas fir of perhaps two miles width and then the true open Tobacco Plains. Col. [Columbian] ground squirrels are common. Pocket gophers give evidence of having been very abundant, but are now very scarce; badgers absent probably due to the proximity of an Indian Reserve. In the high areas of the Tobacco Plains, near Horseshoe Lake there is a large colony of horned larks, a pair of Bartram sandpipers and 12 or 14 pairs of sharp-tailed grouse. About a mile to the south of the Horseshoe Lake is what is locally known as 'the Tamarack Swamp'. It is a fair sized patch of timber made up for the most part of western larch and douglas fir. (In this, flyings squirrels were found). Loon Lake is a small body of water lying in the thick woods about nine miles northeast of Newgate and very close to the Indian Reserve. Flying squirrels were found in this area also. Notes on Badger [underlined]. Are out mostly at night but have twice found them abroad, in daylight, once at 7 A.M. and once at 4 P.M. Nest dug out at the end. No nest. Stomach of one contained 3 young ground- squirrels and 1 adult [female symbol]. Young had been bitten once in back of head and eaten whole. Old one pulled in 4 or 5 pieces and bolted. They can dig out nest of pocket gopher and must locate it by hearing. Ground squirrels take possession of old badger workings and badger regularly returns to these and gets the gophers. Weights of 4 [male symbols] from Newgate 16 3/4, 22 1/2 and 30 lbs. [pounds] Do not roam on cold or wet nights in the spring. Seem to come out about every other night. June 3, 1930, Radium Hot Springs, B.C. [British Columbia] Left Radium Hot Springs at 9 A.M. arrived Banff 1.10. Left at 2 P.M., arrived Calgary 5.10, left 6.30, arrived Innesfail [Innisfail] 9.15, 300 miles. Between Radium and Banff saw 1 rabbit, very dark; 15 or 20 mule deer - horns very small - not yet showing points; 12 ram mountain sheep; 1 muskrat. Between Banff and Calgary, Richardson's ground squirrel; 20 or 30 mountains sheep ewes. Between Calgary and Innisfail, 4 jack-rabbits and 1 varying hare, Chestnut coloured. Longspurs and prairie horned larks common.
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-7- June 4, 1930 Left Innesfail [Innisfail] 8.15, arrived Edmonton 12.15, 130 miles. Saw Franklin, Richardson and striped ground squirrels, Jack rabbit, wounded swainson's hawk. Left Edmonton 2.30 arrived Entwistle 8.30 - 72 miles, roads terrible on account of rain. Ovenbirds and white-throated sparrows common. Song of ovenbird "Teacher, teacher teacher" in rising crescendo. White-throated sparrow. "poor will Canada - canada- canada". June 5, 1930 Left Entwistle 11 A.M. arrived Edson 5.30 P.M., 72 miles road terrible, got stuck 3 times, once pulled out by team. Left Edson 6.15 arrived Seabolt ranch at Park Gate 8.30 P.M. 68 miles road good. June 6, 1930 Arrived at Jasper on good road. Saw many mountain sheep and deer. A ram ran 30 miles per hour in front of the car for 100 yards. June 7, 1930 Went to Pyramid Lake. Saw deer, beaver, mountain goat, Audubon, Myrtle and Tennessee Warblers. June 8, 1930. Walked to Cabin Lake in A.M. Saw solitary sandpiper - female, Mourning dove. Went to Malign canyon in P.m., saw cow elk, 3 deer, dipper, ruby throated hummingbird and Harlequin duck [male symbol]. No brownish on back at all. June 9, 1930. Went to Warden [Frank] Bryant's station at Snaring and made camp. Very windy. June 10, 1930. Raining all day. Took 2 squirrels [male symbol] and [female symbol] - female has moulted, male moulting. Saw moose, 5 deer, 1 bear. June 11, 1930. Raining, put out traps in evening. Took 2 squirrels.
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-8- June 12, 1930 Took 1 Peromyscus and 1 jumping mouse and 1 Callospermophilus Took cowbird, otter and Peromyscus. Otter large [female symbol] poor, 22 lbs. [pounds] Teeth very worn; upper left [right?]; Incisor [space left] 3 worn to below gum. Canine broken below gum 1/4 in. [inches] still hanging by gum. Broken end worn smooth; cavity filled with fish scales. 3 premolars not much worn. 1st [first] molar not much worn but showing marked decay. [space left] 2nd [second] molar worn. Left upper. Incisors worn. Canine showing nerve cavity. 1st [first] premolar almost normal, 2nd [second] preomolar just visible through gum in one spot. 3rd [third] premolar worn to gum level. 1st [first] molar, anterio-cusp not showing, posterior-cusp just showing through gum. 2nd [second] molar much worn and showing decay in hollows. Lower right. Incisors worn to gum level, canine worn to nerve cavity, decided groove in posterio lateral surface. 3 premolars almost normal. 1st [first] molar absent, 2nd [second] broken and decayed on broken surface (anterior). 3rd [third] molar fairly good. Lower left. Incisors worn, canine worn more than right. 1st [first] premolar worn to gum. 2nd [second] and 3rd [third] worn. 1st [first] molar broken and piece still in place. 2nd [second] molar broken laterally break decayed. 3rd [third] molar normal. June 16, 1930 Left Snaring at 8.15, party, Mr. [Frank] Bryant, Kathleen Bryant, Sid. [Syd] Williams, myself and 3 horses. Rained at 9 A.M. and off and on the rest of the day. Stopped for lunch at Jacques Creek. Saw yellow Dryas [underlined], small pink phlox, 10 mountain goat, 2 flocks of mountain sheep. Arrived at camp at 3 P.M. put up tents and set out 15 traps. G.[Golden]-crowned kinglets, hermit thrush, robins, T. [Townsend's] solitaire, chickadee. June 17, 1930 Has snowed all night. Nothing in traps. Packed and left at 10 A.M. Arrived Swiftwater camp at noon. Off saddled and went fishing, 8 fish. Snowed all afternoon. Went to Summit of Merlin Pass, 3 feet of packed snow, 6000'. Porcupine tracks seen. Set 7 marten traps on way down. June 18, 1930. Raining and snowing. Went fishing, 40 fish. In afternoon went to poachers' camp and found wolverine skull. Went up to Jacques Pass and set 6 marten traps. Took pair of Hudsonian chickadees and nest of eggs; 1 broken. Mouse traps took nothing.
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-9- June 19, 1930. Merlin Pass line. One squirrel, 1 Evotomys [underlined] and a marten had pulled out. Put spring poles on all traps. Jacques Pass line, 1 Evotomys [underlined] , 1 marten [male symbol] and a squirrel. June 21, 1930. Moderately five most of the day. Took red-backed mouse and had squirrel eaten out of trap. Took another juvenile squirrel. June 22, 1930. Got up at 5 A.M., lifted Merlin Pass line. Took Phenacomys in trap set by willow cuttings on banks of Swift- water. Fish heads in runway. [paragraph crossed out] Description of Swiftwater, alt. [altitude] 4000' approx. [approximately] The Swiftwater is a small tributary of the Rocky which is itself a tributary of the Athabasca. It flows in a general east and west direction. The spot on which we were camped was in virgin spruce woods. Undergrowth was wanting and the smaller mammals very scarce. Marten had always been numerous as evinced by the numbers of old sets found around the trails. The main trail leads from mile 15 on the Jasper highway up Jacques creek to the pass of the same name, drops down into the Swiftwater valley and then continues up over Merlin Pass and down to Canyon Creek and Jacques Lake. On the way Jacques Creek on the left or east side of the valley there are extensive grassy slopes between the aspen woods and the rocky peaks. Here Bighorn sheep and goats are very common. In the pass itself at 6000 or 6500 feet there are quite a number of moose. Warden [Frank] Bryant tells me that they were there in midwinter also. June 22, 1930. Got up at 5 A.M., lifted Merlin Pass line. Took Phenacomys in trap set by willow cuttings on banks of Swift- water. Fish heads in runway. Took Peromyscus in one of the other traps. Mr. [Frank] Bryant killed [male symbol] Porky on trail to Jacques Pass. Saw black bear. In Pass saw olive-sided flycatcher, Gambel's sparrow, yellow-throated chipping sparrow, junco. Arrived in valley at 4 o'clock, 15 miles in 6 hours. June 23, 1930. Visited Coyote set - sprung by bear. Went to town.
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June 24, 1930. Took 1 jumping mouse and 2 Peromyscus on bank of Athabasca. In evening set muskrat traps on Talbot Lake. Took large male beaver and by some chance it it in skull! Saw 6 more beaver, 1 moose and 4 deer and 1 goat. Ring-neck duck on Talbot Lake. Mr. [Frank] Bryant reports seeing fisher tracks in the Tonquin Valley in fall of 1929. No mink tracks seen on Athabaska [Athabasca] in last 4 years by him. June 25, 1930. Rained hard. Took [male symbol] muskrat, several Peromyscus and set traps for voles in marsh in Pocahontas [Pocohontas]. Took [female symbol] lesser scaup with broken wing. June 26, 1930. Fair, rain at night. Deer in summer coat. Took 3 musk- rats, saw [female symbol] American merganser in Talbot Lake and green-wing teal. June 27, 1930. Rain day and night. Greater scaups and Widgeon in Talbot Lake. Saw yellow warblers there also. Took pair of voles in marsh at Pohohontas [Pocohontas]. Found dead yearling mule deer, it had fallen into a small pot hole and got its back legs snagged between two branches. Nest of eastern white- crowned sparrow. June 28, 1930. Fine. Shot adult and young horned owl. Saw elk and porky. Latter was eating briar leaves. Took savannah sparrow (yellow eyebrow). Found old coyote den under large fir, bones of rabbit, squirrel, ground squirrel, muskrat and birds. June 29, 1930. Fine all day. Took [female symbol] and [male symbol] Callospermophilus [underlined] and juv. [juvenile] Pack rat. Mr. Adams reports seeing a mink on Maligne Creek on the evening of June 28. He states that this is the first he has seen in the park in many years. Saw clay- coloured sparrow, Say's phoebe and Arkansas kingbird. In evening took 2 more young Neotoma. Chipmunks very rare around Jasper House. Heard one and saw another but neither were taken..
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-11- June 30, 1930. Fine day. Took 1 juv. [juvenile] and 2 adult Neotoma at Rocky River. Saw small fawn with its mother. Broke camp and came into town. July 1st [first], 1930. Fine and hot. In town. July 2, 1930. Fine - in town. Packed outfit and packed specimens. July 3, 1930. Left for Tonquin at 10.30 Arrived Tonquin 6.00 - 22 miles. Saw 2 moose, 1 black bear and 1 young rabbit on trail. July 4, 1930. In morning went up Maccarib Creek to Pass. Tracks of coyote, fox, marten, bear, wolverine, porcupine, caribou, goat and deer. Saw signs of Richardson's vole and Synaptomys [underlined]. Saw male caribou with broken left hind leg. Mr. [John] Curran [Curren] and I went out after crippled caribou. Jumped 5-4 fine bulls and a cow and another 5, 2 young bulls and a cow. After stalk shot cripple which was with a cow. Cows much lighter in color. Skinned it out and arrived camp 6 o'clock. Went out again and brought in hide and head and some meat. July 5, 1930. Snow and rain. Set out some traps for Synaptomys [underlined] and M. [Microtus] richardsoni [underlined]. Saw large bull caribou. Worked on hide of caribou. July 6, 1930. Snow and rain. Took 1 M. [Microtus] richardosni [female symbol]. Set some more mouse traps. Boiled caribou skull. July 7, 1930 Took 3 adult and 4 young Phenacomys? [underlined] [Microtus p. drummondi] [editorial insertion by author] and 1 Richardson's vole. Saw signs of cony and saw hundreds of whistlers in rock- slides N.E. [northeast] at foot of mountain. Leucosticti and Horned larks common. Found Pipit's nest, 5 eggs. Caught ground squirrel eating young G. [Golden] crowned sparrow out of the nest, 3 remaining young unhurt. Took whistler with 22 shot gun. Set out more mouse traps.
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-12- July 8, 1930. Worked up the valley towards Maccarib Pass. Took Synaptomys. July 9, 1930. Took voles in same runway as Synaptomys. Went 7 miles s. [south] to mountain across Amethyst Lake. No pikas, a few whistlers. July 10, 1930. Took jumping mouse in R. [Richardsons hand written above] vole runway. Also took another R. [Richardon's] vole. Lifted traps up. Went back to mountain N. [north] took 5 pikas, horned lark, etc. [etcetera] Saw Wilson's warbler in willow by river. July 11, 1930. Set traps in meadow w. [west] of cabin. Skinned pika. The pikas were eating moss off the rocks. Set marten traps. Prospects poor. July 12, 1930. Took jumping mice and a shrew in meadow W. [west] Moved some of the traps to the small area E. [east] of cabin along river. July 13, 1930. Took 8 jumping mice and made up 6 of them. Took another shrew. Investigated s. [south] slope of valley. Saw white-tailed ptarmigan and willow ptarmigan. Took 2 fox sparrows and pika. July 14, 1930. More jumping mice. Shot weasel eating mouse out of trap. One jumping mouse was carrying 6 foeti. July 15, 1930. Lifted traps in w. [west] meadow and reset on S. [south] shore of creek. Audubon's warbler [male symbol]. July 16, 1930. Rain and snow except for an hour in early morning. Took 1 Callospermophilus and 1 chipmunk (red under tail) on hill n. [north] of shack. July 17, 1930. Rain and snow all day. Took horned lark and saw 10 more on hill back of shack, saw 12 caribou, 3 bulls and 7 cows, 2 calves. Set traps for Evotomys.
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-12- July 9, 1930. Took voles in same runway as Synaptomys. Went 7 miles south to mountain across Amethyst Lake. No Pikas, a few Whistlers.
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-13- Tonquin Valley, 6540' A large valley running approximately east and west from the summit of Maccarib Pass across the B.C. [British Columbia] - Alberta boundary. Maccorib [Maccarib] Creek flows down the middle of the valley to join Meadow Creek which flows at right angles to join the Miette River. Along the river is a belt of very marshy country where the chief vegetation is willow and various sedges. On either side there is then a narrow belt of spruce and alpine fir and then the rolling uplands on the north side of the valley and an abrupt wall of peaks on the south. On these uplands is a herd of about 150 head of caribou; about half way down the valley is Amethyst Lake. Surrounded by marshy land on 3 sides and scree slopes on the 4th side. On this lake, male surf and white-winged scoter and American Goldeneye, were seen. About half a mile up the valley towards Maccarib Pass, from the warden's cabin a small river comes in from the north. Near the source of this river whistlers and horned larks were very common and two pairs of leucosticte were nesting. July 18, 1930. Morning dull. Afternoon rain and hail. Took 5 pikas on rockslide on mountain s.e. [southeast] Saw pair white-tail ptarmigan, Leucosticte, myrtle warbler, yng. [young] golden cr. [crowned] sparrows, yng. [young] pipets [pipits] in nest, 2 dead out of nest, 3 alive in it. Took new sparrow. (Brewer's) = (Timberline) [hand written] July 19, 1930. Rain. Skinner all day. July 20, 1930. Lifted traps and packed up. July 21, 1930. Fine. Left Tonquin 7.20 - arrived Jasper 1.20 - Lunch in town, Snaring in evening. On way out saw chipmunks and conies near Cavell Road. July 22, 1930. Made camp at Snaring - set out some traps for flying squirrels and some for voles at Pocohontas.
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-14- July 23, 1930. Rain. Sora rail in vole traps, mouse in flying squirrel traps. Saw pileated woodpecker, Lincoln's sparrow. Set muskrat traps at Talbot Lake. Set some more flying squirrel traps. July 24,1930. Rain all day. Took one juv. [juvenile] muskrat. July 25th,1930. Rain all day. Waited for beavers at Talbot Lake, only young ones seen. Saw male American goldeneye in full plumage. Muskrat uses tail when swimming. July 26, 1930. Rain intermittedly [intermittently]. Waited for beaver - no luck. Saw moose and 10 deer - 2 does with 2 fawns apiece. Hit coyote but it got away. Whiskey jack in trap. Marsh Harrier. July 27, 1930. Took large female beaver - 75 lbs. [pounds] and 7 white-winged crossbills near Talbot lake. July 28, 1930. Went down highway to Mile 30. Shot 2 year old male beaver in Athabasca River, swam for it. Decidedly cold. spent morning skinning crossbills. July 29, 1930. Found 2 beavers on road hit by car. One all right, one with broken back. Took [female symbol] muskrat in Talbot Lake. Made skeleton of large beaver taken on 27th. July 30, 1930. Took flying squirrel in traps across Snaring Lake [Glaucomys sabrinus alpines] [editorial insertion by author] - bears molesting them continuously, so I lifted them. Small brown bear raided my tent and took [female symbol] muskrat. Shot it with .22. Hide no good, saved skull. July 31, 1930. Went out to Astoria Cr. [Creek] with Mrs. [Hamilton Mack] Laing [Ethel Hart] - shot 5 chipmunks.
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-15- Aug. [August] 1, 1930. Went down to Prairie Creek without getting anything. Saw rabbit, moose and coyote. Aug. [August] 2, 1930. Shot 2 chipmunks in Green Timber and english sparrow at Prairie Creek. Saw 36 sheep at line kilns, 2 large rams, 2 ewes at Sulphur Springs. Saw 2 large bull moose at Mile 20. Aug. [August] 3, 1930. Took chipmunks at Jasper House. Saw others but could not get them. Saw sheep - deer, squirrel and large porcupine. Made trip to end of gravel. Saw 3 marsh hawks and a red tail. Aug. [August] 4, 1930. Set line of mouse traps at Prairie Creek. Took pair of chipmunks and a juvenile cowbird there. Juncos were feeding the latter. Found rabbit that had been hit by car on road near Mile 12. Saved skull. Set pack rat traps at Athabasca bridge. Aug. [August] 5, 1930. Took pair of adult pack rats, 2, white-footed mice. Traps at Prairie creek had been sprung without catching anything. Aug. [August] 6, 1930. Prairie Creek traps took 5 juv. [juvenile] peromyscus, 1 junco and a toad. Took 2 chipmunks and a hairy woodpecker and a juvenile pack rat. Aug. [August] 7, 1930. Took 5 mice at Prairie creek, all juvenile. Aug. [August] 8, 1930. Lifted traps at Prairie Creek in the morning. In afternoon hiked up the Athabasca (east bank) almost as far as Henry house flats. Took 3 chipmunks; goats, deer, coyote and bear tracks seen along the trail. Both old and young sheep bleat. Saw pintail and canvas-back, MacGillivray Warbler, 40 geese and large flock of mallards.
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copy 16
Description:
-16- Snaring. A great deal of the country surrounding my camp is Black spruce, muskeg. About a mile northwest is Snaring Lake, a fair sized lake with very marshy borders. At the far side of the lake at the base of the mountains is a heavy growth of douglas fir, the trees being almost coastal in appearance. Flying squirrels are in this timber but are hard to take, because the bears are very common and destroy all my sets. Elk numerous. About 5 miles down the valley (N.E.) is Edna Lake and 4 miles further on is Talbot Lake this latter is several miles long and has a population of beavers estimated last year at 40 pairs. The Athabasca River flows the whole length of the area worked from Snaring. From the west it is joined by the Snaring River, about a mile south of camp. This river flows through a heavily wooded region where lynx are common. 4 or 5 small creeks join the Athabasca from the north flowing through a some- what open piece of country at the foot of the mountains. This open area is locally known as Moberly Flats, and was originally the site of the Moberly Ranch. The sparce [sparse] tree growth is chiefly aspen. This area has a large elk population. Coyotes common. Aug. [August] 9, 1930. Took two Callospermophilus at Mile 13. Went down to Talbot Lake. Saw dowitchers (flock of 6) but could not secure any. Aug. [August] 10, 1930. Went through to Prairie Creek. Saw several sheep at lick my Mile 24. Young and old of both sexes bleat. Saw a 2 point mule deer buck - the first in three weeks. Aug. [August] 11, 1930. Broke camp, preparatory to going to Wabasa Lake. Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing came in and is leaving for Banff. Aug. [August] 12, 1930. In Jasper packing specimens. Aug. [August] 13, 1930. Packing duffel and shipping specimens, etc. [etcetera]
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Page Title:
copy 17
Description:
-17- Aug. [August] 14, 1930. Left Jasper at 8.15, stopped 5 minutes at Snaring and 5 minutes at Spring Creek. Arrived at Edson 12.45. Time 4 hours, 20 min. [minutes], 118 miles. Left Edson 1.30, stopped 10 minutes to change tire, arrived Edmonton 6.30, time 4 hours 50 minutes, 15 minutes passing grader, 4 hours, 35 minutes. Total time for 261 miles = 8 hours, 55 minutes. 9 hours approx. [approximately] Saw Pigeon hawk and rabbit in Park. Flock of Hungarian Partridges at Chip Lake. Prairie Chicken at Prairie Creek in Park. Aug. [August] 15, 1930. Left Edmonton 2.30, arrived Calgary 10 P.M. Supper in Red Deer. Saw Swainson Hawks, Marsh Hawks, Richardson gophers. Skunk dead on road, 30 miles south of Edmonton. Aug. [August] 16, 1930. Fine and rain. Left Calgary 9 A.M. arrived Banff 12.15. Shot 2 Richardsons ground squirrels. Elk horns are shedding velvet. Aug. [August] 17 1930. Rain. In Banff. Aug. [August] 18, 1930. Rode in to Cascade Basin to look over the country. Saw Callospermophilus, Pikas, whistlers, chipmunks. Heard timber- line sparrow. Aug. [August] 19, 1930. Packed outfit. Rain. Aug. [August] 20, 1930. Fine and thunderstorm. Packed into Cascade Basin and made camp. Took fox sparrow; Pikas very common. Froze at night. Aug. [August] 21. 1930. Fine and cold. Took 3 chipmunks, 1 Calli. [Callospermophilus], 2 pikas, 2 column [Columbian] ground squirrels, 1 red squirrel, 1 M. [Microtus] mordax, 1 timber- line sparrow. Saw Gambel's chickadee, Ruby-crowned kinglet, Wilson's warbler, bald eagle, bluebird, Richardson's grouse, ptarmigan, W.-t. [White-throated], Gambel's sparrow, chipmunk, eating seeds of Dryas [underlined].
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Page Title:
copy 18
Description:
-18- Aug. [August] 22, 1930. Fine and hot. Took shot at weasel in rock slide, hit it but lost it in the rocks. Shot squirrel [male symbol], moult very ragged. Aug. [August] 23, 1930. Fine. Shot whistler [female symbol] and red squirrel [male symbol] finished moult, [female symbol] M. [Microtus] mordax [underlined] etc. [etcetera] Aug. [August] 24. 1930. Fine. Took pictures of whistlers; tried to take pikas but failed. Caught same weasel about 1/2 mile from where I had shot it. 2 pellets through neck and one through chest, did not seem to worry it at all. It was caught in a trap set in a Col. [Columbian] ground squirrel burrow. Aug. [August] 25, 1930. Fine A.M. [morning] Rain P.M. [afternoon] Took hike to town for matches and grub. Back by 12 P.M.; 2 hours out, 2 1/2 hours in. Took 2 chip- munks near 40 mile creek. These are different to ones at higher altitude, as they have more brown in the dark stripes and a redder tail and a different shade in the sides. Saw pileated woodpecker, Townsend's solitaire, Cooper's hawk. Aug. [August] 26, 1930. 1/2 inch snow, rain. Took whistler and conies. Skinned previous day's catch. Aug. [August] 27th, 1930. Took 2 whistlers and skinned all 3. Pikas cutting young willow shoots. Expected Warden but he did not come. Aug. [August] 28, 1930. Fine. Made skeleton of one whistler. Took another [female symbol] weasel in same trap. Set traps in runways in alpine willow. Set mouse traps on rock ledge for Peromyscus [underlined]. Aug. [August] 29, 1930. Fine (very windy). Took adult [female symbol] Peromyscus [underlined]. Very dark almost chestnut brown. Head and neck sooty. Golden-cr. [crowned] sparrows, bluebirds. Took Squirrel [female symbol], it was carrying a mouthful of nest material - dry grass, etc. [etcetera] 7 P.M. hiked up Cascade Mt. [Mountain] looking for whistlers and Callos. [Callospermophilus]. Took 2 male whistlers (very white mantle) on lower levels. Conies and chipmunks present to top of ridge to north of basin; conies cutting dryas (white)
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Page Title:
copy 19
Description:
-19- Aug. [August] 30, 1930. This A.M. [morning] took young pack rat and 2 chipmunks in traps on rock ledge N.W. [northwest] Shot large [female symbol] whistler on same slide. Whistlers are moving about a lot just now some are coming to the lower burrow. About noon it started snowing and by 5.30 when there was a let up there was about 10 inches on the ground. Have not seen anybody since Friday week, hope Warden shows up soon with mail. Going out Wednesday unless snow gets much deeper in which case probably Monday. Aug. [August] 21, 1930. Still snowing 18" on the ground. Picked up traps and headed for town. Arrived in Banff at noon. Hotel full up but managed to get room in Homestead. Sept. [September] 1, 1930. Got horses and went in for my outfit. Reached camp at 11.30 arrived back in Banff 6 o'clock. Sept. [September] 2, 1930. Tried to get in touch with Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing - cabled him in evening. Tried to get my outfit brought from Pack Shack to Warehouse. Cascade Basin, 7000' The Cascade Basin is a small amphitheatre directly behind (north) of the western shoulder of Cascade Mountain. It is approximately 8 miles by trail from Banff and north and west of that town. The basin itself is about a mile in length and 100 to 200 yards in width. On the two sides there are steep hills or rather gigantic rock cliffs about 2000 feet high, those on the west side being the more precipitous. AT the south the valley ends blindly at the foot of Cascade Peak. Vegetation consisting of spruce and balsam fir and grassy meadows with clumps of alpine willow, extends about half way up the basin the rest of the way is a tumbled mass of scree without vegetation of any sort. The north-eastern end is open and looks out on the Sawback range across the valley of 40 mile Creek. Here the trees are thicker. There is a large Eagle's nest on a ledge near the summit of the cliffs on the west side. Judging by the number of skeletons and droppings in the basin, cougar and coyote are common in the winter and take a heavy toll of the sheep and goats that about on the surrounding slopes.
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Page Title:
copy 20
Description:
-20- Sept. [September] 3, 1930. Got Mr. [Hamilton Mack] Laing, he has found no good spots so must see Mr. Warren. Got stuff brought up to Warehouse. Bought groceries and packed my outfit. Sept. [September] 4, 1930. Left for Boon Lake 27 miles west of Banff and 4 miles northwest of auto road. Made camp beside Boom Creek. Sept. [September] 5, 1930. Put out line of mouse traps in sphagnum bog below camp and beside creek. Skinned whistler and set 2 #2 traps by ____ [line in text] ? Took 2 chipmunks. Sept. [September] 6, 1930. Took [female symbol] Synaptomys shrew [S. [Sorex] borealis chapmani] [editorial insertion by author] M. [Microtus] mordax and red-backed mice. Reset some of traps and set some for flying squirrels. Set 1 1/2 in old powder house. Sept. [September] 7, 1930. Rain all day. Took [female symbol] marten, big whistler carcass, more mice. Made trip to Boom Lake - conies, squirrels and lots of mouse sign. Good looking country - lots of sphagnum. Sept. [September] 8, 1930. Took rabbit in powder house, more mice, jumpers and Peromyscus. Rain all day. Sept. [September] 9, 1930. Rain in A.M. [morning] Clear P.M. [afternoon] More mice, set out more flying squirrel traps - prospect poor. Also set 3 for marten. Sept. [September] 10, 1930. Hiked to Mile 25 and back. Rained on and off. Sept. [September] 11, 1930. Hiked to Mile 26 and shot chipmunks, all have buff bellies [luteiventris] [editorial insertion by author]. Bright sun in afternoon, cloudy again in evening. Saw red-backed nuthatch, columbian chickadee, Gambel's chickadee, juncos (Shufelteli?) [Shufeldti?] Gambel's sparrows and pigeon hawk.
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Page Title:
copy 21
Description:
-21- Sept. [September] 12, 1930. Rain all day - drizzle. Saw varied thrush and hermit thrush. Hiked to Alberta - B.C. [British Columbia] boundary and took Callospermophilus right on the boundary. Sept. [September] 13, 1930. Intermittent rain or snow all day and night. Set some flying squirrel traps near Boom Lake. Sept. [September] 14, 1930. Lynx pulled out of trap by whistler carcase [carcass]. Set traps by porky carcase [carcass] near Boom Lake. Hiked to Mile 25 - chipmunks common. Saw Savannah sparrow. Sept. [September] 15, 1930. Set some traps for voles in marshy area along Boom Creek near Boom Lake. Sign numerous. Saw a young vole swimming in the river. Boom Creek and Lake. My camp in this area is pitched beside Boom Creek about half a mile from the road. Being in the thick spruce woods everything is very damp. Just below (s [south]) of my camp is a small area of sphagnum muskeg. Here mice seem to be very abundant. About 3 miles through the woods along the trail to Boom Lake is another and more extensive area of sphagnum bog. On the west of this area are steep mountains with extensive talus slopes at their bases. To the east the hills are not as steep or rocky, having open grassy slopes near the tops. Boom Lake itself is shut in on three sides by mountains and thick woods, on the third side the ground is very marshy and the trees not quite so thick. Distance from Banff 27 miles west. Distance from Kootenay Park 2 miles east. Altitude camp 5600' Lake 6000 to 6500'.
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Description:
This field journal is about the summer trip to Newgate, BC, Banff and Jasper, Alberta in 1930 by Dr. Cowan and Mr. Laing. It recorded the animals and birds they saw and the specimens they obtained. Original notebook was bound with 6 rings in the RBCM Acc. No. 1930-34. The photocopy of journal are loose leaf papers stapled together with hand written annotations and corrections in ink.
Subjects:
Mammals; Birds
Subjects Facet:
Mammals; Birds
Creator:
McTaggart-Cowan, Ian, 1910-2010
Date:
1930
Date searchable:
1930
Genre:
field notes
Genre Facet:
field notes
Format:
jpg item
Language:
eng
Language Facet:
eng
Relation:
Scanning contracted to Meyer zu Erpen & Associates, Inc., Victoria, BC. for the BPenn The Real Thing book project; meatdata; BPenn, KMercer, M. He
Rights:
Contact UVic Special Collections and University Archives for access to the original resource and for reproduction requests (fee for reproductions). This material is made available on this site for research and private study only.
Provenance:
Ian McTaggart Cowan at University of Victoria Special Collections
Collection:
Ian McTaggart Cowan Collection
Collection Facet:
Ian McTaggart Cowan Collection
Location(s):
British Columbia--Newgate; Alberta--Banff; Alberta--Jasper;49.03323, -115.20201; 51.17622, -115.56982; 52.87946, -118.08041
Location(s) Facet:
British Columbia--Newgate; Alberta--Banff; Alberta--Jasper
Coverage-Temporal:
1930