In Calgary, The Weaselhead, is the western end of the Glenmore Reservoir where the Elbow River meanders amongst a swampy marsh.In fact, this is the only delta in the city. Weaselhead Flats also contain one of the largest stands of coniferous forest in the city.
The dominant White Spruce forest is on the south shore but very impressive individual trees are found interspersed in the predominantly deciduous forest on the flats and valley walls. The more moist deciduous forest areas are primarily Balsam Poplar while dryer areas are Trembling Aspen. Also on the flats is an extensive tall shrub community consisting mainly of Sandbar Willows and Water Birch.
The diverse habitats allows for a correspondingly wide range of birds and other wildlife. In the open waters, look for Common Loons and Tundra Swans, species you are unlikely to see in other parks. The mud and sandbars are the haunts for shorebirds such as Lesser Yellowlegs and American Avocet.
With the warm winter weather we’ve been experiencing in Calgary this year (another +5 December day), I took the chance to take my two boys for our first exploring of The Weaselhead and do some geocaching. There’s easily a dozen caches in the area, we scooped three and saved the rest for a mandatory return visit (hopefully with my running shoes to tackle a gorgeous outdoor running venue).