Cochrane has its fair share of wildlife such as deer, bears, and more, but bird enthusiasts were treated to a rare sight at Cochrane Lake recently.

An American golden plover was spotted for the very first time in the Cochrane area, and local birder Fisher Stephenson was the lucky one to spot the rare bird. "I cheered out loud!  It's quite rare for Cochrane because it's usually seen in more central North America. You can find them sometimes on the east side of Calgary, but this is pretty much one of the only records of it being found on the west side of Calgary."

"I try to get up to Cochrane Lake at least once a day to do a walk around and I keep a checklist of all the birds' ID and the numbers and everything. Then that gets submitted to a big global citizen science project called eBird, it keeps track of all the numbers and what species are found there and everything."

Stephenson was quick to let the birding community know about the rare occurrence and several birders from the Cochrane/Calgary area made the trek to Cochrane Lake to snap a photo.

"Cochrane Lake is a hidden gem in the birding world. I mean, so few people go there but it's a huge water source here."

"Any birds that need water that pass through end up there at one point or another. Many birds that got knocked off course by a storm, or anything like that, it'll go there and it'll rest for two days."

While the golden plover was an exciting discovery, Stephenson has seen birds in the Cochrane Lake area that were very far from home.

"The rarest would be probably the bird called a sabine gull, they're like an ocean gull. That was pretty surprising to find this year."

Fisher Stephenson has an Instagram account where he posts many of the amazing birds he finds in the Cochrane area. Check out more photos here.