First Saturday Birding

Birding reports from our roving reporter, Lesser Spot Finder, in Alberta, Canada.
Lesser Spot Finder
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Farnborough and anywhere between there and Norfolk
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First Saturday Birding

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:50 pm

After a cracking session in the Officers' Mess last night I did not get up for the now customary first light wander. I finally bagged the male Great Horned Owl which was sat out in the open at the Mess so headed for work and, as I was the first in, decided to walk around a couple of ponds adjacent to the COEFOR HQ. It was cold and cloudy which didn’t bode well but the Owl had started the day on the right footing and was my 25th lifer of the trip thus far.

I immediately picked up a Sora, a species I had seen with Tim Cowley many years ago in Newton Abbot of all places, and behind it saw the distinctive shape of a Canvasback swimming amongst Redheads; this was another species I had only seen in the UK having picked one up in Kent in the past. It’s always nice to see birds where they are supposed to be.

I had suspected Common Yellowthroat yesterday and the day before having heard a bird that sounded like a singing Great Tit and today finally confirmed the species with a stunning male singing in the Willows. Now that I had put song to bird I picked three up on the short walk back and have added the species to all my lists for this week. The final bird which Tim thought I ought to have seen by now, was a Brown-Headed Cowbird; a male singing on a fence was a welcome addition, albeit a bird I had seen in the past in North Carolina.

Common Nighthawk was the next addition to my ever expanding list and following lunch I managed to bag Downy Woodpecker at the main gate. The Officers' Mess Great Horned Owls were both showing well out in the open - stunning birds!

There will be no birding this afternoon in Ralston as I have some pre-exercise work to do before the lads deploy out onto the Prairie tomorrow morning. Once they have departed I have booked duty transport down to Medicine Hat where I will spend the day birding around Police Point where I hope to add a few more lifers.

Lifers to date - 25
Trip List - 71

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Black Woodpecker
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:34 am
Location: Bideford - North Devon
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List

Postby Black Woodpecker » Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:00 am

Hi Richard

Sounds like you are have a cracking time, have you been to the pond just outside the camp yet? It’s to the left as you head for Ralston there is a reed bed there as well as a pond. I had some great sightings there Say's Phoebe (Sayornis saya) over to the right in the rocks in the distance, Palm Warbler, Short-eared Owl and Marsh Harrier over the reeds; in fact this is where I got surrounded by coyotes.

Plenty of masked warblers, red-wings, cow birds, night hawk, I found with each visit something different dropped in, like Black Duck, Wilsons Phalarope, Willet, Greater & Lesser Yellows Legs.

Good Hunting Buddy

Lesser Spot Finder
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Farnborough and anywhere between there and Norfolk
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Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Sun Jun 05, 2011 3:07 pm

Geoff,

there is water everywhere here now so wildfowl and waders 'alles uber die platz. I am now becoming blase about Wilson's Phalarope and I see a few each day. There are two ponds outside where I work which have been turning up some cracking birds. I have now started to post photos on Facebook. The Harrier you saw would have been Northern Harrier and not Marsh as they don't occur here - I've seen a couple of Northerns since arrival. Another lifer first thing with Wilson's Warbler singing outside BATUS HQ.

Hope all is well.

Richard

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Black Woodpecker
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:34 am
Location: Bideford - North Devon
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Postby Black Woodpecker » Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:01 pm

Hi Rich.

Sorry I meant Northern Harrier.

Thought you might like this in between your trips out?

Estiona direct streaming to Black Stork etc

http://www.looduskalender.ee/en

Wandering Tattler
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Location: Beverley, East Yorkshire
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WILSON'S WARBLER

Postby Wandering Tattler » Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:00 pm

Rich,

Wilson's Warbler! Nice bird!

I assuming this is a late migrant because I would have expected this species to have been in the Rockies by now, as a forest species. It may be worth catching the Canadian weather forecast and see what the state of the weather is like in the mountains and in the area north of Edmonton and Cold Lake, if it is bad then there could be some other gems still hanging around. I had about 20 species of wood-warblers around Suffield/Ralston, so lots to look for, although autumn is probably better than spring. It is doubt full that many breed in the immediate area (Yellowthroat and Y-R possibly?). The migrants are split into two groups: those heading for the mountains and those heading to the northern forests.

All the best

Lesser Spot Finder
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Farnborough and anywhere between there and Norfolk
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Re: WILSON'S WARBLER

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:23 pm

Wandering Tattler wrote:Rich,

Wilson's Warbler! Nice bird!

I assuming this is a late migrant because I would have expected this species to have been in the Rockies by now, as a forest species. It may be worth catching the Canadian weather forecast and see what the state of the weather is like in the mountains and in the area north of Edmonton and Cold Lake, if it is bad then there could be some other gems still hanging around. I had about 20 species of wood-warblers around Suffield/Ralston, so lots to look for, although autumn is probably better than spring. It is doubt full that many breed in the immediate area (Yellowthroat and Y-R possibly?). The migrants are split into two groups: those heading for the mountains and those heading to the northern forests.

All the best
Tim,

the Yellowthoats (3 singing males) are currently near COEFOR HQ. I confirmed the call a couple of days ago and immediately got a male in response. The quick wander this afternoon produced one still in full song. I would be very surprised if they don't breed here.

Rich


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