Police Point - Medicine Hat

Birding reports from our roving reporter, Lesser Spot Finder, in Alberta, Canada.
Lesser Spot Finder
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Police Point - Medicine Hat

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:17 am

Police Point is a natural point bar formed by the South Saskatchewan River. It is a cracking example of habitat found near a meandering Prairie River. Most of the trees found throughout the park are Plains Cottonwoods, which depend on river valley and flood moisture for reproduction and growth. Trees are rare on the Prairies, a river valley like that found at Police Point attracts birds and provides habitat for an amazing list of species. Some of the Cottonwoods are upwards of 300 years. Police Point did not disappoint although I did not see as many species as I would have liked; mainly as I arrived mid morning and at the beginning of a hot midday. That said, 7 Lifers and I learnt that Yellow Warbler is probably the commonest bird there!

I traipsed around for a good five hours with a break at Tim Horton’s midday. The walk there was not wasted as I saw a Northern Rough Winged Swallow on the way and a Lazuli Bunting on the return. Birding is difficult at Police Point and it took some time to see anything other than Gray Catbird, Yellow Warbler and Magpies. With some luck I managed to see singing Warbling Vireo, Dusky Flycatcher, Song Sparrow and House Wren which were all lifers. I managed to check songs on my e-Sibley Guide on my i-phone to confirm my sightings. On the River there were 2 American White Pelicans to finish the list of lifers. I had great views of Northern Flicker on the adjacent Golf Course and a flyover accipiter which I guess was a Cooper’s Hawk (later confirmed by Tim).

This was a useful day which allowed me to bird and take some photos which I have uploaded onto Facebook. Next stop Waterton!

Day total – 30 at PP with a further 15 at Suffield.

Lifers – 7

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