Swainson's Thrush

Birding reports from our roving reporter, Lesser Spot Finder, in Alberta, Canada.
Lesser Spot Finder
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Swainson's Thrush

Postby Lesser Spot Finder » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:47 pm

As Tim predicted there was a fall of Swainson's Thrushes with birds all over the camp. The hot and sunny weather of yesterday has been replaced by winds, cold temperatures and overcast sky. This area of Canada has been unseasonably cold this year with the first Prairie Thunder exercise cancelled due to deep snow. This, I presume, has messed migration patterns up with birds holding back from their Mountain and Tundra breeding grounds.

I walked into work this morning with the intention to photograph one of the three Yellowthroats next to the HQ. This species is difficult to see for anything more than a second or so but I managed to get a couple of passable headshots as it skulked in the Willows which I'll post on FB later today.

Apart from that the usual suspects are still around the base - Killdeer spend a lot of time distracting individuals from going near their nests with some walking a good 300m in the wrong direction before flying back. Wilson's Snipe are now displaying some 200m from where I work. The display flight is similar to the Common Snipe we know but they call, almost sounding like a Woodpecker, as they fall.

It's amazing how quickly things move on here. By lunchtime there were no Swainson's Thrushes on camp as far as I could see and I have been unable to find any Veery for a couple of days. The rain returned this afternoon and the only addition to the Suffield avi-fauna was a high flying Cooper's Hawk over COEFOR HQ. As I quickly wandered around I found a Killdeer adult with 4 young - first young birds I have seen and so much like the LRPs on my patch. A walk to Ralston along the edge of the Prairie tonight might turn up something interesting. Watch this space................

Nothing much in the early evening. A few Wilson's Phalaropes about (if you can say they were nothing much) and a Marbled Godwit. I found my first Suffield Song Sparrow behind the CANEX but apart from the odd Western Meadowlark most birds were hunkered down to avoid the wind.

Tonight and tomorrow are forecast heavy rain so let's see what it grouds.

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