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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Birdathon (part 3)

I am sorry for taking so long with posts, the summer has been whizzing by.


After seeing some warblers at the boreal forest we came back to our house for supper then headed to Oak Hammock Marsh.

 As always we saw lots of pelicans at Lockport on the way to Oak Hammock Marsh
American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans
Cliff Swallow

Stopped to look at birds on the way to Oak Hammock Marsh

There were some pretty spectacular clouds

Oak Hammock Marsh


Like always there were numerous duck species at the ponds at Oak Hammock. Ruddy Duck in the center, others are Redhead and Lesser Scaup
Numerous duck species

Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre 

Purple Martin
Purple Martin

Purple Martin

There were Great-horned Owls nesting in a duck tunnel and we saw one of the young in the nest.
Great-horned Owl

Red-winged Black Bird

Black Tern

Yellow-headed Blackbird


Richardson's Ground Squirrel hiding in grass

Barn Swallow

Tree Swallow

Richardson's Ground Squirrel

Richardson's Ground Squirrel

Yellow-headed Blackbird
The clouds were pretty beautiful along with a rainbow and lighting flashing.
More clouds







Among the reeds we found a Muskrat munching on something
Muskrat 


Red-winged Blackbird

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler

Northern Shoveler

Using an audo player we played the sound of a sora and we heard it respond but unfortunately we didn't se it. We also played a Virginia Rail sound, and we did have success with it. Out of the reeds came the elusive bird, right in view for excellent photos! It was quite an experience.
Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail

Clouds
On the way home from the marsh the sun was just setting in  bright orange.
Brilliant sunset
We stopped by Silver Springs Park before we went home to see if we could add any last minute birds to the list.
We added Osprey and Spotted Sandpiper, the last two birds of the birdathon.
Silver Springs Park
The total count was 127 species!
Ebird Checklists:

http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/view/checklist/S30075287
http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/view/checklist/S30075537
http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/view/checklist/S30075663
http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/view/checklist/S30080182
http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/view/checklist/S30080242
http://ebird.org/ebird/canada/view/checklist/S30080263

And that concludes the birdathon! A huge thank you to Christian Artuso for helping us on the birdathon and making it so much fun. Also thank you to everyone who donated to make the second part of the birdathon a success! There is still time to donate, you can go to my page HERE.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Alberta - Part 2 - Birding with Birdboy

Sorry for taking so long to get this post out, but we've had a busy summer with my brother getting married.

We started out Monday morning for Canmore Alberta, to meet up with Ethan (Birdboy) for some birding. This was the first time I'd seen the Rockies, so I took a few pictures before moving on.

We met up with Ethan at Elevation Place, from there we would walk a nearby trail.

One of my target species was a Rufous Hummingbird, we walked along the trail to get to the place where the hummingbird is often seen. Along the way I added a couple lifers, Violet-green Swallow, Mountain Chickadee. We made it to the area with the Rufous Hummingbird, but it was nowhere to be seen.

On the way back, Ethen stopped by his house to get a ride with his mom, while me and my friends walked back to Elevation Place. While we waited for Ethen to arrive, we stopped for lunch. I had a sandwich in my mouth when I saw Ethen running up to me telling me that there was a Harlequin Duck at a nearby pond. I rushed to get my camera and hopped into his van and drove off. Another lifer.
Harlequin Duck (eclipse plumage)

Harlequin Duck (eclipse plumage)
After taking 50 pictures or so, we drove back to Elevation Place, and from there, to Bow Valley Provincial Park.

I was in a vehicle with my friends, behind Ethan and his mom, we saw them pull over on the side of the road scanning a lake for birds. While Ethan checked out the lake, I checked out the mountains, and I spotted this Bighorn Sheep, a new mammal for me.
Bighorn Sheep
 We arrived at the park and started hiking the trail, it allowed me to get some photographs of the common White-crowned Sparrow.
White-Crowned Sparrow
 Here was something different for me, a Red-shafted Northern Flicker
Northern Flicker (red-shafted)
 The trail offered me three more lifers, Townsend's Warbler, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, and Willow Flycatcher.

 On the walk back I saw an eagle fly over, I was hopeful for a moment that this might be a Golden Eagle, but a quick look dashed those hopes.
Bald Eagle
 We went back to Ethan's house, as his family had kindly invited us for supper. We ate a delicious supper and dessert, and headed back to High River. I missed the Rufous Hummingbird, but there was hope. My friends said they wanted to come back the next day to go swimming, so Ethan and I decided to meet up again for one last chance at the Rufous.
Brown-headed Cowbird
 It once again looked like a no show, we were there for almost ten minutes before Ethen heard the buzzing of the hummingbird. We walked up slowly in and got some decent pictures.
Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird

Rufous Hummingbird
 We walked around looking for other birds before we left, but there were no more lifers to be had.
Northern Waterthrush

White-crowned Sparrow

Mountain Chickadee

Mountain Chickadee
 Thank you Ethan for taking me out birding, and helping me add birds to my life list. Thank you to the rest of the Denton family for hosting my friends and I, we had a wonderful time. Thanks to Ethan, I got my lifer count up to 13 on the trip, where it remained all the way home.