The Twelve Days of Birding (#10)

An Osprey I saw on a previous count.

On the Tenth day of Christmas, Cliff gave to me:

10 Birdcounts (and counting…) !

The reason that I didn’t post earlier, is that I have done two birdcounts this year.

The first was the Banff-Canmore Birdcount on the fourteenth of December. This one I did with my dad and our friends Donna and Doug. We covered the Cascade Ponds to Lower Bankhead – a large territory. But even such a large area didn’t provide much. We got a lot of squirrels though! Here’s a full list – with numbers – of what we saw:

  • Common Raven – 6
  • Boreal Chickadee – 11
  • Gray Jay – 3
  • Mountain Chickadee – 17
  • Brown Creeper – 2
  • Townsend’s Solitare – 1
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch – 3
  • Black-billed Magpie – 2

Afterwards, there was the count potluck, a large meal where we talk, eat and report our counts to the count organisers. Every year, one of the members (who is a brilliant photographer) gives out two of his photos to two lucky counters. This year, we got first pick! A photo of the photo we got is shown below.

Chickadee Photo

Chickadee Photo

And the second – the Bowkan Birdcount – was yesterday. It was much colder than the first, but we saw more species! This one I have done for five years now and am quite familiar with the places and people who do it. There was however a new counter who had just heard of the count. He turned out to be a really good spotter, catching quite a few birds we missed. You will probably notice that the type of birds is not so different from the Banff Birdcount, chickadees, nuthatches and corvidae – the only thing that’s really different is the Woodpeckers and the pair of Mallards we saw with the Bowkan group. Here’s the second list – again with numbers.

  • Common Raven – 11
  • Boreal Chickadee – 3
  • Blue Jay – 1
  • Mountain Chickadee – 5
  • Downy Woodpecker – 1
  • Hairy Woodpecker – 1
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch – 2
  • White-breasted Nuthatch – 1
  • Black-billed Magpie – 7
  • Mallard – 2
  • Dark-eyed Junco – 2
  • Black-capped Chickadee – 3

The difference between the Banff potluck and the Bowkan potluck is that Banff’s is held at the seniors’ center and the Bowkan birders’ is hosted by a different person each time. This year, it was held at Mary’s house, which is pretty close to mine! I’m hoping to add a photo of our group soon.

5 thoughts on “The Twelve Days of Birding (#10)”

  1. Hi Ethan,
    Wow! I am very, very impressed by your blog! Not only do you have a life list that makes me writhe in envy, but you also have loads of background info on birds and birding in addition to website links and your trip blog posts! I simply had to show your blog to some of my colleagues today at work and they were all impressed – until I told them your age… Then they were OVERLY impressed!! Almost didn’t believe me in fact, so I directed them to the “About Me” section so they could read about you for themselves!

    If you get tired of being a soccer star at one point down the road, I’m sure you can have a glorious career as a professional birder too if you keep going like this :o)


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