The Twelve Days of Birding (#9)

Snow Geese









On the ninth Day of Christmas, Prairie Birder gave to me:

2000 Snow Geese!

A trip to Edmonton is great for birding, even if it’s not specifically for birding. Living closer to the Rocky Mountains, this opportunity doesn’t come that often. So when I got the chance, I agreed with gusto! The opportunity came when we first found out about the Snow Goose Chase. The Snow Goose Chase is organised in the town of Tofield, with some very good lakes for geese quite nearby.

At the Community Hall, they have some booths set up for things like The Young Naturalists’ Corner. Even with the raptor display, it’s not just birds – they have bugs, rocks, animals and even planets at the Snow Goose Chase!

I found out about this thanks to Prairie Birder (Charlotte) who is a young blogger who I was excited to discover online, and to meet briefly at the Young Naturalists’ table in Tofield.  Her blog and activities and support have encouraged me in my own birding and blogging.  Thanks, Charlotte.

The Twelve Days of Birding (#8)

On the eighth Day of Christmas, Mary gave to me:

8×40 Minolta Activa binoculars!

A most generous gift, which I received from a Bird Count friend after she saw me sharing a pair with my Dad.  A few days later she gave me a very nice pair of binoculars which I now use all the time, and love.

To have a pair of binos that have such clear lenses and great light-gathering power is wonderful.  And my Dad is slightly jealous!


The Twelve Days of Birding (#7)

Flammulated Owl
Flammulated Owl

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, Dick Cannings gave to me:

A Flammulated Owl!

Last year our family vacation was a camping trip to the West coast. My Dad – without telling me – had contacted Dick Cannings, one of Canada’s best-known birders.  He works for Bird Studies Canada amongst other things.

Even though he’d never met me, he very kindly took me and my Dad out to one of his favourite birding hotspots, where we saw quite a few lifetime firsts.  The most special was a Flammulated Owl in its nesting box (which he had made many years earlier).

We also saw Black-headed Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Gray Catbird and lots more.

The Twelve Days of Birding (#6)

Grey Partridge
Grey Partridge


On the sixth Day of Christmas, my aunt gave to me:

6 Grey Partridge!

The first time I saw Grey Partridge was a year ago, on a Snowy Owl hunt when we had stopped at my aunt’s and in the back yard was a small bunch of Grey Partridge, just sitting there. After a while, they flew over the fence into the neighbors lot, but we could still see them hiding under the porch, feeding.

Lately, we have been seeing them around alot more then we’re used to. In fact, two days ago  we got our car ditched ,looking half at a flock of partridge, half at a falcon of some sort (unfortunatly we didn’t get to ID it – we were ditched after all). Grey Partridge are amazing birds, with their small, grey bodies, and their orange patches. So don’t forget to notice them as you drive past – you won’t regret it!

The Twelve Days of Birding (#5)

This one is a Bald Eagle!

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, a mountain gave to me:

5 Golden Eagles!

Two years ago, we got invited to Mt. Lorret to watch the Golden Eagle migration ( see post #3 ).  There were not a lot of eagles around but it wasn’t only the eagles that we were there to watch! A full list is included at the bottom of the post, but here are some highlights: On the way up, we saw a Northern Goshawk flying through the trees – a life first!

When we got to the veiwing place, we saw another Northern Goshawk and of course, the Golden Eagles.  There were doghnuts for snacking on while we watched and as the mountain was still pretty far away there was also a spotting scope to veiw through.

Here’s a list of the birds seen:

  • American Robin
  • Bald Eagle
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Golden Eagle
  • Mountain Chickadee
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk



The Twelve Days of Birding (#4)




On the Fourth Day of Christmas, winter gave to me:

4 Snowy Owls!

In the December of 2012, we went on a Snowy Owl hunt in which we saw 4 owls. 2 were sitting on hills, looking exactly like snowed-over logs, while the other 2 were placed down a lane on the side of the road, one in a tree, one on a pole.

It may sound simple, but it can take up to 24 hours to find one! Last year was an irruption year, meaning that more owls came into our general area then usual. They are out there, but this year we’ve gone out twice to find them, but for us it’s been an owl-less year.

The Twelve Days of Birding (#3)

Eagle, Golden
Spirit the Golden Eagle

















 On the Third Day of Christmas, migration gave to me:

3 Raptor Families!

In the October of 2009, we went to the Eagle Festival which was being held at the nearby high school. This takes place to celebrate the best known Golden Eagle migration route in the world! The Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation visited with three raptor families – Falcon, Owl and an amazing Golden Eagle named Spirit.

Spirit was unreleasable as she had been shot through one eye and the bullet went through to the other, damaging it severely. After that I kept coming back until it became a regular, annual thing for us.

Species that they had on display that day:

  • Golden Eagle
  • Barn Owl
  • Short-eared Owl
  • Burrowing Owl
  • American Kestrel