Black-billed Magpies are pretty common around here, but still, in my opinion, worthy of a post every now and again. Here are two of the neigberhoods’ thirty.
Other Feathers on Friday:
Over the 30 months or so I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve covered a lot of ground – quite literally – and it’s getting trickier to know how to find older entries. This is the first step to improving that.
Also look at the Categories section on the right hand side – you may need to scroll down to see it.
You won’t be surprised that a bird blogger likes to get out and see birds, so let me show you some of my favourite trip reports. Maybe you’ve seen the movie “The Big Year”? Well this year I did a “Big Day“.
We’re fortunate enough to live close to the southern end of the Snowy Owl’s winter range; find out what happened on our Snowy Owl Hunt! And whenever – and wherever – we travel, I enjoy nature. One of my Birding Trips is reported on here.
I’m grateful for all the people who have helped me as a birder, and wrote about some other things why in my series “The Twelve Days of Christmas“. Other posts in the series can be found using the ‘Search’ box at the top right of this page.
One way we can give back to birds and the wider environment is through the(formorly Baillie) Great Canadian Birdathon. Read about how I raised just over $1,000 doing what I love to do!
I’d love to know what you think of my blog. Find out more about me and leave your thoughts there or on any post. Thanks for visiting!
Last week was, as William, Josiah, Prairie Birder and The Cats and The Birds voted, a Common Merganser. We have had plenty of snow after a mild winter, and so many of the recent photos have been of waterfowl, the easiest birds to find in the cold, blowy weather.
Other What Bird Wednesdays:
This photo was taken at distance using our new superzoom camera!
Here is Prairie Birders FoF post.
I am pleased to say that I will be updating my life and year lists soon, as the numbers have increased greatly. The Baillie Birdathon, the Bowkan Birdcount, and other random occasions have given my numbers a large boost!
On the Birdathon, I got 4 “lifers,” those being Blackpoll Warbler, Least Flycatcher, Forster’s Tern and Swamp Sparrow. Then I also got many year firsts, including Eurasian Collared-Dove, Orange-crowned Warbler and Peregrine Falcon. Next came the Bowkan Birdcount, giving me a tally of only one lifer – Magnolia Warbler – but a vast number of year firsts, such as Rufous Hummingbird, Tennessee Warbler and others.
And only Wednesday, we saw a male Barred Owl in Canmore!
The Baillie Birdathon was a great success, however I can not provide full results as I am still analysing the count. When we [our friend Tommy, my dad, and I] started on Friday, we were expecting bad weather. It was great! The sun shone through a blue sky, with not a cloud to be seen. My dad and I had started without Tommy, at the U of C, trying to see one or both of the Peregrine Falcons that nest there. As we didn’t want to start the 24 hour period before 11: 45, we wasted as much time as we could at the University, hoping that the falcon we’d seen would stay in the place that we had seen it in earlier. When we finally pulled out of the university, our eyes glued to the falcon, it was 11:46!
After that, we drove to the north end of Glenmore Reservoir, where we most definitely would have got more if I owned a spotting scope! Be as that may be, we did get a few species, namely Bonaparte’s Gull and Say’s Phoebe.
At about 1:00, we met Tommy at Carburn Park, and it was a huge species gain [in many different lists!]. We started in the parking lot, with a male House Sparrow, then continued down to the nearest small pond, where some Canada Geese were lying, their goslings close by.
I don’t have much time now, so I will be posting more on the Birdathon soon. Thanks for donating – those who aready have – and if you haven’t, please do so by the end of May!
The last few times I’ve been out on a trip specifically for birding, and even when I’m walking to school and around the neighbourhood, I’ve been noticing that the small number of sparrows from the winter has almost sextupled in size. The reasons? One is that the sparrows that migrate here are starting to arrive, and the second is a sudden, cold snow storm that forced migrating birds to stop and take shelter wherever they are. Usually you can expect to see about three sparrow speicies here in May, but by now I’ve seen about six (including Dark-eyed Junco).
The juncos had been here pretty much all year, so the first back were the White-throated Sparrows, their loud, clear voices breaking the silence. Second came the Song Sparrows, swamping all the inhabitable sparrow habitats. And then the White-crowned Sparrows returned in force, only days before the first Savanah Sparrows arrived.
Coming in fifth, Chipping Sparrows scattered across the mountains in small groups, immediately after the Lincoln’s Sparrows appeared. And last – but not least – were the American Tree Sparrows.
But the sparrows are not all. Many others have been forced down by the storm.
On Monday, I went for a walk with my Mum, and afterwards with my friend Oscar.
On both ocasions we saw a Western Tanager, but when I went with Oscar, we saw two! Both birds were males in full breeding plumage, and they are amazing colors! For those who have not seen a male tanager, the picture can not even come close to describing its brilliance.
Ruby-crowned Kinglets are so numerous this year that I can hardly take two steps down a creek trail without seeing one or two. Although we failed to catch one with its crest open, they came close enough for many good photos.