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12652Friday Birding

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  • Kathy Hedegard
    Sep 1, 2007
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      Morning People:

      Yesterday I did a fairly wide sweep of the area between Estevan and north of Stoughton to include Gooseberry Lake and the NWR end of Moose Mountain Lake It was windy, dusty and hot. Scoping was pretty much out of the question.

      I collected 66 species, including those noticed in my yard. I thought the Hummingbirds had left but there were two buzzing around the feeders late last night.

      I don't believe I found anything terribly remarkable; that said, I came across a large flock of crows, probably 100+ individuals. These were the only crows I saw all day. Huge flocks of Blackbird sp. are congregating in a few places as well. They seem to be mostly Red-winged, with fewer Yellow-Headed and Cowbirds and possibly Brewer's, depending on whether the group was in the open field or at a dugout.

      The shore birds were limited. There were a few Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs in most appropriate places; one flock of 15+ Semipalmated Sandpipers and only a very few Wilson's Phalaropes. Only 1 Great Blue Heron and no egrets.

      In the raptor news, 10-12 Swainson's Hawks, mostly in the southern part of my trip; I didn't see any Red-tailed Hawks until I got close to Gooseberry Lake area. I saw 2 Merlins, one of which had snaffled a mouse; several Kestrels and one Sharp-shinned Hawk.

      And, there was one flock of Sandhill Cranes, yay. There were 55+ birds in various plummages. Two were also doing a bit of leaping around, which I find so delightful to watch.

      What else? Mountain Bluebirds (2), Grey Partridge, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Ring-necked Pheasant, all the waterfowl species including 1 Hooded Merganser, Bufflehead and a few Common Goldeneye. Most of the Red-necked Grebes have dispersed, but a few were still at the areas close to the road. Quite a few Pied-billed Grebes, and a couple Earred Grebes. All the grebes nest in the area.

      All in all, I collected 66 species including what I noticed in my yard. I thought the hummingbirds had left, but two are still buzzing around. There's Yellow, Tennessee (I think) and Canada Warblers in the treetops this morning. Gosh my windows are dirty - guess I know what I better be doing today.

      Hope everyone has a great long weekend of birding (or whatever the activities are).
      Kathy in Estevan

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