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13302Friday Birding

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  • Kathy Hedegard
    Dec 8, 2007
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      Morning Everyone:

      Yesterday I was out of my house early. I'm having some major renovations done to a couple rooms; the dust and general mayhem is incredible. Yes, happy holidays to me! What a dopey time to have this all happening. Other than the intent to be away the entire day, I had no particular destination in mind. After checking out local spots, I putzed down (mostly) gravel roads west - all the way to Coronach and eventually circled home. Total trip was 400 kms or so.

      I'm not very familiar with the reservoir associated with the Poplar River power plant (at Coronach); judging from the mist rising there is a winding canal of warm water keeping parts ice free. Besides easily getting to the hot water outlet from the plant, I couldn't find any 'good' access to the rest of the reservoir. The wind was bitterly cold and I wasn't inclined to do any great amount of walking. Fair weather birder, that's me.

      There were hundreds of Mallards and a few Canada Geese basking in the hot water at the outlet. Their heads were all white with frosty condensation. Quite a number of Canadas were flying around and feeding in the fields.

      By the way, the reservoir here at Boundary was completely shrouded in mist yesterday. The trees at the picnic area are covered in a thick frost - very picturesque.

      For me, the birds of note were 4 Prairie Falcons. First Winter sighting (**). Two were fairly close together, south of Torquay. Another was south of Gladmar and lastly, one was near Tribune on my way back home. All were perched on rooves of old wooden graineries.

      As I was topping the valley above the Burgess Ranch (on #18 highway west of the junction with #6), a Golden Eagle swooped into view. I think this was a 2nd year individual (according to tail colouring as per Sibley).

      To recap my sightings:

      4 Prairie Falcons **
      1 Golden Eagle **
      50-60 Ring-necked Pheasants
      ~200 Sharp-tailed Grouse
      1000s Snow Buntings
      3 Snowy Owls
      2 BB Magpies
      4 Great Horned Owls (3 large females and one tiny male)
      1 Merlin
      50+ Horned Larks **
      House Sparrows
      100s Mallards
      100s Canada Geese
      100s Rock Pigeons
      16-20 Huns, er, Grey Partridge - probably many more. Coveys of 6-10 birds make circles and tracks in the snow pecking around in the stubble for food and then settle into the scuffed up area very well camoflaged. Neat birds.

      I also saw 6-8 coyotes, 15 pronghorns, many mule and white-tailed deer, several jackrabbits.

      Kathy in Estevan





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