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17577Swift Current area

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  • M A
    Aug 30, 2009
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      Going to and from work, my co-workers and I see a number of Hawks
      (Northern Harriers, Swainson's Hawks, & Red-tailed Hawks).... on power
      poles, sitting on the ground, and a few flying). There are flocks of
      2-15 Mourning Doves on power lines and fences, as well as flocks of 2-16
      American Crows and 20-50 Blackbirds.

      Aug 29 afternoon, I finally seen the Great Horned Owl sitting in the
      window opening of an old barn along the Fosterton grid!! I have been
      watching that window opening for the last almost 3 1/2 years -- since I
      started working out at the Compressor Station!! Whoo-hoo!

      We are also starting to see more Pronghorn -- in herds of 1-10.

      Out at work, the numbers of birds seen and heard have dropped.... we are
      now seeing daily:

      3 or 4 Swainson's Hawks (including a couple young)
      a few Killdeer (hear them more often than we see them)
      a few Mourning Doves
      a few Eastern Kingbirds
      a few Barn Swallows (the 5 nestlings by the office deck fledged sometime
      Aug 22-23)
      a few American Robins
      a few European Starlings
      a couple Brewer's Blackbirds
      a few Common Grackles
      too many House Sparrows

      a few Richardson's Ground Squirrels

      Yesterday was beautiful out.... with temps hitting 28C. Larry took Ryan
      back up to Saskatoon for university, so with everyone gone, I went out
      and about around 10:00AM... planning on spending time with my camera and
      seeing birds and mammals as I headed out into the country. 3 hours and
      116 km later, I returned home... only got a handful of photos (most of
      them I deleted...) because the light was way too harsh by then and I
      didn't find anything I really wanted to shoot. My route took me north
      to the Correction Line Road (just south of Stewart Valley), down grid
      roads I've never been on (and I was starting to wonder exactly where I
      was), finally ending up at Hwy 32 at Success, over to the Compressor
      Station, then east down the Fosterton road, continuing on east across
      the highway, and finally ending up back in Swift Current on the NW end.

      The most abundant critters I saw as I drove along mostly gravel roads
      were Grasshoppers!!! LOTS of them! The rest of what I saw were:

      Raptors: 17 Swainson's Hawks, 7 Red-tailed Hawks. 6 unidentified Hawks.
      1 Merlin
      Mourning Doves
      Flycatchers: a few Western Kingbirds & several Eastern Kingbirds
      (including a flock of 7 in a dead tree)
      4 American Crows (harassing a Red-tailed Hawk in a tree)
      a few Horned Larks
      1 Marsh Wren (heard only)
      1 Gray Catbird
      1 Yellow Warbler
      Sparrows: a few Clay-colored Sparrows, 2 Savannah Sparrows, 1 Song Sparrow
      Western Meadowlarks (1 or 2 here and there, plus a flock of 25)
      Blackbirds (a few flocks of 15-75)

      a few Richardson's Ground Squirrels
      1 Mule Deer

      I seen the dead hawk Dan Z. mentioned on the approach near the lone tree
      on Hwy 4 north of Swift Current... poor hawk. An adult was flying
      around nearby - screaming as it flew over. Right there, the ground was
      literally crawling with grasshoppers.

      At a slough just south of Stewart Valley, I expected to see shorebirds
      (we always do!)... but was very disappointed to find the slough dried up
      and not even a single Killdeer to be seen nor heard. It was very quiet
      there... with only a Swainson's Hawk, a Gray Catbird, a Yellow Warbler,
      a couple Clay-colored Sparrows, & the Marsh Wren (heard only - chattering).

      I did go by a couple places with a bit of water but never did see a
      shorebird nor any waterbirds in the 116 km I drove!! I did not even see
      a single gull.

      - Mary Ann, Swift Current
      50° 17' 00" N - 107° 48' 00" W
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