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211Sonningdale Owl Survey...

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  • gswap@sk.sympatico.ca
    May 1, 2001
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      Hi all,

      On the evening of April 23, brother Rob and I conducted our 2nd Annual
      Owl Survey in the Aspen parkland southwest of the village of
      Sonningdale (or, if you want another reference point, about 40 kms.
      northeast of Biggar). We left S'toon about 2100, driving the
      "Yellowhead" northwest until we reached Grid 784. We then took this
      road west. It takes you directly to the beginning of the owl survey
      route Rob has mapped out for us. To further confuse you all, this
      road also is part of the Biggar Breeding Bird Survey, with the final
      25 stops conducted along it!

      We were driving in Rob's 1993 Sonoma pick-up, which he and his wife
      Megan had just purchased. On the drive down 784, we unfortunately
      "christened" the truck when we had a rather tragic encounter with a
      WHITE-TAILED JACKRABBIT. While we were dismayed, at least it wasn't a
      WHITE-TAIL of another variety!

      Unlike my owl survey in the southeast a few days earlier, we were
      blessed with near perfect conditions. Temps. of +6 down to +4, very
      little wind and clear skies. Survey ran from 2209 to 2311 hrs.


      STOP 1. N. SAW-WHET OWL-1 heard tooting. BOREAL CHORUS FROG-6+.

      STOP 2. BC FROG-20+ made it hard to hear anything else!

      STOP 3. NSWO-1 heard. BC FROG-6+ again.

      STOP 4. NSWO-1 heard. RUFFED GROUSE-1 heard drumming.

      STOP 5. BC FROG-1.

      STOP 6. GREAT HORNED OWL-1 heard. RU GR-another heard drumming.
      BC FROG-5+. WOOD FROG-1.

      STOP 7. AM. GREEN-WINGED TEAL-1 giving its piping whistle as it flew
      over us in the black.

      STOP 8. NSWO-1 heard.

      STOP 9. BC FROG-20+. WOOD FROG-1.

      STOP 10. GH OW-1 heard. BC FROG-12+. WOOD FROG-1.

      Total was 4 SAW-WHETS and 2 HORNED, not a bad result. On our initial
      route last year we had five of each, so we didn't do quite as well
      this time around.

      Will follow this up with another post on the weekend journey to
      Melville and back.