26658Swift Current (May 27-31)
- May 31, 2014The last few days of May, we have been seeing in our yard and immediate neighbourhood:
occasional Canada Geese (flying over)
2 Swainson's Hawks (flying over neighbourhood)
2 Merlins (male and female - maintaining a constant vigil overlooking our yard and neighbourhood)
Ring-billed and Franklin's Gulls (flying over)
2 Eurasian Collared-Doves (male often sings at first light for a couple hours)
at least 2 Mourning Doves
1 Northern "Red-shafted" Flicker male
1 Northern "Yellow-shafted" Flicker female
2 Least Flycatchers
1 Warbling Vireo (May 29)
a few American Crows (including a pair nesting atop an evergreen tree next door)
at least 7 or 8 Purple Martins
2-7 Tree Swallows
2 Red-breasted Nuthatches
at least 4 House Wrens
1 Swainson's Thrush (last seen May 28)
a few American Robins
2 Gray Catbirds (male was displaying and singing May 31)
100+ Cedar Waxwings
at least 4 Yellow Warblers (2 males, 2 females)
1 Nashville Warbler (May 23)
2 White-crowned Sparrows (last seen May 22)
Western Meadowlark (singing at the front yard birdbath May 27)
at least 3 or 4 Brown-headed Cowbirds
a few Common Grackles
2 Baltimore Orioles (hear him singing more often than we see them)
at least 12 or 14 House Finches including at least 3 recently fledged youngsters
at least 4 American Goldfinches (2 male/female pairs)
a few House Sparrows
Eastern Grey Squirrels
1 Nuttall's Cottontail (half-grown 'teenager')
The list looks more impressive than what we usually have in our yard at any one time. The birds are all very wary, so do not spend much time out in the open for fear the Merlins will come screeching by. We hear the Merlins' screams fairly often throughout the day.
The Red-breasted Nuthatches have been very busy, carrying food to their nestlings. I hope we see them at least for a little while when they do fledge. (In the couple previous years, they used to hang around in our backyard, near the suet feeders, but last year, we never did see them after they fledged.)
The two pairs of Tree Swallows seem to be settled into their respective nestboxes, and the House Wrens are busy working on filling up their nestbox the way they want it. We do have at least 3 pairs of Purple Martins that seem to have claimed their own gourds. They are so cute... the pairs sleep together in the same gourd, both trying to hang their heads out at the same time in the morning. We really enjoy listening to them singing their love songs, along with all the other neighbourhood songsters. This is really the best time of the year!!!
On the north end of the City, the 5 young goslings (by the pond and dugout immediately north of Battleford Trail) have at least doubled in size in the past week... The pond & dugout are also home to a few ducks (Mallards, Blue-winged Teals, Northern Shovelers, Canvasbacks) and American Coots. There are also a few other adult Canada Geese around the same location as well as on the nearby stubble field just northeast of the nearby intersection. There are always at least 3 or 4 Black-billed Magpies and several Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles in the area as well.
Late afternoon on May 27, my co-worker and I were driving along the southwest service road just east of the Ford dealership when we saw 3 RED FOX kits playing in the grass near the road. I went back there this afternoon but did not see them.
Happy birding everyone!!
- Mary Ann and Larry, Swift Current, SK
50° 17' 00" N - 107° 48' 00" W