Meadow Lake Prov Park - Cold River/Pierce Lake Christmas Bird Count
- On a beautiful Sunday 31 Dec 06, a group of 5 birder's left Cold Lake to make
the annual Christmas expedition to the Cold River and Pierce Lake CBC Count
circle (unofficial count). Participation was coordinated through Cold Lake's
Beaver River Naturalist Society.
Cold Lake froze very early this year (3 Dec) but the Cold River rapids near the
outflow from Cold Lake and an area of faster flowing water at Lepine narrows
east of Pierce Lake remained open. The count circle also covers a portion of
agricultural land on the south border of Meadow Lake Provincial Park including
one rural residence with feeders.
At the Cold River the group split with 3 walking downriver along a snowmobile
trail to check the riparian area and open water that was not visible from the
bridge, while 2 checked out a cabin and campground area near the bridge.
Total party hours 7.25, with 5km walked and 85.2 driven.
Results of the count were as follows:
* denotes First Count record for species.
Bald Eagle 1 (adult)
Ruffed Grouse 9
*Spruce Grouse 3 (near cabin at Cold River bridge)
*Black-Backed Woodpecker 1 (near road north of Cold River bridge)
Woodpecker Sp 2 (probably 1 Downy)
Blue Jay 5
Black-Billed Magpie 12
Common Raven 19
Black-Capped Chickadee 14
Boreal Chickadee 3
Snow Bunting 2
Pine Grosbeak 11
Common Redpoll 3
We did not encounter any Sharp-Tailed Grouse within the circle this trip, but
did have one a few km south of the circle on our drive in. We were also
surprised not to find any Common Goldeneye as we usually have some stay around.
No Gray Jays were found either. Note that a single Common Goldeneye was
spotted in the Waterhen River north of Doringtosh (outside the count area) by
two of the participants a day earlier.
We also experienced some interesting sightings of animals, especially a mink
that cavorted along the waters edge near the Lepine narrows bridge.
Red Squirrels 9, White-tailed deer 11, 1 Moose(cow), 2 coyotes, 1 mink, 2
muskrats. Sign of river otter was also noted but none seen.
Some photo's taken by Bill Bretsch during the trip can be viewed at the
Participants: Ted Hindmarch, Richard Klauke, Marsha Hayward, Bill Bretsch, and