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Morning jaunt...

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  • M A
    This morning, Larry and I went for a bit of a drive for an hour just north-northeast of the City... leaving home at 8:00 and returning by 9:00 AM. It is nippy
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 7, 2007
      This morning, Larry and I went for a bit of a drive for an hour just
      north-northeast of the City... leaving home at 8:00 and returning by
      9:00 AM. It is nippy this morning... We were at -8ºC and wind when we
      first set out!! It was a little warmer temperature wise when we got
      home but the wind is increasing so it doesn't feel warmer!

      We did see some good birds 'n mammals, though...

      Just as we were leaving the City, we saw 2 Canada Geese still snoozing
      on a piece of ice in the middle of the slough on the north edge of the
      City, as well as 2 American Crows & 1 Western Meadowlark in the same

      Our jaunt up the highway 18 or 19 km north then several kilometers east
      on a grid road and back home again on the same route netted us:

      500+ Geese in a slough - including Canada Geese & Greater White-fronted
      Geese, and 10 Snow Geese
      2 Canada Geese standing under a tree
      a few Mallards (in the same slough as the Geese)
      a few Northern Pintails (in the same slough as the Geese)
      1 Ferruginous Hawk
      a few Gulls
      1 Great Horned Owl on her nest (17 km north of Swift Current)
      5 Black-billed Magpies
      11 American Crows
      several Horned Larks
      22 European Starlings
      a few Western Meadowlarks
      1 Coyote
      16 Pronghorn (2 together, then 14... when we did the return trip, the 14
      were new and down the road 3 or 4 miles, the same 2 were in the same
      spot as a half hour or so before)
      lots of Richardson's Ground Squirrels

      At the entrance to the Boy Scout Camp, we saw 2 Black-billed Magpies & 5
      American Robins, and just after leaving the camp area, as we were
      topping the hill to return to the main grid road, a female Merlin flew
      up off the road then landed just a couple or three car lengths in front
      of us. We stopped and shut off the truck and observed her eating bugs
      along the edge of the road. What a wonderful opportunity to see this
      beautiful bird so close. She appeared totally unconcerned that we were
      there so close to her and continued to pick up and eat bugs. (I would
      guess that the cold morning temperatures had the bugs pretty sluggish!)

      Along the highway where the Ferruginous Hawks were nesting last year (we
      were with Dan Z at that nest site last June 24 banding the young
      Fergies), 2 Canada Geese were hanging around below the tree with the
      nest that was used last year by the Ferruginous Hawks. I hope the
      Canada Geese don't take the nest over if there is a chance the Fergies
      are considering using it again. In a tree just over from there, the
      Ferruginous Hawk was sitting in the warming sun, with a couple American
      Crows & the 22 European Starlings claiming tree branches just over from
      the Hawk.

      We will have to go check out some key spots around the City today if it
      warms up a bit... and if the wind goes down. I am thinking there should
      be something on Burnett's Pond and at the Filtration Plant Reservoir.

      Take care... and Happy Birding!

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