Marching right along....
- Marching right along into a new month... it looks like it will be
officially 'in like a lamb' with the sun shining (unless we count the
wind as being a bit lion-ish with the cold bite of winter still making
its presence felt.)
Sure not much in the way of bird variety here in SW Saskatchewan....
pretty bo-ring!! Here on the home front, yesterday was probably the
busiest our yard has been with 1 Black-billed Magpie, 4 Red-breasted
Nuthatches, at least 6 House Finches, at least 13 Common Redpolls, 1
Hoary Redpoll, too many House Sparrows, and the Black-phased Gray
Squirrel. (Feb 25, around 6:00 PM, 6 Black-billed Magpies flew over
our backyard, landing in the evergreen trees next door. That is the
most Magpies I have seen in our immediate neighbourhood this winter!)
Last week (Feb 19), we headed to Calgary to meet the new nestling in our
family... he sure is cute!! En route to Calgary, up to the Sask/Alta.
border, we saw 6 Common Ravens & 43 Pronghorn (2 herds... one with 29 in
it, and one with 14.) Alberta brought us 8 more Ravens, 7 BB Magpies,
and of course Rock Pigeons. The Corvidae monotony was broken up only a
bit by a single Snowy Owl and a Coyote between Medicine Hat and
Brooks. When we headed for home Feb 22, we saw pretty much the same,
but fewer numbers (even the Snowy Owl was in the same place as it was
few days earlier!) The highlight of the day was 1 Richardson's Ground
Squirrel alongside the highway, just west of the town of Suffield. We
saw good numbers of Pronghorn between Medicine Hat and Maple Creek.
Nice to see, knowing how low their numbers were getting to be just a few
short years ago.
Later in the afternoon Feb 24, I went to Saskatoon for a meeting... From
the backseat of the vehicle I was riding in, and spending more time
visiting than watching out the window, we did make note of 1
Sharp-tailed Grouse alongside the highway just north of Sask Landing, a
few Rock Pigeons, 2 Black-billed Magpies, at least 6 Common Ravens
(including one at Sask Landing Prov Park), & a herd of at least 100 Mule
Deer (near Harris). On our way home the afternoon of Feb 25, we saw a
few Rock Pigeons, 3 Black-billed Magpies, at least 10 Common Ravens (6
together in a small flock just west of Saskatoon).
The couple I was riding to Saskatoon and back with are from Maple
Creek.... they have had some Sharp-tailed Grouse in their yard as well
as a flock of Bohemian Waxwings. (They live right in town.) They are
not birders, but said they know of someone in town who is also enjoying
a Blue Jay. Lucky person!!
The House Finches are starting to sing... they have such a joyful,
beautiful song! Yesterday, I was happy to sit and watch one House Finch
pair doing a bit of courtship -- the male was feeding seeds to his
'intended'. So sweet!!!! Spring is in the air... it will not be long now!!
As we look forward to the promise of Spring, we wish you all good
birding in the days ahead...
- Mary Ann and Larry, Swift Current
50° 17' 00" N - 107° 48' 00" W