To Herbert area and back
- It was very windy but the afternoon of July 27 we headed to the Herbert
area for a quick look to see what was out and about.
En route from Swift Current to Herbert, we saw 1 Northern Harrier, 1
Swainson's Hawk and Gulls - mostly Franklin's Gulls. We pulled off onto
a grid road a bit east of Waldeck (in the area where we saw the Northern
Hawk Owl the winter just passed). There are some good wet areas along
this grid but it was very windy so a lot of the ducks, etc. were hiding
in the cattails and reeds. In this little jaunt we saw: Mallards,
Northern Shovelers, 2 American White Pelicans, 1 Northern Harrier, 2
Swainson's Hawks, 1 Red-tailed Hawk, American Coots, 1 Killdeer,
Wilson's Phalaropes, 1 Northern "Yellow-shafted" Flicker, Western
Kingbirds, Eastern Kingbirds, 2 Black-billed Magpies, 1 American Crow,
Horned Larks, Cliff Swallows, 2 Barn Swallows, American Robins, Vesper
Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, & Yellow-headed Blackbirds.
We drove a couple miles or so east along the grid, then got back on the
TransCanada Hwy again and continued on to Herbert. We turned off onto
the grid immediately south of Herbert hoping to see some good birds but
the water areas are receding a fair amount now, so all we saw were: a
few Northern Shovelers, American White Pelicans flying, American Coots,
3 American Avocets, Franklin's Gulls, Western Kingbirds, 1 American
Robin, & Red-winged Blackbirds.
Back on the TransCanada Highway we continued east 1.6km, then turned
south down a lesser grid road driving 1.1 km past a farm and stopped to
check out the big slough. We then continued another kilometre south
then turned east again. At that corner, there were sloughs on either
side of the road.... with the usual duck and blackbird species. from
the TransCanada Highway, along this stretch of grid road and over to the
Neidpath grid we observed: Canada Geese, Northern Shovelers,
Canvasbacks, Ducks, 5 American White Pelicans, 1 Swainson's Hawk, 1
Killdeer, 6 Willets, 16 Wilson's Phalaropes, Gulls, 13 Mourning Doves
(6 in one flock!), Western Kingbirds, Eastern Kingbirds, 2 American
Crows, Barn Swallows, Red-winged Blackbirds, several Western
Meadowlarks, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Brewer's Blackbirds, & 3 Pronghorn.
Heading north along the Neidpath grid toward the TransCanada Highway, we
stopped at the marshy area where there have been some very good birds
spotted... but they either weren't around or were staying out of the
wind in the cattails and marsh grasses. All we saw at the marshy area
were Mallards, Wilson's Phalaropes, and Red-winged Blackbirds.
We crossed the TransCanada Highway and onto the grid road heading north
toward a main grid that would take us to the Herbert grid road. All we
aw were 2 American Crows along this little jaunt.
At FRANCIS LAKE (north of Herbert), we saw: Canada Geese, Gadwalls,
American Wigeons, Mallards, Blue-winged Teals, Northern Shovelers,
Green-winged Teals, Canvasbacks, Lesser Scaup, 3 Buffleheads, Ruddy
Ducks, Eared Grebes, 9 American White Pelicans, 1 Northern Harrier,
American Coots, 8 Black-necked Stilts, 7 American Avocets, over 1000
birds of the Dowitcher species, Wilson's Phalaropes, Franklin's Gulls,
Red-winged Blackbirds, & Yellow-headed Blackbirds.
There were a few ducklings, young Eared Grebes and young American Coots,
but not near as many as I expected to see.
Along the road going through Francis Lake, there were several dead
Franklin's Gulls laying on the road, and we noticed some dead gulls near
the water's edge as well. I can certainly understand how they get hit
because we were driving very slowly along the road and I almost hit a
few of them.
On the way home, from Herbert to Swift Current I counted 6 Swainson's
Hawks. I am not sure where they all were when we were heading east but
I was happy to see them on the way home.
Wind or not, it was still a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
- Mary Ann and Larry, Swift Current
50° 17' 00" N - 107° 48' 00" W
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