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Field Sparrows at Roche Percee

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  • Bob
    All I never meant to suggest that John Luce didn t see Field Sparrows. The two birds that he reported may have left the area or wandered upstream towards
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 16, 2003
      All
      I never meant to suggest that John Luce didn't see Field Sparrows. The two
      birds that he reported may have left the area or wandered upstream towards
      Estevan into an area that can't be accessed except by canoe.

      We just could not find them between Roche Percee and Oxbow in spite of a two
      day intensive search of the various areas. I suppose that is a more fair and
      accurate statement.
      Good Birding!
      Bob Luterbach
    • Scott Wilson
      Friday night we spent two hours at Valeport marsh watching Western Grebes. One pair did a vertical dance across the water. Later another pair offered weed to
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 16, 2003
        Friday night we spent two hours at Valeport marsh watching Western Grebes.
        One pair did a vertical dance across the water. Later another pair offered
        weed to each other, rising up out of the water as far as they could and
        circling, bills touching.

        Ruddy ducks were displaying. We heard a Virginia Rail for the first time.

        We then spent a few minutes near the Little Church. No rails, and, as usual,
        we missed Bob.

        But we found a good way to see a lot of fireflies: use your binoculars to
        look far across the field. Even 30 mm binos collect a lot more light than
        the unaided eye, and what looked like a dark, lifeless vista with the naked
        eye became a galaxy of flickering light through the binos.

        Saturday evening was a treat at Wascana Marsh near Candy Cane park: 54 nests
        of Eared grebes were scattered across the lake, and the place was hopping
        what with weed gathering, egg inspecting and neighbour chasing.

        Scott
      • Bob
        On July 01, there were two singing males near Roche Percee with one providing excellent scope views. One was calling in the distance within the Long Creek area
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 2, 2003
          On July 01, there were two singing males near Roche Percee with one
          providing excellent scope views. One was calling in the distance within the
          Long Creek area and another close by on a hillside to the southwest of the
          "Pierced Rocks" directly opposite the large white 'pylon' which commerates
          the area. This bird sat up in a dead elm tree just after dawn and sang at 20
          meters, Unfortunately, this area is close to a house and the bird is, as
          they always are, shy. As the light increased the bird became wary and flew
          down into thicker vegetation. I made another brief stop later and the same
          thing happened. I used the car as a blind.

          All of the Field Sparrows that I have seen at Roche Percee are the 'western'
          or plain faced variety. Check Sibley. However,one that was detected at Birch
          Hills a few years ago during the CBC was of the eastern type with rich
          colors.

          Other birds seen within the area included one brief view of a male
          Black-headed Grosbeak in response to a taped call of a Red-Shouldered Hawk.
          I heard only one brief song from grosbeak species during the entire trip.

          I saw a smaller buteo along the roadside near the 'Wildlife Lands', east of
          Roche Percee, and attempted to entice it into the open across the Souris.
          Also present at that location were a pair of very agitated Yellow-breasted
          Chats and a distant singing Yellow-throated Vireo.

          Further to the east where the Portal Grid crosses the Souris River there was
          another singing bird. (This is the property that is for sale near the
          bridge.) There are large poplars, Eastern Cottonwoods and other mature
          trees.

          I was scolded by an obviously agitated Yellow-throated Vireo further to the
          east about halfway to the intersection of the North Souris Road and Highway
          # 9. This year this species apparently has nested in hillside poplar forest
          as Dutch Elm disease has wiped out that riparian component. This is the same
          area that I have found two nests previously.

          An Eastern Wood-Pewee was in plain view at Longney's Crossing.

          A sole female Hooded Merganser was in the oxbow where I have seen broods
          previously. I saw no Wood Ducks;however, made no special effort to see them.

          At least four male Lazuli Buntings were singing at various sites including
          the Roche Percee Picnic Site plus along the western section of the general
          area. The 'Bed and Breakfast' area had the one furthest east.

          There were many family groups of White-breasted Nuthatches, Eastern
          Bluebirds and other species.

          I saw a family group plus a nest of House Finches at the park south of
          Oxbow. Also present in an adjacent spruce tree was a pair of Orchard Orioles
          and a nesting Western Kingbird.

          Orchard Orioles are early migrants with family groups moving as soon as they
          are able to fly. Southern birds leave the USA as early as July 01. It was no
          surprise that I saw a family group south of Carieville first foraging in a
          roadside field and later moving southeastward across an open space towards
          the town of Sherwood, North Dakota.

          Unfortunately, I was a little late in locating potential Dickcissel's within
          the extensive hay growing area of the extreme southeast bordering Manitoba
          and North Dakota. Much of the lush alfalfa and clover had been recently cut.

          I saw approximately eight Monarch/Viceroy type Butterflies plus a black
          swallowtail? Other than this Sulphur's were quite common. They appeared to
          be very orange.

          Other highlights, include seeing my first Eastern Cottontail Rabbit within
          the Province at the Roche Percee Picnic Site plus the numerous flowering
          Purple Coneflowers.

          The heat was incredible as the temperatures soared to 34 degrees!!!

          Good Birding
          Bob Luterbach
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