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Golden Plovers at Buck Lake

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  • tsb2001
    Last night, I again traveled to Buck Lake. My target lately has been to see flocks of Golden Plovers which, according to my records, are regular there at this
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 20, 2001
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      Last night, I again traveled to Buck Lake. My target lately has been to see
      flocks of Golden Plovers which, according to my records, are regular there
      at this time of the year.

      This Fall , I have only seen Black-bellied Plovers present at this location.
      BBPL at a distance are very easy to differentiate as their basic plumage has
      a greyish tone, In flight, their unique dark axillars or armpits are readily
      apparent.

      In basic plumage at a distance, Golden Plovers appear to be a more uniform
      brown. Often Golden Plovers are restless and fly around exhibiting great
      coordinated maneuvers ,twisting and turning ,with little apparent plan or
      purpose. Last night, more than 60 birds circled for many minutes in
      spectacular flight pausing briefly on the shores at times prior to leaving
      the area.

      Bob Luterbach
      Regina Sask.
    • Bob
      Frank I have had rather sporadic visits to Buck Lake over the years. I lived in Prince Albert and area for 8 yrs, Saskatoon briefly one fall, Weyburn and
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 26, 2005
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        Frank
        I have had rather sporadic visits to Buck Lake over the years. I lived in Prince Albert and area for 8 yrs, Saskatoon briefly one fall, Weyburn and Tyvan. During these years there were some when I didn't bird this area or only upon a few occasions.

        Previously as well, the road was less than all weather and this impacted visits during some years when fall rains were more prevalent.

        Another factor is the length of time spent within the area during each visit. These birds usually arrive later in the afternoon/ early evening after foraging in nearby fields. This is probably what happened on Saturday with their sudden arrival later after we had been in the location for more than an hour.

        Sometimes, my brief afternoon or early evening visits during previous years were limited by time constraints or commitments such as work. :)

        Golden Plovers often fly around the Lake area at intervals as they seem nervous or perhaps energetic. These flights allow quick separation from Black-bellied Plovers. During Saturday, the Golden Plovers flew in a single species flock. They did split into two groups in flight at times though. Sometimes in the past these have incorporated Black-bellied Plovers in varying numbers. This didn't happen on Saturday.

        In addition to flying about on Saturday they remained for intervals on a mud bar in front of us. They were counted as they rested quietly

        Here are my fall records of peak numbers of Golden Plovers at Buck Lake over the years:

        (Again bear in mind that my visits were usually sporadic so these may not represent a sample of true peak numbers.)

        Sept. 29, 1979---39

        Sept. 25, 1980--120+

        Sept. 16, 1981---95+-

        Sept. 16, 1982---60+

        Sept.18, 1984---70+

        Sept, 16,1995--180+- (Counts also ranged from 113 on Sept. 14 to just 60+ on Sept.19)

        Sept.20,1997----200+-

        Sept. 24, 2001---120+- (other counts were 62 on Sept.18 and 37 on Sept 28.)

        Sept. 20, 2002---73

        Sept 27, 2003---28 in flight over Regina Beach. No visits to Buck Lake in the mid to latter days of September.

        Sept. 22, 2004---105+-

        Hope this is useful in providing a snapshot of numbers at this location. My visits to this location lately are fewer as I turn more of my attention to fall birding at Regina Beach earlier each year.

        Good birding
        Bob
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Frank Roy
        To: Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2005 10:25 PM
        Subject: Re: [Saskbirds] Ferruginous Hawk near Regina Beach


        Bob: I was particularly interested in your golden plover sighting, Sept. 25. 90+ is an impressive figure. You didn't say anything abourt the relative rarity of such a sighting, so I'm wondering if your experience with these plovers in fall in the Regina-Last Mountain Lake area is different from ours in the Elbow area and at Saskatoon. In both my book and in the newer Birds of Sasktoon, their relative scarcity in fall is pointed out. I do have one record of 102 goldens at Luck Lake, October 2, 1992. Otherwise, we seldom see more than a handful of these birds at any one time. I'd like to hear more about your previous experiences with autumnal Golden Plovers. Perhaps the dearth of records in parts of Saskatchewan may be due to our failure to check out carefully the late migrant juveniles which pass through in greater numbers than the adult birds which migrate in July and August. I've always felt that black bellies are more common in fall a ----- Original Message -----
        From: Bob
        To: Saskbirds@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, September 25, 2005 8:18 PM

        90 +-Golden Plover provides some excellent looks as they flew about. the
        area plus landed and remained for minutes at a time on a nearby mud bar.
        With them were 3+ Black-bellied Plover and a silent basic plumaged
        Long-billed Dowitchers ?? a few Killdeers and American Avocets were also
        present.

        500+ Lapland Longspurs flew about the area often pausing briefly at waters
        edge prior to whirling away.

        Western Meadowlarks (40++) were noted in various sized flocks along the
        Yankee Ridge Road. A special treat was to hear several in full song near
        dusk.

        We observed several Red-tailed Hawks with an adult dark morph sighted along
        highway # 6 south towards the Yankee Ridge Road. Several were along the
        Yankee Ridge Road. The others were along highway #6 between the Buck Lake
        turnoff and Rowatt.

        A couple of juvenile plumaged Northern Harriers were exploring the area near
        the shores of the Lake.

        In addition to our several car loads of observers, we met Val and Doyle
        Thomas . They were birding the area. Great to visit with them.

        Val & Doyle reported a Sharp-shined Hawk at a farmyard to the southwest of
        the Lake.

        Good Birding
        Bob







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