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  • Guy J. Wapple
    Hi All, Just when Bob thanks everyone for sending in their sightings in a timely matter, I screw things up as usual! A quick (??) summary of my final couple
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 1, 2003
      Hi All,

      Just when Bob thanks everyone for sending in their sightings in a
      timely matter, I screw things up as usual!

      A quick (??) summary of my final couple trips in September, prior to
      the football game last weekend.

      Sept. 20
      While I worked train 402 (for the umpteenth time) to Watrous yet
      again, it was very late due to many circumstances west of Biggar. As
      a result Cond. Bob Foster, Trnmn. Rob Westhouse and I didn't get
      called until 1015 in the a.m. A nice change. Of course, this meant
      that I was unable to participate in Saskatoon's Annual Fall Bird
      chase. I would have to contribute with "train birds" yet again.

      Noteworthy on the first half of the trip was an ad. Sharp-shinned Hawk
      in BigR and a nice Long-tailed Weasel at Hawoods siding.

      For the record, from 1410 until 1710 I managed 25 species in the
      S'toon birding area, which included sightings in our rail yard at the
      west end of town and out to the edge of the Saskatoon birding area at
      mile 156.6 (just east of Allan) on the Watrous Subdivision.
      Highlights were:

      Broad-winged Hawk: My second bird seen this fall from the rails was
      an adult sitting on a fence post 4 kms. west of Clavet.

      Swainson's Hawk: One near Bradwell.

      Red-tailed Hawk: 3 east of the city.

      Merlin: A female briefly chasing pigeons in S'toon yard. When I
      began birding in 1973, this species was known as Pigeon Hawk!

      Gray Partridge: Covey of 5 near Allan.

      Yellow-rumped Warbler: 11 in S'toon Yard.

      Palm Warbler: 7 also in S'toon Yard.

      There was also a late R. Ground Squirrel in S'toon Yard as well.

      From Allan to our destination, not much else was seen. We went off
      duty in Watrous at 1810 hrs.

      Sept. 21
      We were called for train 303 home at 0215 hrs. Two big engines, 8000
      tons and just over 7000 feet long. Unfortunately, our lead engine
      quit working due to a computer malfunction not long after we left
      Watrous and it took us two hours to struggle to Saskatoon. We picked
      up another unit there and struggled into the strong winds which blew
      all night, arriving in Biggar at 0940.

      Great Horned Owl: One at Young 0340.

      Bald Eagle: My first bird of the fall was an adult harrassing a large
      flock of Snow Geese (unsuccessfully) near Leney siding.

      Snow Geese: 3500+ being chased by the above predator.

      We also had a cow Moose at Eagle Creek east of Kinley and a herd of 12
      Pronghorn Antelope at Leney.

      Before crashing out for an afternoon nap, there were a few birds in
      the back yard at 322:

      Swainson's Thrush: 1. As I was checking the garden with binocs from
      the house, this bird hit one of our west side windows. It scared the
      hell out of me, as I never saw it coming! The bird must have been
      coming to our Schubert Cherry which is just outside the window and
      mis-judged the landing. It fluttered across the yard following this
      incident and landed in one of our Golden Elders. When I checked again
      twenty minutes later, it was gone---hopefully not too worse for wear.

      Other birds included:
      Tennessee Warbler: 1
      Palm Warbler: 1
      N. Waterthrush: 1

      Believe it or not I did the 402/303 thing again on the 23rd. However,
      there was pretty much nothing worth reporting, so will leave it at
      that. My mileage quota for the month was "in" and so I had the rest
      of the week to myself. Many chores ensued.

      Birds, etc. of note at 322 during that stretch were:

      Sept. 24
      Am. Tree Sparrow: 1

      Sept. 25
      A. T. Sparrow: 2
      Mourning Cloak Butterfly: 1

      Sept. 26
      Blue Jay: 1
      B.-c. Chickadee: 4
      Com. Yellowthroat: 1 female
      A. T. Sparrow: 2

      Also for the record before signing off is that I did the usual two
      trains again on the 30th and again didn't see anything
      earth-shattering. Ooops, I guess that some of the above would qualify
      for that statement as well!

      Time for a nap, as 402 will be leaving Wainwright soon and my name is
      tatooed on it yet again!


    • gwapple2001
      Hey Gang! I m very sorry for the messy post below! I had typed this up in Word - needless to say, with several revisions - then copied and pasted the
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 18, 2013

        Hey Gang!

        I'm very sorry for the "messy" post below! I had typed this up in 'Word' - needless to say, with several revisions - then "copied and pasted" the so-called finished product here.

        Very disappointing and yet another reason to HATE the new format!!!

        At any rate, I think you'll be able to get through the narrative eventually...





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