Fort Qu'appelle trip
Took a drive around the Fort Qu'appelle area Sat morning. The weather
was wonderful and the very few ice fishermen were doing well as I
could see the fish flopping on the ice by the holes. Nobody was
driving their trucks onto the ice yet though. Stopped at Echo Valley
Prov Park then went east along the north side of Echo and Mission
Lakes to Lebret.
In and around the valley I saw 14 Ravins with a group of 6 playing on
the wind along the steep hills at Lebret. This is by far the largest
number of this species I have seen in the south of the province. Also
I saw 14 Black-billed Magpies on the trip.
At Echo Valley Prov Park I saw
Pine Grosbeak 10
Boheimian Waxwing 15
Dark-eyed Junco 1
Black-capped Chickadee 2
At the open water between Echo and Pasqua Lakes there were
Canada Goose 100
Common Goldeneye 14
Bufflehead 1 male
Bald Eagle 2 adults
At the open water at F.Q. there was
Northern Shrike 1
Common Goldeneye 11
At the open water at the Lebret bridge there were 6 Common Goldeneye.
An enjoyable day of birding.
At home I was entertained by a group of wacky Flickers. I saw
a "normal" yellow-shafted male with black malar and red nape
crescent. Then I saw a yellow-shafted female with the red nape
crescent. So I thought great there are two flickers around the
neighborhood. Later in the day a red-shafted flicker came to the suet
feeder and I thought wow what a good day for flickers. Then I took a
closer look and although the bird was red-shafted it had the red
crescent and black malars of the yellow-shafted. Cool, yellow-
shafted/red-shafted intergrade. Then it got even better, with a
female without the red crescent of the yellow-shafted but having
yellow-shafting. Even the kids were entertained as I tried to explain
the love life of a flicker. It kind of makes me wonder exactly how
many individuals of a species we actually have visiting our feeders.
More than we know I'm sure.