- During a brief walk around the Saskatoon forestry farm this afternoon
I saw a flock of approx 25+ Cedar Waxwings, and found myself
surrounded by Common Redpoll with some very close views being had.
Have you checked out the song of the Harris Sparrow or Tree Sparrow?
Both of these would be possible candidates at this time. The difficulty is
that these may be partial songs .
- Had a walk around the Saskatoon Forestry Farm this afternoon, I cant
believe I go for walks in these temperatures....big difference to
what those Surrey birders have to endure, but it was dry and sunny.
Heard a distinctive cluck cluck cluck which had I been in Surrey
would have been a Blackbird but over here is the American Robin. I
could not find the Robin to get a look at him. I wandered around and
found the few usual winter residents;
Common Redpoll, numbers seem to decrease with each visit.
A Raven flew over the corner of the park.
Having decided that I had taken all I could of the cold, into view
hopped the American Robin, a nice brightly coloured bird, looking
like a male.
There was at least one bird maybe more that I could hear but not see,
the call was like the first two notes of the White-fronted
Sparrow, "pure sweet" but slightly more drawn out. Would anybody like
to guess from that what I missed out on?
- The wife and I went to the Forestry Farm this afternoon for about an
hour but, as Mick has already reported, there weren't very many
different kinds of birds there.
There were hundreds of gulls in the fenced-off field north-east of
the zoo entrance. There may have been other kinds of gulls, but all I
could recognize was the ring-billed gull. Although I've seen lots of
them before, this is the first time I have identified one as such
since I started keeping track a few months ago and therefore it is a
lifer for me :-)
There were three other lifers too:
- a m+f redhead pair on the fishing pond. I've put two pictures of
them on my web site. Even with the 3X zoom on my camera they're still
not particularly clear photos. Wish I had a good telephoto lens.
- a m+f mallard pair. Seen lots of these over the years too but,
again, first time I've identified them. I saw them fairly close up
but they flew away as I was trying to get closer to take some photos
and all I have is a couple of photos that are even less clear than
those of the redheads.
- a m+f (presumably) Canada Goose pair. I got some good photos of
these but I'm sure you've all seen enough of them :-)
The only other birds I saw were American Crows (on the order of 20)
and dark-eyed juncos (4).
- Well so much for the weather forecast in these parts today, stayed
about +10 but with these strong winds......probably means all the
interesting migrants will ride the winds and carry on north.
Of interest in the Forestry Farm today were 3 Northern Flickers
chasing each other around and at one point sharing a tree with a
Hairy Woodpecker. A pair a Mourning Doves was feeding in the 'formal'
gardens. There was a pair of Bufflehead on the trout pond and 4 pair
of Canada Geese on or near it. Just behind the zoo in the
experimental station, viewable from the main car park, was a fairly
small area that had obviously been treated in some way as there were
about 100 Ring-billed Gulls feeding on it. With these were two
Franklin's Gulls showing their pink fronts off very nicely and there
were three pairs of Mallard.
As for passerines, apart from crows and magpies, I saw 1 American
Robin, thought there would of been more feeding among the leaf litter
but hopefully they were just sheltering from the strong winds.
Not far away at the junction of Attridge and Circle Drives we have
seen a hawk on the fence several times over the last 3-4 days so
today we took the dirt track down there and got a very good view of a
Swainsons Hawk. It didn't like us getting too close but only flew
about 50 yards into the field and settled on the ground. Not far from
this location was a small but old grove of trees until they built the
new junction, I wonder if this bird is one that had nested here
- I went to the forestry farm for an hour and a half this morning. I
only stayed in the area around the fishing pond. There weren't as
many kinds of birds as we had seen on Sunday. I had expected there'd
be even more when there's practically nobody around. I saw the usual
Canada Geese, Red-winged Blackbirds and House Sparrows. There was
also a pair of Horned Grebes and I could hear lots of Yellow Warblers
and eventually saw one. I heard but didn't see a Black-capped
This evening I was sitting on the back step when a Lazuli Bunting
flew into the yard and perched briefly on the fence. Wow, what a
splash of colour! And a lifer too! Things are looking up for the