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  • Guy J. Wapple
    Fellow Birders, As mentioned earlier, we have been experiencing problems for some time now with our old machine. On Easter Monday, Sandra and I went looking
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2005
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      Fellow Birders,

      As mentioned earlier, we have been experiencing problems for some time
      now with our old machine. On Easter Monday, Sandra and I went looking
      around town and decided to give 'Future Shop' some business. We now
      have a new Gateway processor with a zillion gigabytes of memory plus a
      nice new matching keyboard. A Benq 17 inch flatscreen monitor
      completed the new purchase. We now have Windows XP with all the bells
      and whistles. Installation was relatively painless and the World Wide
      Web has us pulled into it's tentacles once again! The old girl---
      which still has some programs that work---has been 'retired' to the
      toy room in our basement.

      First of all, my thanks to Carol for her kind words in an earlier
      post. I like hearing the word "elite" when it comes to describing my
      birding skills. Obviously, Carol hasn't seen me in action too many
      times! Like the time I told Wayne Harris and Bob Kreba about all the
      young Ferruginous Hawks I'd seen while crossing 'The Gap' road in the
      Cypress Hills one summer day. They'd been across the same road a
      couple of hours ahead of me and had seen tons of young Swainson's! I
      could go on and on.

      As for Carol, she's no slouch herself. How about Sage Thrasher and
      Field Sparrows in her backyard near Bromhead, not too mention the
      Provinces first records for Western Screech Owls (in the Cypress
      Hills), plus a Black Rosy Finch (Big Muddy).

      It's Thursday eve and I'll soon be answering the bell again. I'll try
      and get one trip in before that.

      Mar. 26

      Called at 0825 for 313 at 1025 hrs. I drive out alone to meet Cond.
      Bill Fisher. The only thing of note are my first Am. Crows of the
      year, two singles near Asquith.

      We leave Biggar at 1140 hrs. with a full-siding capacity train and two
      old engines (5281 and BC 750), arriving in Wainwright at 1530. # =
      New Year Bird

      Gray Part - 5 pairs to Vera siding.

      Com Raven - 7 to Yonker siding.

      Golden Eagle - 1 ad. Cavell.

      S-t Grouse - 5 Tako, one at Winter.

      # Red-tailed Hawk - It's always great to see the hawks return. It
      seems like they've been gone forever! There are two light-phase
      birds, just east of and just west of Unity respectively.

      Am. Crow - 1 Vera, 1 Yonker.

      Snow Bunting - 60+ Winter.

      Merlin - A female is 100 metres inside the Alberta boundary at
      milepost 101. She flushes off the fence post at our approach and
      flies back into God's Country!

      Pronghorn - 18 at Reford.

      Red Fox - 1 Tako.

      CN doubled the amount of crews working extended runs from Biggar to
      Edmonton on Friday. As a result, there are fewer trains for us "short
      sub" crews to work home on. As a result, we layover for nearly 14
      hours until 312 arrives at 0500 on Mar. 27! Another big train of 102
      cars and 11,000 tons jammed into 6328 feet. Two more old clunkers
      pulling---the 5251 and BLE (rental) 903. We finally get back home at
      0935 hrs.

      G H Owl - It's still darkish E. of Artland, when one flies across our
      path in the headlights.

      S-t Grouse - Total of 20 from Yonker to Reford.

      Gray Part - Total of 39, mostly pairs.

      Canada Goose - Still not many up this way yet---3 pairs at Unity.

      Am. Crow - One Scott, 2 W. Cavell and 2 at Palo.

      Merlin - 1 male at Landis.

      # Mountain Bluebird - 3 (2m, 1f) at Palo are my first for Sask. this
      year. Saw a few in Alberta a couple of days ago. The first
      spring "Blues" are always special!

      Com Raven - 1 Palo.

      We also have a good day for mammals:

      Mule Deer - 18 E. Art., 2 Vera.

      W-t Deer - 5 herds totalling 33 near Winter.

      Badger - One E. of Scott.

      Coyote - 1 W. Cavell.

      I arrive home in time to see everyone just nicely home from Church.
      With a noisy house, there will be no crash nap! My Mom and brother
      Rob arrive later and we all sit down to a wonderful meal.

      That's it for now...


      Guy Wapple,
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