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Crooked Lake, Osprey, Pelicans and Eagles

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  • Greg
    Good day, it was a good weekend to head to the beach, and made some time for birding as well. Quite a few Swainson s Hawk along the route, and nothing unusual
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2005
      Good day, it was a good weekend to head to the beach, and made some
      time for birding as well. Quite a few Swainson's Hawk along the
      route, and nothing unusual to report until close to Wolsley and a
      Turkey Vulture feeding on something in a drying out slough. It was
      not until the west end of Crooked Lake came into view that the day
      became interesting. Along the West end of the lake were 5-700
      American White Pelican, I mention this because I have never seen
      more than 100 at this location before. Pelicans were also plentiful
      throughout the lake. Western Grebes were also seen although no young
      to report. Also seen were the usuals including Blue Jays, Ravens,
      and 1 Belted Kingfisher. Swallows were swarming like mosquitoes,
      there were literally thousands of Barn, and Tree Swallows, and
      approx 200 Purple Martins, sadly I did not see any Bank Swallows, as
      there colony was swept away in an earlier storm which saw 100 mm of
      rain fall in one hour. The numbers of Purple Martins is by far the
      best year I have seen for this species at Crooked Lake. Other
      species seen were Least Flycatchers, House Wren, White-breasted
      Nuthatch, several Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Chipping and Clay-
      Coloured Sparrows, and an adult and immature Yellow-bellied
      Sapsucker. Today got even better, as two Turkey Vultures were
      patrolling the hill tops. Found my first Mountain Bluebirds at
      Crooked Lake, as one pair was busily feeding their young. Earlier
      this morning I wanted to head out to see if I could get some good
      pictures of the Pelicans, but the marsh prevented me from getting to
      close. Just as I was heading back to my car I noticed a Great-blue
      Heron flying low over the marsh, luckily I spotted it because about
      100 feet higher was an Osprey also patrolling the lake. I watched it
      for several minutes, and took a few pictures as well. It got even
      better as I spotted a second Osprey about 1 km further east (perhaps
      there is a breeding pair on the lake somewhere) next time I go out I
      will use my father-in-laws boat to patrol the south shores to see if
      a nest is present. Again I tried to get back in my car when a flash
      of white caught my eye, I was used to the white of the pelicans, but
      this flash of white was muted by the brown of the rest of the body
      of an adult Bald Eagle. This is a first for me this far south at
      this time of year, perhaps an immature would be more likely to be
      seen, but I was pleasantly surprised to see an adult.

      that is all for now folks, but it was a pretty good weekend of
      birding all in all.

      Greg
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