Out and about around Swift Current....
- Today, mid-afternoon, it was a 'start cleaning house now OR go for a
birdy drive'... Housework got beat out by the binoculars (again!) and
Ryan and I went out for a bit of a drive to some of our favourite spots
around the City... We have a wedding coming up in 3 weeks time --
and I am about to become a Mother-in-law, so I really should have stayed
home and started on housework, but seeing all the birds we did see today
was certainly worth putting the housework on the back burner for another
week. I will have to put my binoculars aside and get to work on the
housework, etc. next weekend methinks. It isn't a big wedding, and we
aren't expecting a huge number of guests, but the house still needs to
be more or less presentable.
On the southwest edge of the City, we turned down a road leading away
from the City, and drove down it for a couple kilometers as we checked
out the birdlife on the quickly drying up lowland. There we saw: 1
Gadwall, 6 Mallards, 3 Blue-winged Teals (2 males), 10 Northern
Shovelers, 2 Northern Pintails, 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, 3 Marbled Godwits
(one very noisy one!), 1 Franklin's Gull, European Starlings, Red-winged
Blackbirds, Western Meadowlarks, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and we could
hear a few Boreal Chorus Frogs. Sure not much water left standing
there! Last spring, it was full of water (Donna Cork may remember it as
one of the first places we stopped at when we took her out and about
birding when she was visiting our fair City) and this year there is
hardly any water at all. It seemed, today anyhow, that even the Geese
have pulled up their feathers and flew off somewhere a little wetter???
We then headed across the main grid toward Burnett's Pond, right on the
edge of the City... just before the Pond, there was still water on the
slough and lowland, with ducks including Mallards & Northern Shovelers
for sure, and Ring-billed Gulls. At Burnett's Pond, we saw: a few
Mallards, several Canvasbacks, 1 Ring-necked Duck, 1 Lesser Scaup, 3
Eared Grebes, 12 Rock Pigeons (they flew in to the edge of the Pond for
a drink while we were there), 2 Mourning Doves, a few Red-winged
Blackbirds, & a few Western Meadowlarks. Just as we started to drive
down the paved road that turns into South Railway Avenue, 1 Black-billed
Magpie flew across the road. There were also 100+ Rock Pigeons flying
around the train yard.
Along the Swift Current Creek, at Southside Park, we saw 3 Mallards, 2
American Crows, a few Tree Swallows flying around catching bugs over the
water, American Robins, Red-winged Blackbirds (and heard more!), and we
heard a Ring-necked Pheasant on the other side of the Creek.
We then headed over to the Filtration Plant Reservoir... driving through
a residential area, we noted 3 Mule Deer in a yard - one was eating on a
small shrub in the yard and the other 2 were just hanging out. Along the
road and the nearby Swift Current Creek leading to the Reservoir area,
we saw Canada Geese, Mallards, a few American Robins, Red-winged
Blackbirds, & Western Meadowlarks.
At the Filtration Plant and Reservoir, we saw:
several Canada Geese
2 American Wigeons
a few Mallards
1 Northern Shoveler (female)
2 Green-winged Teals (1 m/f pair)
2 Lesser Scaups
2 Ring-necked Pheasants (heard only)
18 American White Pelicans (leisurely flying quite high, toward the
4 Swainson's Hawks
1 Ring-billed Gull
at least 3 Great Horned Owls (2 adults plus at least 1 owlette in the nest)
1 Northern Flicker (a Red-shafted/Yellow-shafted integrade with a red
nape and a red malar)
1 Tree Swallow (flying around over the water)
1 Black-capped Chickadee (heard only)
We can't get over all the Green-winged Teals we are seeing this year!!!
We are still hoping to see a Cinnamon Teal someday... so we keep our
fingers x-d every time we come to a pond full of ducks.
After we left the Reservoir area, we went over to the highway and tried
to scope out a hawk on a nest across a field in a small grove of trees
(across the highway from McIntyre Industrial Park), but it was just out
of reach for the scope. The heat waves didn't help, either!
Along #4 Highway, there is a little marshy pond just north of the Civic
Centre... we pulled off onto the shoulder of the highway and checked out
the birdy life there -- 12 American Pelicans were flying fairly low over
the area, 2 American Wigeons, 4 Mallards (males), 1 Blue-winged Teal
(male), 2 Northern Shovelers, 10 Canvasbacks, a few Red-winged
Blackbirds, & 2 Yellow-headed Blackbirds.
That was our day!!
Take care... and happy birding everyone!!! (Did I ever mention how much
I LOVE SPRING!!!??)
- Mary Ann and Ryan Swift Current
50° 17' 00" N - 107° 48' 00" W
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