Outdoors with the Birds
I went out a couple of times during the Easter weekend to shoot the birds with my Canon.Here is what I saw , including one “lifer.” Getting outdoors makes me feel complete and I am so grateful to be able to take photos, smell the fresh air and watch and listen to the birds and wildlife.
Did I tell you that I booked a seat on the “Wild Goose Chase” tour? We will be going to see the snow geese migration, possibly owls, cranes, bluebirds.. I haven’t done this in years so am looking forward to it. The trip is on May 3rd and of course I will be taking photos and posting them!
But back to the birds, etc. from this past weekend…
It is always a sign of spring to see the gulls return. Here is a resident Ring-billed gull.
I got a kick out of the Canada Geese lined up at the open side of the pond.
The House Finches are back in the neighbourhood. I like their songs, although my neighbour hates them since they nest right outside his window.
Here is a shot of a Handsome Canada Goose gander.
And you know who had to make an appearance, always helping himself to the spoils at the bird feeder.
I had been trying a number of self -portraits when this beauty showed up. I quickly grabbed the camera off the tripod and changed my settings from timer to bursts.
Both the male and female Downy Woodpeckers showed up This is the male.
This is the female Downy Woodpecker.The Black-capped Chickadees.
And my “lifer” the American Tree Sparrow. Yay!
Will you Stay or Will you Go?
I was taking photos of the Black-capped Chickadees when I heard a similar call, softer with a pretty whistling sound. The Boreal Chickadee was back and I was delighted to capture a couple of shots.They are a rarity around here so when they show up all of us birding types get excited. It flew from low-lying shrubs into a nearby tree and was joined by another before the two of them flew away together.. Are they mates? Are they going to stay? Or will they go? Either way, I enjoyed the moment.That is what it is all about, right?
Happy New Year
Happy New Year Everyone! I have been outside only two times in the last 3 weeks other than work because the flu laid me so low. I am back at work but usually just hit the couch when I get home. Today was my day off and I went to the park where I briefly watched some chickadees and talked to other birders.
It is cold out, minus 30 and the birds are feeding and all puffed up.I enjoyed being outdoors and saying hi to people and having dinner with a friend but have used up all my energy and since I work tomorrow, going to sleep early so I can rest and wake up refreshed. It was good to get outside and see my chickadee friends.Here is my shot for the day.
A Visit to Clifford E Lee Nature Sanctuary
Clifford E Lee Nature Sanctuary was a pleasant surprise with somewhat more water than a few years ago when it looked like it might dry up completely. It was interesting to see how trees had grown where there was marsh but also water where it was previously bare. There was an increase in ducks but still has a way to go to be what it was in earlier years.My first sighting was this friendly black-capped Chickadee who flew right to the bush beside me to say hello.
There were a few male and female Red-winged blackbirds, a first for this year.
it was peaceful and a relaxing place to be. Also sighted, or heard, were Buffleheads, Ruddy Ducks, Lesser Scaups, and Yellow Warblers.It was good to see ducks and geese in the wild again even if it is harder to get close to them..
First Birds of 2014 and results of Christmas Bird Count 2013 in Edmonton
I didn’t have to work today, and the temperatures were above -20 celsius so headed for the park. At first there were quite a few Juncos that remained un-photographed, then Black-capped Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers, and red-breasted and white-breasted Nuthatches. At one point I was going to leave because not much was happening and I told myself, “Good things come to those who wait.” A few minutes later a female Pileated Woodpecker flew over me to a tree that was in the open and right in front of me.I managed to get some good, unobstructed shots. i was happy about that!
Here’s a list of the total bird count at Christmas in Edmonton, Alberta. I thought some of you would be interested.
Final numbers for the 2013 Edmonton Christmas Bird Count!
Total Birds = 26,566
Total # of Species = 46
Total # of Participants = 506!
(159 Bushbeaters + 347 Feederwatchers)
Feederwatchers spent a total of 535.25 hrs
Bushbeaters party hours = 299.44 hrs
Mallard = 444
Common Goldeneye = 20
Northern Goshawk = 5
Merlin = 21
Gray Partridge = 41
Ruffed Grouse = 1
Rock Pigeon = 3802
Great Horned Owl = 2
Downy Woodpecker = 474
Hairy Woodpecker = 61
Three-toed Woodpecker = 1
Northern Flicker = 73
Pileated Woodpecker = 65
Blue Jay = 741
Black-billed Magpie = 2745
American Crow = 40
Common Raven = 1053
Black-capped Chickadee = 4841
Boreal Chickadee = 34
Red-breasted Nuthatch = 613
White-breasted Nuthatch = 377
Brown Creeper = 8
Golden-crowned Kinglet = 7
American Robin = 45
Bohemian Waxwing = 3941
Cedar Waxwing = 52
Northern Shrike = 3
European Starling = 107
Dark-eyed Junco = 646
Snow Bunting = 5
Pine Grosbeak = 6
Common Redpoll = 144
Pine Siskin = 145
House Sparrow = 4901
Bald Eagle = 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk = 5
Coopers Hawk = 1
Rough-legged Hawk = 1
Gyrfalcon = 1
Prairie Falcon = 1
Great Gray Owl = 1
Townsend Solitaire = 8
White-throated Sparrow = 8
White-crowned Sparrow = 1
American Goldfinch = 5
House Finch = 1067 * New Record high
And here is a sample of what I saw today. Used my 70-300mm lens, mostly at 300mm and hand held with high(for me) ISO 800 . I have not seen Pine Grosbeaks this year nor any Red Polls. That is reflected in the bird count as well. Just not the year for them.