Sunday, January 6, 2008

Pike Lake Bird Count & Sanitorium Site

On Saturday the Saskatoon Nature Society held its annual Christmas Bird Count at Pike Lake .
Our team was assigned to a Northern sector, with access to a few properties with feeders , and some of the surrounding countryside.
We ended up having a great day finding 19 species, and may have gotten more if the wind had been abit calmer.

Here's a list of the birds seen :

Common Redpoll - 195
Hoary Redpoll - 2
Bohemian Waxwings - only 2
Black-capped Chickadee - 38
Hairy Woodpecker - 5
Downy Woodpecker - 6
Pileated Woodpecker - 2
Black-billed Magpie - 7
Pine Grosbeak - 19
White-breasted Nuthatch - 7
Sharp-tailed Grouse - 15
Northern Shrike - 1 (plus 1 outside of our count area)
Great Horned Owl - 1
Blue Jay - 2
Common Raven - 7
Northern Goshawk - 1
Snow Bunting - 24
House Sparrow - 75
Northern Flicker - 1

Afterwards , we thought we'd look for a possible Northern Cardinal that has been visiting a feeder near the old sanitorium site on the west side of the river . (we only got this information the day before )
An hour went by, and although we didn't see the Cardinal ,we were surprised to find no less than 6 American Robins that obviously didn't want to fly south . They were happily plucking berries from a tree behind the house .
Other birds at the feeder included 2 Red-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadees, several House Finch and 3 Downy Woodpeckers.
Just when we were about to call it a day , A Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk appeared from behind the trees of the nearby park !
Red-tailed Hawks have been seen in the Winter a couple of times around the city and on a few counts, but its not that common an occurance, so that was a nice end to a productive day .

Here are some photos :

Sharp-tailed Grouse - This was one in a small group that didn't want to move from the road

Hoary Redpoll - one of two seen on the count

Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk - I got these shots as it flew over the park towards the river

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