Well, they say 3rd time is the charm. In my case it ended up being the 4th visit to the Cardinal location, that the bird actually decided to make a brief but thrilling appearance.
So, it turns out 'it' was a she after-all ! Now all we have to do is pray that a bright red male shows up in spring to serenade her .
I still intend on trying for a photo , although she tends to like staying on the ground hidden behind a bench, so we'll have to see if the birding Gods reward me.
These past few days 'staking out' this particular birders oasis have bought some real nice surprises and the owners of the 'Cardinal house' couldn't be nicer people .
So, last Saturday (the 12th), myself and my friends Ryan and Angela spent a good few hours at the site and ended up finding a real bounty of species . I opted to stay behind for a couple more hours and ended up with a couple more to add.
Here are the highlights :
Pileated Woodpecker - right off the bat - a healthy-looking Male flew in to the edge of the yard , hammering at the trees and vocalising loudly, as it flew off deep into the park . This is the first time I've ever seen a Pileated in Saskatoon.
Northern Cardinal - a fleeting glimpse through the car window , then she was gone . Still, a new one for the life-list !
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1 young bird flew into the yard and perched in a tree sending everything else scattering.
Townsend's Solitaire - 1 - Of course, now I've seen one of these birds they show up everywhere. Although, it does seem to be a very good year for them .
Red-shafted Northern Flicker - 1 - The Handsome male showed up again .
Dark-eyed Junco - 2 - Nice to see these stragglers hanging on where the food is.
Brown Creeper - 2 in the park
White-breasted Nuthatch - 4 in the park
White-winged Crossbills - 14 at the tops of the Spruce trees in the park.
Here are some photos ( all of which are clickable , as usual )
These last 2 photos were taken from quite a distance and in pretty poor light :
Red-shafted Northern Flicker