Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Weekend at Prince Albert National Park

Setting out on Saturday morning , my wife and I accompanied members of the Saskatoon Nature Society to Prince Albert National Park , home to some Northern species of birds and animals not found locally.
Weather-wise, it could have been better the first day, but we still managed to find a respectable 28 species on the first day, including 2 Pileated Woodpeckers at Little Red River Park ( the first time I've seen this species at that park )
Unfortunately, the only Owl seen on Saturday was a lone Great Horned Owl on the highway back in the Saskatoon area .
This was a different matter on Sunday when my Wife and I accompanied our friends Marten and his wife Regina to Montreal Lake, were we found and successfully banded 3 out of 5 Northern Hawk Owls.It was fascinating to learn that the females will make a shrieking sound when they hear a male close by.
I was hoping to see a Spruce Grouse over the weekend as they tend to stick to one area of the Park, and I missed out on seeing a co-operative Male on Saturday afternoon, and then tried unsuccessfully again on Sunday afternoon. My prize finally came on Monday morning when I found a handsome Male sitting 10ft up a lichen-covered Jack Pine on the Boundary Bog Trail.
Leaving on Monday afternoon we added another 6 species to our list on the way home .
Here's what was seen , followed by some new photos :

Canada Goose - many scattered in fields
Gray Partridge - 3 on the way there
Ruffed Grouse - 15 along the Narrows Road on Monday
Spruce Grouse - 1 Male at the Boundary Bog Trail on Monday
Bald Eagle - 5 in total could be seen soaring from the Boundary Bog Trail
Northern Harrier - 1 flying low on the way there on Saturday morning
Red-tailed Hawk - 2 on the way there and one sat in a tree on the way home
American Kestrel - a surprise to see this fly out from an old barn on the scenic route on the way home on Monday.
Merlin - one sat on a power line on the way home on Monday
Ring-billed Gull - a few flying over the city on the way home
Rock Pigeon - a few scattered near grain elevators on the way home
Great Horned Owl - one on the journey there
Northern Hawk Owl - 5 along the Montreal Lake road on Sunday
Downy Woodpecker - 1 Female within the park on Saturday
Hairy Woodpecker - A pair on Sunday on the Boundary Bog Trail
American Three-toed Woodpecker - 1 Male on the Narrows Road on Monday
Black Backed Woodpecker - 1 at Little Red River Park on Saturday
Pileated Woodpecker - 2 at Little Red River Park on Saturday
Northern Shrike - 1 along a dirt road west of the highway on the way home
Blue Jay - a few at the park
Gray Jay - 25 or more in various areas of the park. On Monday they were very abundant
Black-billed Magpie - many scattered in various places
American Crow - several in varying places on the way there and back
Common Raven - many in varying places on the way there and back
Horned Lark - a lone bird along a dirt road west of the highway on the way home
Black-capped Chickadee - a few scattered in various parts of the park
Boreal Chickadee - 2 ( heard only ) I'm surprised we didn't see more of these
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 1 at Little Red River Park
White-breasted Nuthatch - 1 at Anglin Lake
European Starling - 3 on the journey there
Bohemian Waxwing - a flock of around 60 on the way home
Common Redpoll - many at little Red River Park and within Prince Albert National Park
Evening Grosbeak - at least 12 at the Waskesui town site and another 15 or so within the park.
House Sparrow - a few on the journey there

Mammals seen :

Red Squirrel
Pine Marten - My wife and a few lucky others got a brief glimpse of one
Mule Deer
White-tailed Deer
Snowshoe Hare

Here are some photos ( click to enlarge )

Spruce Grouse

Ruffed Grouse

Gray Jay

Evening Grosbeak

Northern Hawk Owl

American Three-toed Woodpecker

White-tailed Deer


Rocky M said...

A gorgeous set of photos Nick!,worthy of publication.Your patience and dedication to your craft is amazing.Keep up the great work my friend.:)

Nick S said...

Thanks for the kind words Rocky .
It actually took 2 days before I had any real decent opportunities while at Prince Albert National Park , then on the last day everything seemed to click :-) no pun intended !

Jotter Jan said...

What an astounding series!!!!! Each and every photo is of a professional caliber!

April D said...

Wow, thank Jenn for sending me your blog link!

I enjoyed going through and looking at your work. I love photography and love looking at nature shots and yours are definitely something to wow about. If you don't mind, I am going to link your blog to hopefully others can come and take a peek.

Nick S said...

Sure, thanks for the kind words :-)