Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Clavet, Bradwell & Cheviot Lake

On Sunday I went out for an afternoon drive with some friends.
We did some birding around Clavet, Bradwell and Cheviot Lake and I picked up a new year bird, a Sedge Wren, which brings my list up to 218 species for 2008 and counting...
Another highlight was finding a group of Sandhill Cranes with 4 young birds in tow , indicating that they must have bred here this summer which is quite rare .
Shorebirds seem to be arriving back already, with Stilt, Pectoral and Semipalmated Sandpipers in good numbers.
We also found a few Baird's , Solitary and a lone Upland Sandpiper, aswell as the usual suspects such as Marbled Godwit, Willet, Wilson's Phalarope and Killdeer.
One slough we stopped by, had 6 Sora Rails scurrying around. I don't think I've ever seen that many in one place before.

I didn't take alot of photos as we stayed in the car for the most part, but here are 2 from the trip :

Muskrat - this little fellow was munching on some vegetation :

Sora - one of 6 individuals. Check out those feet ! :

Monday, July 28, 2008

Common Yellowthroat & More

Here are some new photos taken along the riverbank this month ...

Common Yellowthroat - These are often heard and not seen, or remain hidden in the reeds by water. This one came out to investigate me as I did my best to mimic its call:

Mourning Dove - I found a pair of these resting on a boulder, sunning themselves. One took off while the other stayed behind:

Brown Thrasher - This juvenile does not yet have the distinctive yellow eye of the adult birds. There are many youngsters around right now, along the river:

American Goldfinch - this handsome male came down for a drink:

Eastern Kingbird - A common bird along the river. This juvenile was hawking flies from its perch:

Clay-colored Sparrow - The most common Sparrow along the river this summer. If anyone knows what the bean-like shrub is, I'd like to know :-)

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel - This is the third species of ground squirrel I've photographed along the river this year. I usually only find our most common , the Richardson's, so this was a pleasant surprise:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Winter Wren ( again )

I was thrilled to finally be able to capture this tiny songster this month, after only ever hearing them before, so here are two more photos from Little Amyot lake :

Monday, July 21, 2008

Little Amyot Lake

Not content with my 2 'mini holidays' to Waskesiu & Greenwater, I headed further north in the first week of July to stay at a friends cabin at Little Amyot Lake which is not too far from the town of Beauval, Saskatchewan.
The weather stayed pretty spectacular for us until the very last day when we ended up driving home in torrential rain.
The cabin is situated among tall Pine Trees and Aspen , so as soon as day broke, I was out walking the forest trail looking for birds and wildlife while keeping my eyes peeled for Bears.
Our last day was spent at Isle a La Crosse which is further north still.

Here are the highlights followed by some photos :

Canada Warbler - A brief sighting and many listens to its fine song -this is another lifer for 2008 ( I'm gradually ticking off the Warbler species as the years roll by)

Blackburnian Warbler - 1

Tennessee Warbler - 1

Ovenbird - 3 or 4 - responding very well to my calls !

Western Tanager - 3 or 4 but staying hidden high in the canopy

Red-eyed Vireo - 7

Philadelphia Vireo - 1 (new year bird)

Winter Wren - 2 near the cabin site singing on territory.

Belted Kingfisher - 1

Spotted Sandpiper - 2 adults plus 5 chicks

Barred Owl - I didn't think I'd get to see one this year, but found
one on my first early morning walk in the forest. It even gave me a few hoots :-)

Hermit Thrush - 3 . These were singing their beautiful song in the early evening.

Swainson's Thrush - I found 2 birds singing in the forest on my second morning walk.

Ruffed Grouse - 2

American Beaver - 1 building a huge dam along the edge of the lake

Water Vole - 1 scurrying around as I waited for a photo of the Beaver

Red Squirrel - everywhere

At Isle a La Crosse :

Bald Eagle - 2

Yellow-rumped Warbler - 1

Red-eyed Vireo - 3

Palm Warbler - 1

White-throated Sparrow - 2

Caspian Tern - 2 birds diving and catching fish along the beach.

Least Chipmunk

Here are some photos...

Barred Owl :

Winter Wren :

Ruffed Grouse :

Ovenbird :

Wood Lily :

White Admiral :

Spotted Sandpiper :

American Beaver :

Least Chipmunk :

Harebell :

Caspian Tern :

Red Squirrel

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Greenwater Lake Provincial Park

Straight from Waskesiu we travelled to Porcupine Plain and then onto Hudson Bay to visit relatives.
I stopped off at Greenwater Lake one morning for some birding and also got a couple of wildflowers along the roadsides at Hudson Bay.
Greenwater Lake is a beautiful place this time of year but can get quite busy .

Highlights were :

Chestnut-sided Warbler ( lifer ) - 2
Veery - 2 or 3
Belted Kingfisher - 1
Black & White Warbler - 1
Ovenbird - 2
American Redstart - 3
Yellow Warbler - 2
White-throated Sparrow - 2
Common Yellowthroat - 1
Red-breasted Merganser - 1 with chicks

Here are some photos :

Yellow Iris - I stand corrected, my friend Ron and now my wife informs me that this is just a plain old Iris and not the more exotic Bladderwort :-)

Red Paintbrush - This plant actually varies in colour ranging from Red to Pink :

Chestnut-sided Warbler - seeing this bird was a thrill as I'd never seen one before.
I had found one earlier in the day but not had a chance to get a photo, so I was very happy when I found this one near a creek at Greenwater Lake :

Black & White Warbler - Having dipped on seeing this species at Waskesiu it was great to find one individual within the woods at Greenwater :

American Redstart - This female was intrigued by my 'pishing' and hopped on a branch to see what was going on :

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - This individual kept returning to its favorite tree to drink the sap, as you can see from the many holes it had made :

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Prince Albert National Park

At the end of June, my wife and I spent an enjoyable few days in a cabin at Waskesiu, within the confines of Prince Albert National Park.
I took the opportunity to do some birding and photography while she braved the cold waters of the lake !
The weather for the most part was great, but of course we had to contend with swarms of biting Mosquitoes and Horse Flies.

Here are the highlights ...

At Waskesiu :

Bay-breasted Warbler - 1 singing high up at the Birch Bay camp area
Magnolia Warbler - 1 on the Red Deer Trail
Cape May Warbler - many along the Waskesiu River and 2 at Birch Bay
Tennessee Warbler - everywhere
Orange-crowned Warbler - only one , at the Armstrong Cabins site
Blackburnian Warbler - 1 on the Red Deer Trail, 2 at Hanging Hearts and a few heard
Connecticut Warbler - 1 near Beaver Glen Campsite singing in some low shrubs.
Mourning Warbler ( heard only )
American Redstart - several in various locales
Ovenbird - a few calling hear and there but no visuals
Common Yellowthroat - 2 at the river
Northern Waterthrush - 2 near Birch Bay

Western Tanager - 1 singing at Sandy Beach

Lincoln's Sparrow - 2 near Birch Bay

White-throated Sparrow - 3 or 3 on the Red Deer trail

Evening Grosbeak - several at different locals

Boreal Chickadee - several at different locales

Winter Wren - 2 at Beaver Glen Campsite and 1 at the Hanging Hearts
Lake site.

Caspian Tern - a lone individual at the Waskesiu Marina

Boreal Owl - 2 at the Beaver Glen campground, calling for about 20 minutes late in the evening . It was a real nice experience to hear these. I now wish I'd recorded them , but the bugs that night were everywhere ! My wife saw sense and stayed in the car while I tried to get views with my flashlight.

Northern Saw-whet Owl - I returned to Beaver Glen the following morning and heard one bird calling briefly.

Western Wood Pewee - my wife and I hear one give its call while we are atop the lookout at the Spruce River Trail. Lifer !

Black-backed Woodpecker - 1 find one of these disturbing a pair of Three-toed Woodpeckers.

Pileated Woodpecker - 1 at the Red Deer Trail and another near Beaver Glen calling.

Belted Kingfisher - Several were seen .

Bald Eagle - several seen, but mostly juveniles.

Osprey - 1 along the main lake

American Black Bear - 1 adolescent on the narrows trail. This was also a lifer and a real thrill to see one so close.

Woodchuck - another mammal I had never seen before, even though we have been to the park many times . There were 3 of these . 2 along the scenic route , and I found one at the golf course about 6 O' clock one morning.

American Beaver - 1 renovating its lodge at the river.

Comma Butterfly - a species I have not seen before.

Here are a few photos :


Connecticut Warbler

Common Merganser

Bald Eagle

Comma Butterfly

Goldeneye & Chicks

Black Bear

Caspian Tern

Lincoln's Sparrow

Great Blue Heron

American Redstart

Evening Grosbeak

White-throated Sparrow

Barn Swallow

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Gabriel Dumont Park - Part 2

Here are some more photos taken last month at Gabriel Dumont Park.
The next update will be photos recently taken at Waskesiu and around Prince Albert Park.

Common Goats Beard - I took quite a break from taking wildflowers, but recently got the bug back again. This was at the park in full bloom :

Clay-colored Sparrow :

Yellow Warbler :

Red-winged Blackbird Male :

Red-winged Blackbird female :