Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Bird Counts

Well, its that time of year again. It looks like I have another 5 bird counts on my agenda this year, and 2 more in January.
This weekend was absolutely freezing, with temperatures not getting much higher than minus 29 degrees celsius and with the wind-chill it was almost minus 50.
Still, even that didn't stop myself and a hardy ( or is that crazy ? )group of local birders who all took part on counts at the Qu'Appelle Dam/ Elbow region.
The following day, another 4 of us braved the weather again for Gardiner Dam and the surrounding areas.
The total number of species for the Elbow count was 34 and we found 32 for Gardiner which under those conditions, I think is pretty darn respectable !

Some highlights for both were :

Glaucous Gull
Townsend's Solitaire
American Robin
Northern Shrike
Pine Siskin
Cedar Waxwing
White-winged Crossbill
Pine Grosbeak
Prairie Falcon
Snowy Owl
Great Horned Owl
Common Redpoll
Horned Lark
Gray Partridge
Sharp-tailed Grouse
Eurasian Collared Dove
Golden Eagle
Bald Eagle

Here is one of 15 American Robins that has not decided to migrate this year. There was also another small flock at Douglas Provincial Park on the Elbow Count. This male was at Coldwell Park yesterday :

And a male White-winged Crossbill from the town of Elbow :

Here is a Nuttal's Cottontail Rabbit , taken at an abandoned farmstead near Elbow.


Shelley said...

What a great pose to have captured! This robin has so many layers of beautiful colors.

Anonymous said...

The white winged crossbill looks to be pondering which of the apparently thousands of cones to pick next to feed upon. Nice Capture.

Peggy said...

That white-winged crossbill is your best yet!

Nick S said...

Thanks guys :-)

Miro Bartánus said...

Very great photos, sharp birds and nice bokeh behind, well done!

Miro at LightIsAllAround.com

2sweetnsaxy said...

I'm always wow'd by your photos. These are wonderful. :-)

John Theberge said...

All great shots as usual, I really liked the robin photo and the rabbit also. Birds are finally starting to come to my feeder so hopefully I'll get pictures taken. I've been working a lot so I've taken a break from posting to my blog.

Barbie ♥ said...

Each Crossbill capture gets better and better, Nick!

The Birdlady said...

Well, Nick, I can't come close to picking a favorite! Beautiful! Marry Christmas.

Nick S said...

Merry Christmas everyone, and thanks for your comments and encouragement :-)