Thursday, October 30, 2008

Barred Owl from the Summer

While it is quiet, I thought I'd post another shot of the beautiful Barred Owl I found at Little Amyot Lake this summer.
My favorite one of him is the first photo I posted back in July , but this new one is when he decided to fly to a higher branch and check me out :

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Northern Shrike and more today...

This morning, a friend & I set out early and ventured over to Holiday Park.
As soon as we got there I decided to quickly check out the river.
I'm glad I did, because I spied a Northern Shrike actively hunting the few House Sparrows perched along some of the shrubs at the edge of the water.
This is the first Northern Shrike I have seen this fall.

Other birds seen at the park were:

White-winged Crossbill - At least 6
House Finch - 20+
Northern Flicker - 2
Downy Woodpecker - 1
Hairy Woodpecker - 1
Common Redpoll - 5
Blue Jay - 2
Black-capped Chickadee - 9
White-breasted Nuthatch - 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 6

On the way home we checked out part of Chapel Marsh where it was deadly quiet except for a lone American Coot, that was probably wishing it was somewhere else, as the water was completely frozen over.

Finishing up by checking out the Lakeshore Garden Nursery site on 11th St. I found a group of 10 Cedar Waxwings , 2 Blue Jays and a Downy Woodpecker.

Here are some photos :

Northern Shrike - unfortunately I couldn't get anywhere near him, but this will do for a record shot :

Black-capped Chickadee - Here's one I could get a bit closer too :

American Coot - I hope this bird decides its time to start flying south soon :

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Red-breasted Nuthatch

This is actually a re-post from my old blog . I have posted it here because we usually get a pair of these all winter in the yard, that will depend on me feeding them peanut butter every day, to give them enough fat storage to survive the freezing months.
This picture was taken at Beaver Creek, a real nice place to visit and do some birding that isn't too far from town.

Here's one from the backyard last year :

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Short-billed Dowicher

Here is another Short-billed Dowicher that was feeding with some Baird's Sandpipers at Crawford Lake recently :

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I found this Least Chipmunk at Diefenbaker Park last week. I don't know what you think, but it looks to me like he found something rather amusing...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baird's Sandpiper

Here is an unpublished Baird's Sandpiper photo from Crawford Lake this Autumn :

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Whooping Cranes

Here is another photo of the Whooping Cranes at Osler, Saskatchewan . I didn't get all 10 in the frame for this photo, but it was nice to get a flight shot.
A few days ago another Whooping Crane joined them bringing the total up to 11 birds.
We really are fortunate to have them here as they stop over before migrating further south :

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel

I found this very obliging and friendly ground squirrel on the east side of the river a few weeks ago :

Sunday, October 12, 2008

American Pipit

Here is another image of an American Pipit I got while looking for the Whooping Cranes at Osler :

Friday, October 10, 2008

Dark-eyed Junco

Here's a Junco from this week that visited the backyard :

Yellow-rumped Warbler

This is one of the latest Yellow-rumped Warblers that I found at Buena Vista Park , just before the weather started to turn quite nasty.
This morning it was almost freezing and actually felt like -5° outside.
I've already prepared the backyard for the inevitable snow that we will be getting either this month or the next and set out a large platform feeder made out of an old coffee table top, that I will cover to protect the seed when the time comes.
Visitors this morning included 2 Blue Jays, a Male Downy Woodpecker , a Black-billed Magpie, a House Finch , two Pine Siskins and the usual 40 or so House Sparrows.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wood Duck

I wish I could have gotten this close to the Surf Scoters last Saturday!
This beautiful male Wood Duck is actually a captive bird that I photographed last Autumn at the Forestry Farm Park.
Unfortunately I did not see any wild one's this year, but at least this photo is finally getting published :-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Surf Scoters at Gardiner Dam

While looking for a Yellow-billed Loon that was spotted earlier in the week , myself and 2 friends traveled out to Gardiner Dam to see if we could find it.
Unfortunately as is often the case with birding, we were unsuccessful, but did come away with a new year bird ( also a lifer for one of my friends )
The new bird was a pair of juvenile Surf Scoters, large sea ducks that breed in Alaska & Canada and usually winter in southern US along the coasts.
I couldn't get very close to them, and my vantage point was high up, but I just had to get a shot of them for my files.

We did find 4 Common Loons, checking them very carefully to make sure we didn't overlook anything !

Other highlights were an Osprey , a lingering Wilson's Warbler at the visitor centre keeping out of the strong gusting winds, plus 10 Harris's Sparrows, 2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 White-throated Sparrow, 3 White-crowned Sparrows , 30+ Junco's , 1 American Tree Sparrow and 5 Bald Eagles.

Surf Scoter :

Monday, October 6, 2008

Lingering Plovers

On a recent trip out to see the Whooping Cranes at Osler, it was nice to see a small scattering of shorebirds that hadn't yet decided to fly south.
More noticeable were the bigger flocks of Black-bellied Plover, associating with a few Baird's Sandpiper, but the highlight was seeing a couple of American Golden Plover foraging in the marsh with them.
Up until this point, I have only seen this species at a distance and usually mid-flight, with their Golden backs glinting in the Sun.

American Golden Plover :

Black-bellied Plover :

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Whooping Cranes Return

Ten adult Whooping Cranes were spotted by a landowner at Osler, Saskatchewan this week ,so I traveled out there early yesterday morning and was happy to see them.
The last time I saw these rare Cranes was in the Spring and there were only three.
I hope this is a good indication that the population is on the rise...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Brown Thrasher

These were taken last week along the river. I wanted to get some shots of this bird foraging in the leaf litter as they blend in rather nicely with the Fall colors.
I had to be very still and patient to get these shots, as any movement would have scared him off...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Merlin and two Blackbirds

Here are some recent photos from a drive out in the country.

Merlin :

Brewer's Blackbird (female) :

Rusty Blackbird ( female ):