On Saturday, two friends and myself traveled north to Candle Lake, in the hopes of finding some more Owls.
Unfortunately, this time, we were out of luck. I think we were very fortunate back in December when they were more numerous.
Of course, we still had a fantastic day of birding and notched up 19 species when we were all done.
The highlights were many, but most notable was an Eastern Towhee that we had heard all about over the Christmas period, but did not get to see while we were there at that time.
This bird is another fine example of migration gone slightly awry as it should not be in Saskatchewan at all right now !
Of course, we are so used to seeing the Spotted Towhee in our part of the Province, so this is a nice surprise.
For a couple of months, it has been visiting a front yard feeder and will often fly in to feed on sunflower seeds when the other birds give it some room.
The other big bird of the day, was a male Varied Thrush that flew like a missile past the window of our vehicle which we then relocated perched high in the dark boughs of a spruce tree. While not completely unusual, this is not something you see every year this far north and was another welcome addition to our winter/year lists.
Again, we have to thank the fine hospitality of the property owners who allowed us into their homes and yards in order to see these excellent birds.
Here is the list of species we found :
Northern Goshawk - one perched adult bird ( new for the year )
Downy Woodpecker - 2 or 3
Hairy Woodpecker - 8
American Three-toed Woodpecker - 2 males ( new for the year )
Blue Jay - 13
Gray Jay - 6 ( new for the year )
Black-billed Magpie - 4
Common Raven - 28
Black-capped Chickadee - 44
Boreal Chickadee - 26 ( new for the year )
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 4
White-breasted Nuthatch - heard one
American Robin - 2
Varied Thrush - 1 male
Eastern Towhee - 1 ( lifer )
Pine Grosbeak - 85+
Common Redpoll - 80+
Hoary Redpoll - 1
Evening Grosbeak - 30
White-tailed Deer - approx. 23
Red Squirrel - 9
Snowshoe Hare tracks - 1 set
Here are a few photos :
Eastern Towhee - I only had a couple of seconds to fire of 6 shots of this bird before as it landed in some shrubs close to the feeder, then flew off over the house. I'm extremely happy I was able to document this rarity :
Boreal Chickadee - I had hoped to get some shots of this active little species, as they are not always obliging. Luckily, they were quite abundant on Saturday. :
Being the perfectionist that I am , I am never completely happy with photos taken through a pane of glass, as the quality tends to suffer and detail is often lost. That being said , the colours of the following two male Grosbeaks seemed to glow so brightly in the overcast light that I thought I'd still share them anyway...
Pine Grosbeak :
Evening Grosbeak :
White-tailed Deer :