Saturday, February 28, 2009

Gardiner Dam Trip

Yesterday morning, seven of us set off to Gardiner Dam and some surrounding areas and spent until after 4pm looking for birds and other wildlife.
The weather was minus 28 when we left and ended up at around minus 16 and sunny in the afternoon, with barely any wind.
The open water on the dam was covered in a mist for most of the time we were there and only eventually cleared a little in the afternoon when we returned to get a better look at what might be there.
We found a total of 23 species of birds and 6 mammals.

Here is the list in no particular order :

Snow Bunting - 200+
Horned Lark - 30+
Great Horned Owl - 1
Black-billed Magpie - 5
Common Raven - 7
Hairy Woodpecker - 1 at Glenside
Downy Woodpecker - 1 at Glenside
House Sparrow - 200+
Mallard - several thousand
Common Goldeneye - 10
Bufflehead - 1 female
Blue Jay - 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 2
Common Redpoll - 10+
White-winged Crossbill - 4 or 5 at Cutbank
Gray Partridge - several coveys
Sharp-tailed Grouse - many, early in the morning
Rock Pigeon - 30+
Bald Eagle - 6
Bohemian Waxwing - 80+
Black-capped Chickadee - 6
American Robin - 15 at Coldwell Park

Mammals were :

Coyote - 8
Moose - 1
Jack Rabbit - 2
Nuttal's Cottontail Rabbit - 1
Common Porcupine - 1
White-tailed Deer - 4

Here is the Porcupine :


Suzanne said...

Hi Nick,

I'm so impressed with the wild neighbors you have. The porcupine looks so cute -- that's a great picture. Your blog is the first one I check each day! Thanks for sharing your world, Nick.

Nick S said...

Thanks Suzanne. I'm glad you enjoy it :-)
We are very lucky to have so many mammals in the wild here. I hope it never changes.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Sounds like a successful day of birding,if numbers are what you are after.That is a lot of Mallards this early in the year.

Kelly said...

Oh my goodness! I've never seen a porcupine in the wild...he is so cute!! To be out in sub-zero temps all day is impressive. Do you wear any special winter gear to keep you warm? I love being out in the cold, and I have a wonderful down coat and down pants that totally keep me warm, but 8 hours of sub-zero would be hard on my face and toes. I'm always looking for good outdoor gear.

holdingmoments said...

That's quite a list for a day; and so cold too.
The weather is warming up here, thankfully :)

Nick S said...

Trekking about in weather like we have here in the winter means you have to wear at least 3 or four layers of clothes and something to cover your face if the wind gets up, otherwise there is definite danger of frostbite.
I usually wear a windproof winter jacket, under that, a' bodywarmer'type tank top, a thermal sweater , and a t-shirt !
Gloves and a decent hat are also pretty darn important too :-)

Larry said...

8 coyote and 200 Snow Bunting! Interesting for me to read that.So you guys are the ones who hog all the Snow Buntings!

Tina said...

I would definitely say you had a GREAT day of birding. How I would love to see some of those birds you those gorgeous!
Nice pic of the porcupine...something one doesn't see everyday!!

Shelley said...

Nick - did you have your eskimo boots on! That was mighty cold birding weather! but your porcupine looks so beautiful and warm.

Nick S said...

Thanks everyone :-) Yep, I had my insulated Sorel winter boots on. Couldn't do it without them !