Monday, April 26, 2010

Sharp-tailed Grouse

Well , for the third year in a row, I was lucky enough to witness the amazing, and sometimes comical spectacle of Sharp-tailed Grouse, doing their courtship and displaying rituals, sometimes known as 'dancing', at a pasture not too far away from town.

I hope you enjoy these photos ( left click photo for larger version ):

Monday, April 19, 2010

More Migrants Arrive

Well, we finally have some decent weather here in Saskatchewan, with clear blue skies, and the return of some much missed migrants.
I have been out a few times since my last post and am happy to report that the Pelicans are back in town already at the weir.
Tree Swallows have also just arrived, and now Swainson's Hawks are making an appearance.

A juvenile Thayer's Gull is now currently residing at the roost close to the QE2 Power Plant. While not as exciting as last years Slaty-backed Gull. It is still a good species, and one that does not occur very often here.

Other species I have seen since my last post include :

Northern Harrier
American Tree Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Northern Pintail
American Coot
Franklin's Gull

A pretty nice sighting the other day while out with a friend, was a lone male, breeding plumage Lapland Longspur that had somehow lost or abandoned his flock.
Usually one will see this species skimming fields in huge numbers, so to see one bird perched on barbed wire was a real treat.
This shot also shows how the species gets its name.. Look at those claws! :

Lapland Longspur

Here also, is an American Tree Sparrow , that came out from the bushes giving me a nice view :

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spring WAS here !

Only in Saskatchewan, can you get a snow storm in April !
Today we have gusting winds of up to 70kph and blowing snow and sleet...a great day to stay inside!

2 friends and I did an Owl survey the night before this storm kicked off, so its a good job we chose Wednesday night when there was hardly a breath of wind and clear skies.
We got lucky and managed to hear 5 Saw-whet Owls and about 7 Great Horned Owls on our stretch along an area called Wilson Lake, close to Sonningdale Saskatchewan.

Here's a Horned Lark from the same day my wife and I saw the Northern Shrike in my last post :

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Is Here !

Well, I've been away for a while , had a few rough things to get through over the past few weeks, including the latest which involved me breaking 2 ribs which is insanely painful! , but I will not bore you with the details, especially on a nature blog !

Going out for a nice drive with my missus this morning we found several newly arrived species , and I got a bonus by finding a lingering Northern Shrike, soon to be replaced by the arriving Loggerhead Shrikes any week now.

Highlights today were : ( * inidicates new for the year )

*Killdeer - 2 very vocal birds , one at Blackstrap another at Indi Lake.

Northern Shrike - This guy was a real songster, hanging out along Indi Rd.

*Great Blue Heron - 2 - This is the first time I've ever seen two of this
species, flying alongside each other. Seen over highway 11.

*American Kestrel - 1 male along the old Regina Highway

*Rough-legged Hawk - 1 perched bird near Dundurn

*Red-tailed Hawk - 5

*Western Meadowlark - at least 10

Horned Lark - 6

Mountain Bluebird - 1 male at Brightwater Marsh

*Northern Pintail - 35 at Brightwater

*Lesser Scaup - 2 at Brightwater

*Green-winged Teal - 8 at brightwater

*Snow Goose - 2,000 at Brightwater

*Greater White-fronted Goose - 250 at Brightwater

American Beaver - 1 at Brightwater Marsh

Coyote - 1 on the old Regina highway

Here's a photo of the Shrike :