Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Updates

I would like to wish all of my followers and readers a very Merry Christmas, and thank you all for visiting my blog , emailing and sending messages and comments.
As always , I appreciate all feedback ! :-)

I recently completed my 'mini marathon' of Christmas Bird Counts, getting 4 of them out of the way. 3 of which were back to back. Some in fair weather, and some in pretty nasty weather with winds that chilled you to the bone !
We managed to find some good stuff, with the highlight being 10 over-wintering American White Pelican's at Gardiner Dam. A new record for Canada, with only 2 ever previously counted on a Christmas count period before.

Some other highlights were a big flock of Bohemian Waxwings residing in the town of Elbow. There were nice numbers of White-winged Crossbills at Douglas Provincial Park. An American Goldfinch hanging out with some Common & Hoary Redpolls. An awesome fly-by of a Gray-morph Gyrfalcon, and 2 Short-eared Owls, hunting at dusk.

A couple of hardy Sparrows that should be south by now, are also still lingering on, with a Harris's Sparrow at a farm near Martensville, and my buddy has a White-throated Sparrow at his backyard feeder that doesn't want to leave.

A few choice mammals were also seen including Long-tailed Weasel, American Badger, Moose, Coyote , Red Fox , Jack rabbit and Eastern Cottontail.


I still have another 2,(maybe 3) Christmas Counts yet to go, but until my next update, here are a few new photos taken during over the past few days ..

White-winged Crossbill :



Bohemian Waxwing :




Sharp-tailed Grouse :




White-tailed Jack Rabbit :




Nuttal's Cottontail Rabbit :



Merlin :




American White Pelican - Here is a distant and grainy shot of the ten over-wintering Pelicans at Gardiner Dam. They looked cold, but eventually took to the water and even began fishing !

16 comments:

holdingmoments said...

Superb shots as always Nick.

We've had an influx of Waxwings here, this year. Such beautiful birds.

A very merry Christmas to you and your family, and may 2011 be even better.

grammie g said...

Hi Nick...great addition the American White Pelican to the bird count this year, congrat's!!
Nick your photos are all great there is not one I couldn't go on about in great length!!
Wishing you and your family a Wonderful Christmas and a blessed new year!!

Kelly said...

Wow...you really are completing a Christmas Count Marathon! Good luck as you finish up. The Bohemian Waxwings are gorgeous. We don't get them...so seeing them is a treat. Loved the rabbits!

Country Mouse Studio said...

wonderful photos as usual. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope the weather holds out for your count

Carol Mattingly said...

Love this post. Gorgeous images. Merry Christmas to you and yours Nick. Carol

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I would never be able to choose a favorite in this series of images, for they are each one splendid and so brilliant in their individuality, and the personalites come out beautifully in these captures. Thank you so much for your sharing with us and a very Merry Christmas season to you and to yours~

The Early Birder said...

Good luck with the birding marathon Nick.
Christmas Greetings to you and the family. Cheers Fab.

Nick S said...

Thanks for the well wishes guys. Have a great one yourselves !

Hilke Breder said...

Great post and wonderful photos! I particularly like the rabbits, and of course the Bohemian Waxwing. Merry Christmas and wish you happy birding in 2011

Kathy H said...

Always love your photos, Nick. All are beautiful. Maybe we will get some bohs down here in Estevan this year. None at all last year.

I hope you and Jann have a great Christmas, my friend

Barty said...

Nice blog Nick with lovely images ! The waxwing is a particularly beautiful bird that I have yet to see. Gonna have to make my way home to the UK one winter to catch up with them !
All the best for 2011 !

Babzy said...

Great birds images !!!

Chris Petrak said...

Back to back CBCs! I am sure that is an adventure, particularly when the prairie winds start blowing. Superb images of the bohemian and white-winged - but not unusual because you photos are always stunning. Happy New Year!

Chris said...

Hi Nick,
Happy new year to you too and it was a real pleasure to follow you and it is still gonna be for years mate. your pictures are so wonderful! I love them all there but you know I'm melting for the bohemian, especially with the small snow flakes ;-) I dreamed about that one, well we got the bohemian but the snow has not reached us yet... I know, it is strange but it is like that ;-)

eileeninmd said...

WOW, fantastic birds and photos. Love the Crossbills. awesome shots. Sounds like you had a great CBC.

Mike said...

As stunning as ever mate, look forward to what the rest of the year brings.