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 :
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 !