Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It is definitely looking like spring. The snow melt runoff has hit our road. We came home to a flock of Mallards swimming in the water on our road The above picture was taken through the windshield of our car, that is my only explanation for the bad picture, sorry. The water was at least a foot deep on Saturday and many many Mallards, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal around.
We should have Wilson's Snipe and Killdeer back by now but haven't seen or heard any yet. There is a flock of Horned Lark flying around the fields on thier way farther north, our Common Redpoll, and Pine Grosbeaks are long gone now and the first of the 100s of White-crowned Sparrows are here, along with the first Savana Sparrows.
The snow is slowly melting off our fields, the last 2 days of rain have helps a lot with that. It has resulted in some big meltwater ponds in the area filled with ducks and geese.
Around the first of May we should be expecting the first Rufous Hummingbirds but the way it looks right now I can't see that happening, but the weather is supposed to improve by the weekend so I can only hope. I will fill the hummingbird feeders before we leave for Terrace on the weekend just in case.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

New yard Bird

While driving to town to bring Katrina some dinner at work last evening I spotted this bird sitting on our fence. Had to go back and get the scope and camera to get a few photos and look at it though the scope. Managed to get a few bad pictures but it is enought to see that it is a beautiful adult Peregrine Falcon of the of the Tundrius sub species. This is property bird # 136 in the almost 20 years we have lived here.
Needless to say Kats dinner was a little cold when i got it to her.
Today i heard a Greater Yellowlegs flying over the house and managed to get a look at it before it moved on . There is some open water in the field across the road with lots of Mallards and American Wigeon, and yesterday there were 6 Cackling Geese which I could see from our driveway so I guess I can claim as another new property bird. Also on the field were 2 Trumpeter Swans and many many Mountain Bluebirds.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rough-legged Hawks

Drove to Vanderhoof to retrieve Sharon's purse,after She discovered it missing and we tracked it down to where we had stopped for lunch on a shopping trip the day before.
I managed to get in a little birding on the way and saw at least 20 Rough-legged Hawks, which i think is the most I have every seen in 1 day. There were also very many Mountain Bluebirds and hundreds of Dark-eyed Juncos. I also spotted a lone pair of Long-billed Curlews looking very out of place in a snow covered field. I think they are going to be hungry before the snow melts on those fields.
Had a Ruby-crowned Kinglet hit a window and managed to retrieve it before one of our cats got it. I put it in a paper bag for a couple of hours to let it get its senses back and released it just before dark and it looked flew away, i hope it makes it.

Scout Island Walk

We stopped in Williams Lake on our way home from Redmond. Walked around Scout Island, checking out all the trails that we walked when Brandi wasa little girl. Saw many early returning birds, mostly water birds. Many American Coots, along with Gadwall, Mallard, Ring-necked Ducks and the first Common Loon on the lake. Most of the lake is still frozen and is still a week or 2 from opening up.
On the way home we spotted 6 Sandhill Cranes south of Quesnel and I attempted to get a picture but only got a couple of bad flight pics after they flushed when I go out of the car.
Many Red-tailed and Rough-legged Hawks on the way home and saw several Bald Eagles sitting on nests along the way.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Break

I have been away in Redmond Washington for the last while enjoying some real spring weather. In the land of Microsoft it is very hard to find free wireless internet and the ones i found were not very good.
Spent a lot of time walking and birding in the area, with one trip to Nisqually Wildlife refuge, we had a 5 1/2 mile walk around the dike . Birding was spotty but it was a nice walk.
Found 2 Great-horned owl youngsters but they were too far away for a photograph. Got great looks at an American bittern from about 5 meters after it was startled by a Mink passing by.
My Bro-inlaw Reg did very well on our walk dispite having 3 back operations over the last year and having to walk with a cane.