A Forgotten Post

I found a post I’d written in May in my drafts folder and realized I had never published it. So here it is, after quite a delay. It’ll be another seven months before I see these birds again, but in the meantime I though I should share these photos which I took at the slough across the road from my house.

I remember that the day was beautiful and warm. Shorebird migration was in progress and the mudflats at the slough were full of shorebirds. I sat for over an hour watching them feeding, preening, and taking the occasional rest.

A Killdeer and Semipalmated Plover,IMG_8586 There was only one Killdeer in the mix,IMG_8588 There was a solitary Lesser Yellowlegs too,IMG_8667 Along with the plovers were some Pectoral Sandpipers,IMG_8655

A Semipalmated Sandpiper,IMG_8622

My favourite part of the afternoon was watching the Semipalmated Plovers running up and down the mudflats. They are beautiful little birds, but difficult to photograph as they are constantly moving.

I got down and dirty with the plovers because I was lying on my stomach trying to get eye-level shots,IMG_8608 IMG_8612 IMG_8616

This is one of my favourite pictures from the afternoon,IMG_8631  IMG_8650IMG_8629Among the adults was an immature plover,IMG_8638

Two adults on the left and an immature on the right,IMG_8636

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

This Killdeer did not take kindly to my presence, as it likely had a nest nearby,

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More Feathers on Friday Posts:

:: From Sheila at Wolf Song Blog: Today’s Feathered Friend ~ Black-necked Stilt

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Feathers on Friday

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

A drawing of a Killdeer from my Young Birder of the Year field notebook,

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More Feathers on Friday Posts:

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Parkland Mews Volunteering

:: From Ethan at Bird Boy: Feathers on Friday

Pre-Ontario Birding

I went for a birding walk on August 7th, a few days before I left for Ontario. The day was a little cool and overcast, but that makes for good birding. Shorebird migration is in full swing here, but there aren’t any good spots for watching shorebirds within walking distance, so I decided to set my sights on the family of Pied-billed Grebes at one of the nearby sloughs.

I did see one of the grebes, but it quickly disappeared after I set up my scope, and none of the babies came into view. I did see a female Ruddy Duck with seven fairly new ducklings, along with more than 30 American Coots, six Killdeer feeding in one of the flooded fields, along with a Lesser Yellowlegs, a pair of Eastern Kingbirds, Cedar Waxwings, a flock of about 45 Red-winged Blackbirds, two Eastern Phoebes, two juvenile Eared Grebes, and 24 Blue-winged Teals as my highlights.

There were still a lot of breeding birds around, but when I return to Alberta in mid-September many of them will have left. Waterfowl migration will have started, and I hope to find some new species and get some good photos of the thousands of Snow Geese.

Some photos from my walk the other day:

I saw over 20 Clay-colored Sparrows,

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A female Ruddy Duck and her seven ducklings,

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A juvenile Eared Grebe (digiscoped),

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There was lots of Water Smartweed growing in the ditch,

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The Killdeers got quite close to me which made it easier to get good photos, but they don’t stand still for very long, so lots of my photos are blurry. Here are my best two,

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Killdeer (digiscoped),

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Summer Poll Results 2013

Thank you very much to everyone who voted on my Summer Poll.

The results are in (below), and the Favorite Summer Bird is the American White Pelican!

American White Pelican: 7 votes

Barn Swallow: 6 votes

Killdeer: 3 votes

Other votes: 3 votes for Ruby-throated Hummingbird, 2 votes for American Avocet, 2 votes for Eastern Bluebird, 1 vote for House Finch, 1 vote for Painted Bunting, 1 vote for Chimney Swift, 1 vote for Northern Parula, 1 vote for Blackburnian Warbler, 1 vote for Arctic Warbler, 1 vote for Common Nighthawk, 1 vote for Purple Martin, 1 vote for Eurasian Hobby, 1 vote for Yellow Warbler, 1 vote for Swainson’s Thrush, 1 vote for Summer Tanager, 1 vote for Western Meadowlark, 1 vote for Mountain Bluebird, 1 vote for Clay-colored Sparrow, 1 vote for Rose-breasted Grosbeak, 1 vote for Mourning Warbler, 1 vote for Baltimore Oriole, 1 vote for Northern Cardinal, and 1 vote for a Savannah Sparrow.

I hope you have a chance this summer to see your favorite summer bird at least once!

Thanks very much to all who voted and played along with my summer game!

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Summer Poll 2013

To celebrate the Equinox and first day of Summer yesterday, I have a poll!

Vote for your favorite Summer bird by the evening of Friday, June 28th, and I will post the results on Saturday, June 29th. Thank you!

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Spring Birding

At 7:45 yesterday morning I went out for some birding, hoping to find some warblers and shorebirds.

I walked to the alkaline lake behind our house, only a five-minute walk away. On the way there I saw 10+ Tree Swallows, one pair of Barn Swallows, eight Savannah Sparrows, two Clay-colored Sparrows, four Black-billed Magpies, two Western Meadowlarks, a flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds, and one Yellow rumped Warbler.

When I got to the lake I saw two Green-winged Teals, four Northern Shovelers, two Lesser Yellowlegs and two Mallards. On one of the sandbars was a Semipalmated Plover, a life bird for me. It flew away to another sandbar and where there were two other Semipalmated Plovers. I tried to take a photo of them but my camera batteries were dead. I quickly ran to the house to grab new ones and ran back. I was very lucky that there were still there! Also with the plovers were three Baird’s Sandpipers, two Spotted Sandpipers, four American Avocets, one Solitary Sandpiper, and one Killdeer. When I got back to the house I looked at the feeders and saw a female American Goldfinch.

I had a very productive morning with lots of shorebirds, but a little low on warblers, so I hope to find some new warblers soon.

A Semipalmated Plover,

The Semipalmated Plover and Baird’s Sandpiper,

Can you see the plovers and sandpiper?

Two species of plovers,