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

Spring Migrants around Vermilion

My spring has been very busy, but I’ve been able to do quite a bit of birding these past few months, if not so much blogging.

Here are some of my favourite photos I’ve taken this spring.

An American Robin,IMG_8488

An American Avocet with a Lesser Yellowlegs in the background,IMG_8502

There are an abundance of Tree Swallows around our yard — we put up 20 more bird boxes around our property so hopefully all the boxes will have occupants this summer.IMG_8513

A Lincoln’s Sparrow at my feeding station,IMG_8536

A Lesser Yellowlegs,IMG_8552

A pair of Northern Shovelers,IMG_8474

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.

Here’s a comparison photo of a Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs I took earlier this week (the Greater is in the back with the Lesser in the front).,

IMG_5429

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

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 Lesser Yellowlegs at the slough near our house this October (digiscoped),

IMG_1760

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

:: From babsje at Great Blue HeronsIt’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s …

:: From Bird BoyFor Thanksgiving, a Turkey

Must-see birds: September

I got the idea for a northern Alberta version of “Must-see birds” from Pat Bumstead’s and Bob Lefebvre’s Birds Calgary blog. Matthew Sim, who is another young birder, had the idea for the “Must-see birds” posts and writes them all.

September is the month of migrants. Many of the shorebirds have left, and so have our hummingbirds. I wanted to find the best Alberta birds for Must-see birds September (all photos by me):

1. Sandhill Crane

The Sandhill Crane is a large wading bird with gray body, white cheek patches, and a red cap on the adults. The Sandhill Cranes are starting to migrate, so look for them flying high in the sky,

2. Osprey

I spotted this Osprey at Kehewin Lake on the way to 4H camp. I took this picture as we zoomed past the nest platform in our truck. The Osprey is a large raptor with a white head, a black eye stripe and dark upper parts,

3.  Bald Eagle 

I saw this Bald Eagle yesterday as I was riding my bike, and as soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for this post. The Bald Eagle has a dark brown body, yellow bill, and a white head and tail,

4. American Kestrel

The American Kestrel has two facial strips (I think they look like sideburns), a rust colored tail and blue-gray wings. This kestrel has caught what I think is a mouse and was flying around with it,

5. Lesser Yellowlegs

The Lesser Yellowlegs is a large sandpiper with a short straight bill, yellow legs, and a spotted back. A good field mark is the white rump,

Evening Birding

I went out Tuesday evening in search of owls, I didn’t have any luck, but instead I was able to find about  20 Lesser Yellowlegs, one Merlin, one Western Meadowlark, countless Canada Geese and 26 Sandhill Cranes. It was a great night for birding even though the skies are now getting dark before 9 pm.

Some of the Lesser Yellowlegs feeding,

A Lesser Yellowlegs,

As I was watching the Yellowlegs, I saw a flock of Sandhill Cranes. They were in a neighbors wheat field eating the grain,

I love these two pictures of the cranes where you can see just their heads,

To end my post I thought I should add a picture of the beautiful sunset we had last night. Though I saw many great species of birds I never heard or saw any owls,

Happy for Shorebirds

I went out yesterday evening to the water across the road in a neighbor’s pasture, to see if I could track down and identify any shorebirds, which are starting to migrate. After a while I found three species, though my finds were not what most would consider very worthwhile. Even though I have seen the Lesser Yellowlegs and the Marbled Godwit before, I was very happy with my sighting and the photo opportunities.

Here is my favorite picture, since it captures all three species of birds I saw that day,

I believe that this bird in the two photos below is a Short-billed Dowitcher prairie subspecies. If anyone could please help me with the identification of this dowitcher, I would greatly appreciate it,

A Marbled Godwit,

Lesser Yellowlegs,