Spring Migrants near Vermilion

Most of the spring migrants have returned to this part of the province, with many species — including the Tree Swallows, Mallards, Green-winged Teals, and Barn Swallows — already sitting on eggs. I’ve been able to go birding quite frequently this month, so I though I’d share some of my favorite photos from May.

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker excavating a nest in a poplar tree,

IMG_3164

A male Ruffed Grouse taking a break from displaying,

IMG_3203

Song Sparrow,

IMG_3217

This male Baltimore Oriole was quite difficult to photograph as it kept hiding behind leaves and branches,

IMG_3195

The first warblers to arrive in the Vermilion area are Yellow-rumped Warblers (this a Myrtle variant),

IMG_3156

I came across this Mallard nest on one of my walks,

IMG_2307

This handsome Le Conte’s Sparrow is the most recent addition to my Life List,

IMG_3395

A male Yellow Warbler,

IMG_3240

I found this dead Red-necked Phalarope near one of the sloughs,

IMG_3231

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 Yellow-rumped Warbler in fall plumage at the woods near our house,

IMG_6188

More Fathers on Friday Posts: 

:: From Bird BoyFeathers on Friday

Fall Migration is a Busy Time of the Year

I’m sorry I haven’t published more posts lately but between helping with harvest, retraining a horse, getting ready for a house guest, and most importantly school, I haven’t much time! My daily birding walks have also fallen by the wayside, but birds there are aplenty since I live in a migration pathway. Almost every day there’s a steady stream of Snow, Canada, and Greater White-fronted Geese flying overhead, along with Lapland Longspurs and Horned Larks.

Last Friday I went out birding at the woods and slough across the road from our house to see what was around and also inspected the newly-completed beaver lodge.

Yellow-rumped Warblers are everywhere now, but they’ll soon be gone,

This is the first White-breasted Nuthatch I’ve seen in the woods,

Leaves are changing colors,

The beavers have three areas in the woods like this,

There are wood chips everywhere from all their work,

I saw this Common Yellowthroat, a first for my Alberta list,

A Northern Harrier just over the power line,

An Alberta sunset,

I will try to post more regularly and hope to go birding more often too!

My 10 Favorite Birds of 2011

2011 was a great year for birding for me. This year I saw eastern birds I had never seen before. I was able to see 145 year birds and 61 life birds. I was hoping to break the 200 barrier, so I’ll try for that next year (starting tomorrow!).

1. Long-tailed Duck (Toronto, Lake Ontario)

2. Tufted Titmouse (Central Park, NYC)

3. Great Gray Owl (our farmyard)

4. Wilson’s Snipe (across the road from our farmyard)

5. Western Meadowlark (the pasture across the road from our farmyard)

6. Yellow-rumped Warbler (the woods down the road)

7. Ruddy Duck (the slough across the road)

8. Common Merganser (the slough across the road)

9. Turkey Vulture (provincial park near town)

10. Pine Grosbeak (the woods down the road)

IMG_9147

Happy New Year and happy birding in 2012!

Bird Photo Quiz #7: Answers

Here are the answers to my Bird Photo Quiz #7

Picture #1 is a White-throated Sparrow

Picture #2 is a Yellow-rumped Warbler

Congratulations to Brendan at Catching the Thermals and David at Calgary Birder who both correctly identified the birds. Thanks for all playing along!

Fall Migration Hike

I spent Tuesday from 9 am to 1 pm at the local provincial park to look for Fall migrants.

I started along the river side of the park. The first birds I saw were Black-capped Chickadees, though after looking through the photos, I realized I hadn’t taken any photos of the chickadees. I saw a quite a lot of species, from Yellow-rumped Warblers to Turkey Vultures. I saw 18 species in total: four Pied-billed Grebes, eight Red-necked Grebes, one Double-crested Cormorant, five Mallards, two Gadwalls, 10 Buffleheads, three Turkey Vultures, one Northern Harrier, 15 Ring-billed Gulls, 23 Black Terns, one Belted Kingfisher, one Blue Jay, five American Crows, countless Black-capped Chickadees, three House Wrens, 17 Cedar Waxwings, 15 Yellow-rumped Warblers, and eight White-throated Sparrows.

Red-necked Grebe,

At first I thought this raptor was a hawk,

It was a Turkey Vulture,

One of the highlights of the trip, a Belted Kingfisher,

Non-breeding Black Tern,