11 January 2012

East Kootenay Common Birds for Beginners

Hopefully a link to a pdf file you can download!

Link (see the down arrow, the link is right below here).

East Kootenay Common Birds for Beginners

Yush, I think it works.

So, details:

Using words like "common" and "uncommon" are controversial, but you get my intent.

Common - there are a lot around if you are in the right habitat at the right time of year, so you will probably see some.

Uncommon - there aren't a lot around; you may see some (if you are in the right habitat at the right time of year, or they are feeling noisy - singing to find a mate).

Rare - not a lot around, and quite challenging to spot; but sometimes, there are a bunch of them together - like Vaux's Swift at their nesting site at St. Eugene Mission - a very public place that not many people notice these birds, thank goodness.

Variable - some years there is what is called an "irruption" (not to be confused with what a volcanoe does - which is "erruption") - which means there are a lot around - Pine Siskins, for example, in late summer, or winter.

Have Fun!

07 January 2012

Lifer and Winter Seeker Challenge Engaged

Bird-checklisting buddy and I toured around yesterday (Friday) to start gathering species for the Winter Seeker Challenge held by our Naturalist Club - 30 designated species recorded between Jan. 1 and Mar. 31

There was a slight breeze but the day and roads were otherwise fine. NOT much snow on them there fields and hills. We could still get several large snowfalls, that is what it would take to get us to average. Not time to panic, yet.

Reminding us to always look behind yourself, was an adult BALD EAGLE ripping up the last of a dead deer, a half dozen feet from the edge of the highway across from North Star Landing (Bummers' Flats).

The bacon burger at Wasa Diner was pretty good, and they have free beverages for seniors AND free wi-fi! So iPad lesson ensued between bites.

Driving in to Kimberley, we congratulated ourselves on ticking off several Winter Challenge species and were planning on upping the number on our next effort when what should we spy but a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL along Mark Creek, and a PINE GROSBEAK further up Gerry Sorenson Way ... Two more for the list!

Plus! BCB (birding-checklist buddy) pulled a lifer for me out of a flock of Redpolls at a feeder. Yes, a HOARY REDPOLL! Thank you, so much! And thank you feeder person for filling your feeders and welcoming us in your yard.

Now, I am pretty confident that it was a HORE. Several times when others have id'd a redpoll as Hoary, I have not counted it myself, wanting to be absolutely confident. This one, I am happy to call it. Very white where it should be - check yer books - (although I didn't see its private regions which should be unstreaked or only very light. "show me your butt!" I did not yell, being respectful of other's dignity, even this species', and their winter feeding requirements.)

Dianne C.


* Winter Challenge species

Bald Eagle
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk*
Eurasian Collared-Dove*
Northern Pygmy-Owl*
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Northern Shrike*
Clark's Nutcracker
Black-billed Magpie
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Mountain Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Red-winged Blackbird*
Pine Grosbeak*
Red Crossbill
Common Redpoll*
Hoary Redpoll
American Goldfinch
Evening Grosbeak*

01 January 2012

Birding 2012 Kick-off

Short foray through town and into the valley.
First bird: Bohemian Waxwing.
Honest! I did NOT ignore any Ravens.

Mountains in front and behind (in mirror).

A couple of Common Redpoll foraging at the base of the big hay stack, ever watchful of the two Rough-legged Hawks floating over the fields.

The"Butte" shining in the vanishing mid-winter sunlight.
Red-tailed Hawks dogfighting above, one colourful young one in prime condition (sexy) vying for attention perhaps ...

while another
Rough-legged Hawk and a Common Raven abandon their skirmish to perch on adjacent fence posts, watching the action above.

Little day's list:

American Robin
Bald Eagle
Blue Jay
Bohemian Waxwing
Clark’s Nutcracker
Common Raven
Common Redpoll
Downy Woodpecker
Evening Grosbeak
Hairy Woodpecker
Mountain Chickadee
Northern Flicker
Red-breasted Huthatch
Rough-legged Hawk
Steller’s Jay