Friday, July 27, 2012

Another book...

This morning I had to pop downtown to renew my passport. After doing so, I made a quick visit to Russel Books on Fort Street and picked up To See Every Bird on Earth. On my way out of the store, one book in the Love and Relationships section caught my eye, Why Can't I Find Mr. Right?

Simple. It's because he's birding!

Dancing Anna's

On Tuesday July 24 there was a male Anna's Hummingbird in my garden that spent the better part of 2 minutes snatching small flies from mid-air. The flies had recently hatched from my pond and were swarming above it in a warm beam of evening sunlight. The Anna's simply darted around plucking them off one by one. By my count he caught 30-40 individuals.

Monday, July 23, 2012

East Sooke Park

Usually we head to East Sooke Park in September to watch migrant birds and sea lions pass through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This time however, we wound up in the park on 15 July. As expected the park was very quite, particularly in the Strait. On the walk through the old second-growth forest we heard Wilson's Warbler, Red Crossbill, Brown Creeper, a calling Olive-sided Flycatcher (singing seems to be over), Pacific Wren and Varied Thrush. We flushed a Song Sparrow from what was sure to be a nest, but darn those are hard to find. On the water we spotted two Rhinocerous Auklets and a lone Marbled Murrelet. Two Bald Eagles sat on Secretary Island.

Business as Unusual

In late June and early July I made two trips to Calgary, Alberta for a couple of business meetings. Although I travelled only from the airport to the downtown business core, I did pick up a couple of year-birds. On the first trip I spotted American White Pelican from the airplane as we approached the airport from the south, low over the Bow River. Shortly after landing a I spotted two Swainson's Hawk's soaring over Deerfoot Trail. On my second trip to Calgary I picked up Yellow-headed Blackbird in a small slough that was sure to ploughed under by this time next year as the Calgary Airport undergoes expansion. Thankfully, Alberta wetlands lost due to development are being compensated for through the creation or restoration of other wetlands. Time will tell how successful these efforts are.

Northern Alberta

My field season has been extremely limited this year due to extensive office work. However, I did manage to get some great boreal birds during a five day visit to a site in northeast Alberta. From 3 to 8 June I added the following for the year:

Canada Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow, Black-and-White Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Palm Warbler, Red-eyed Vireo, Magnolia Warbler, Least Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Clay-colored Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, Evening Grosbeak, Mourning Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, Ovenbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Common Grackle, Swamp Sparrow, Winter Wren, Tennessee Warbler, Blue Jay, and Broad-winged Hawk.