Alberta Day Two

Monday, July 02, 2007, Led by Steve Shunk and David Wimpfheimer

Photos by Bill Walker

57 Species at 4 Locations

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
Redhead C C
Bufflehead C LSPP
Common Goldeneye LSPP LSPP
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
Northern Harrier LSPP LSPP
Bald Eagle DIBJPP
Imm. bird seen soaring over farmland a mile or so before we reached Dry Island.
Swainson's Hawk C
Several individuals seen on the roads before Lowden Springs and after Dry Island - a good refresher course in Swainson\'s Hawk coloration.
Red-tailed Hawk E
One individual was observed from our picnic table in Elnora - pale breast and belly, very light tail with slight rufous striping, and a very light grey head. The bird was soaring in good light at a height which filled about half the field of my binoculars. We called it a Krider\'s hawk, which is a first for Bill and me.
LSPP
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
American Avocet LSPP LSPP
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
Black Tern C
Seen in many locations on roads and highways, but seen beautifully at sunset at Mirror Lake in Camrose proper, along with Black Terns, Forster\'s Terns, and Franklin\'s Gulls.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
Vireonidae (Vireos)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
Sturnidae (Starlings)
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
Song Sparrow DIBJPP
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
American Goldfinch (h) DIBJPP
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
Legend
Camrose and environs, Canada = C
Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, Canada = DIBJPP
Elnora, Canada = E
Lowden Springs Prairie Preserve, Canada = LSPP

57 Species at 4 Locations

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
Bufflehead LSPP
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
Bald Eagle DIBJPP
Imm. bird seen soaring over farmland a mile or so before we reached Dry Island.
Swainson's Hawk C
Several individuals seen on the roads before Lowden Springs and after Dry Island - a good refresher course in Swainson\'s Hawk coloration.
Red-tailed Hawk E
One individual was observed from our picnic table in Elnora - pale breast and belly, very light tail with slight rufous striping, and a very light grey head. The bird was soaring in good light at a height which filled about half the field of my binoculars. We called it a Krider\'s hawk, which is a first for Bill and me.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
Black Tern C
Seen in many locations on roads and highways, but seen beautifully at sunset at Mirror Lake in Camrose proper, along with Black Terns, Forster\'s Terns, and Franklin\'s Gulls.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
Vireonidae (Vireos)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
Sturnidae (Starlings)
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
Song Sparrow DIBJPP
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
American Goldfinch (h) DIBJPP
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
Legend
Camrose and environs, Canada = C
Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, Canada = DIBJPP
Elnora, Canada = E
Lowden Springs Prairie Preserve, Canada = LSPP

57 Species at 4 Locations

Lowden Springs Prairie Preserve
Camrose and environs
Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park
Elnora
Red-tailed Hawk
One individual was observed from our picnic table in Elnora - pale breast and belly, very light tail with slight rufous striping, and a very light grey head. The bird was soaring in good light at a height which filled about half the field of my binoculars. We called it a Krider\'s hawk, which is a first for Bill and me.
Camrose and environs
Lowden Springs Prairie Preserve
Camrose and environs
Lowden Springs Prairie Preserve
Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park
Bald Eagle
Imm. bird seen soaring over farmland a mile or so before we reached Dry Island.
Camrose and environs
Swainson's Hawk
Several individuals seen on the roads before Lowden Springs and after Dry Island - a good refresher course in Swainson\'s Hawk coloration.
Lowden Springs Prairie Preserve
Elnora
Camrose and environs
Black Tern
Seen in many locations on roads and highways, but seen beautifully at sunset at Mirror Lake in Camrose proper, along with Black Terns, Forster\'s Terns, and Franklin\'s Gulls.
Lowden Springs Prairie Preserve
Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park
Lowden Springs Prairie Preserve
Elnora
Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park
Camrose and environs
Lowden Springs Prairie Preserve
Camrose and environs

Trip Map

Trip Notes

We started with a drive from Camrose to the Lowden Springs prairie preserve where we saw two Grasshopper sparrows, dozens of Savannah Sparrows and a good five or more Clay-colored Sparrows, along with some good water birds. The hoped-for Baird's Sparrow and Sprague's pipit were not to be found. Either it is too late in the summer for them or these target species were observing the Canada Day bank holiday.

We took lunch at the campgrounds in Elnora - possibly the nicest campground restrooms ever - and did a bit of birding in town, then headed out to Dry Island Buffalo Jump provincial park for a last look at grassland habitat on this ten day trip. The canyon of the Red Deer River offers beautiful views of terraced badlands in rich green, grey and brown. Our wildflower lovers were in awe at the profusion of wildflowers at the top of the buffalo jump overlook. For me, though the highlight of this stop was a chance to observe a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker pair delivering food to (at least) two nestlings. The female tended to work her insect goodies into a bollus for the chicks and the male made multiple trips without apparently using an anvil to process the insects. We took in a lot of new information thanks to narration of every detail by woodpecker expert Steve Shunk.

All other birds observed today were spotted on roads between Camrose and our two main destinations.

Species identified by other observers on the trip but missed by us: Marbled Godwit, Eastern Kingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, Common Raven, Violet-green Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, House Wren, Mountain Bluebird, Spotted Towhee, Lark Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole, and Pine Siskin [note by Mary]