Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spring Bird Count

     This weekend is our spring bird count at Red Deer , Alberta. I count in a area that I have done for about 35 years. Part of the area is the ravine shown in An Evening Bike Ride.   It's about 150 acres and has a lot of old growth forest. Piper Creek winds back and forth in the ravine bottom.


     I usually find  12 -18 species and 60 - 100 birds. I'm sure there are more species and if I had enough time and patience I would find them. For example, I know there are Downy, Hairy and Pileated Woodpeckers in the area. I have seen Brown creepers but only every five years or so. You hear many Warblers but they stay in the canopy and unless you're really lucky you can't see them. I am not confident enough to identify them by sound. 


     Today my friend Mike came with me. When I bird I find them by sound more than anything else because this area is heavily forested. Mike and I like to visit. Since we are both in our seventies and somewhat hard of hearing we talk quite loud. I'm sure the birds heard us coming from a long way off and fled to safer areas. 


     We did find 16 species in 2 1/2 hours. We walked about 5 km (3 mi.)
Red, the birder taken a long time ago.




    We are also supposed to count any plant that is in bloom. Since birds don't pose too well and my camera is limited, I do have some flower pictures. I took these last year and didn't have to repeat them again this year.



Buffalo Bean (Thermopsis rhombifolia)
Early Blue Violet (Viola adunca)

Saskatoon Berry (Amelanchier alnifolia) 
Fairy Bells (Disporum trachycarpum)
      I apologize for not taking a picture of the dandelion!!!


      The weather was beautiful so we had a very pleasant morning.

13 comments:

  1. well, at least you had a good visit and good time outside. :)

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  2. Looks and sounds like my kind of day!

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    1. My problem with birding is that I'm always in too much of a rush. So my kind of day is to sit and let birds come to me.

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  3. You are am amazing man, Red! I applaud your dedication to the bird count...

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    1. I'm more addicted than dedicated.

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  4. This is what I am talking about - a WONDERFUL way to spend your time. Whether you are out birding, biking, hiking, canoeing or whatever its all out of doors and healthy. I love the fact that you identify the birds with their sound. I do know some, but probably not near your talent. Thanks for the bright, colourful flowers in bloom. Just lovely. Nice Post Red - I really enjoyed this.

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    1. I could stay outdoors all day.
      This is early for flowers here .

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  5. Many of my friends are birders and identify many of them. Right now I can hear a robin outside, an unidentified bird call, and chickadees singing. But to think of trying to identify in a bird count, I'm not qualified at all! Congratulations to you for finding so many in such a short time, Red.

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    1. I'm sort of towards the bottom of the birding totem pole. I make sure I have a bird book with me. Yesterday Mike had his phone so we could get the Cornell birding site and see and hear the birds. That's a first for me.

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  6. It sounds like an interesting fun time. Living in the city I don't have much opportunity to go birding.

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  7. What a grand day! I love your bird list in the sidebar.
    I'd like to do that.
    soon!

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