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.