Swan & Goose Count Jan.23 2019

Peregrine falcon

Great blue heron


Owl and junco

Northern shrike

Female wood duck

Trumpeter swans

Cooper’s Hawk

Short-eared owl

Seven eager counters met at the dog park with one newbie, Elodie who had heard all about our escapades and was ready to join in the fun, welcome Elodie. We piled into two vehicles and were off flying.
I really don’t know how I do it with the weather, must have something to do with my ancestry being related to Merlin the magician. It was a wonderful day with temperatures reaching up around 13c by mid afternoon. We saw some wonderful birds and did well with our count with high numbers all around. Trumpeter Swans at #582 of which there were #62 immature, Canada Geese #1439 a Redhead, 3 Northern Shrikes, a Short-eared Owl and the raptors were especially obliging this week with #11 Red-tailed Hawks, #40 Bald Eagles, 2 Peregrine Falcons, 2 Cooper’s Hawks one of which was tentatively identified as a Red-tailed Hawk until we got alongside it. We had a chat with Barry’s cousin who we thought was coming with a gun to get us off his property, that was a close one, Barry gave him a nice book to keep him happy and we swiftly retreated after counting the swans. At this same spot I was sure I had found a Tundra Swan, but couldn’t find it to show the others, so Zan and I took loads of pictures and what do you think, we found 2 adults and a immature when seen up on the computer. We give thanks to the inventor of digital photography.
I got up nice and personal with a big old pig who I disturbed from it’s lovely muddy bed, I did apologize for rousing it from a lovely dream of buckets of swill, I patted it on it’s nose which was just caked in mud and old pigsley gave a few encouraging snorts as we parted company.
A Long-eared type Owl was trying to catch a Dark-eyed Junco on Richard’s Trail and there are now several Wood Owls sitting in the trees along this birdy road.
We did run into a adult Bald Eagle that was sitting in a field just looking around, I was personally worried as it is not the sort of place you would see one just sat sitting, so I gave a couple of shouts to make sure it was alright and eventually it took of to chase a goose or two. Good job it did as the fence was one of those tall Elk fences along Hwy18 and I’m not sure we could of encouraged newbie Elodie to climb it.
We did find just one Redhead on the Herd Road flooded fields, I am sure with a good scope and plenty of time all three from last week are still around.
Finishing our wonderful count with a little sunburn, we were treated to super views of a Great Blue Heron sitting at a nest site and a way off in the distance Short-eared Owl, now you can’t get better than that.


Photo Credits
Northern Shrike by Barry Hestchko
Flying female Wood Duck, by Barry Hestchko
Trumpeter’s flying out of the morning mist, by Barry Hestchko
Piggy by Barry Hestchko
Great Blue Heron at nest site, by Zan Stenhouse
Peregrine Falcon by Zan Stenhouse
Long-eared type Owl attacking Junco by Derrick Marven
Short-eared Owl by Derrick Marven
Cooper’s Hawk by Derrick Marven