Sunday, 19 February 2012

The first 50 days – Alberta, Nova Scotia & Newfoundland = 1 day in B.C.??

While checking recent sightings in BC, I noticed that Russell Cannings, Jeremiah Kennedy and Jess Findlay recently recorded 131 species in one day in the Vancouver area (  Needless to say, it is tempting to head west and bring our totals to a more respectable level.  However, we will stick to our plan and wait for a month or so before heading to BC.  In checking their list of 131 species, we should get almost all of them at some time during the year.  I was surprised to see Costa’s Hummingbird on the list … hopefully it will stick around for us.

Today we surpassed their 131 total, albeit for 50 days and counting mammals as well as birds.  Ray and I birded along the Bow River – Bowness Park, Edworthy Park and Inglewood Bird Sanctuary – before heading east in search of falcons.
Bowness had its usual group of winter birds including Pileated Woodpecker (a catch-up species for me) and Brown Creeper.  We were looking for a Red Crossbill – there were lots of cones but no crossbills.  At Edworthy, our target was Townsend’s Solitaire which we found fairly quickly for a new team bird.  We then went to Inglewood where we saw a distant male Harlequin Duck … another new bird for us.
There have been scattered reports of a Gyrfalcon SE of Calgary and we cruised the backroads without success.  As a consolation, Ray spotted a Prairie Falcon which was another catch-up bird for me.
Prairie Falcon

Our totals are now 121 birds and 11 mammals for a total of 132.  I also photographed 3 new species but unfortunately, the birds were all quite distant.



  1. If ever you need Red Crossbills, check the community of Willow Park in SE Calgary; when I was up there for Christmas, I saw quite a few Red Crossbills. For more specific details, contact me. Keep these great posts and photos coming!

    Matthew Sim

    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Matthew. I know the area you refer to and will check it out in the next few days. In December, there were quite a few Red Crossbills in Calgary but most, if not all, seem to have disappeared.