Mike suggested a 2 day trip to southeast Alberta to link up with some friends; unfortunately, Ray and Phil couldn't make it. I had a Saturday evening commitment so we couldn’t do the smart thing and leave Saturday night and stay in Medicine Hat. Mike invited Hank Vanderpol along and the three of us left Calgary at 2 am on Sunday. The skies were clear in Calgary but we soon encountered fog and snow making for a slow drive for the first couple of hours.We reached our destination just as the sun was rising and met up with Milt Spitzer and Yousif Attia.
We did a tour of the area ranging as far as Pakowki Lake to the west, Wild Horse to the south, and Cypress Hills to the northeast. It was still a bit early for migrants and returning summer residents but we did see some new team birds including Lapland Longspur, Ferruginous Hawk and Western Meadowlark in addition to one new mammal – Pronghorn Antelope.
|Clockwise from top left: Red-tailed Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk|
With 4 new birds and 1 mammal, our team totals our now 135 birds and 15 mammals making 150 overall – 30% of the way!
Note: by request, my original post has been edited to remove mention of a particular species which has a low population in Canada (but healthy populations to the south). Scientists involved in reintroduction efforts would prefer that birders and photographers stay away from the birds until the population is more robust.