Winter's blast of the previous day seemed to have dispersed the birds a bit because it seemed to us that the number of ducks, geese and swans was lower than we had expected. Nevertheless, there were still enough of them around to make it feel like Spring and the weather was cool but pleasant with relatively little wind. By day's end we had seen 54 bird species and 4 mammal species including a handful of new team birds for the year.
We saw two American White Pelicans today, the first being just northeast of Brooks.
|American White Pelican|
We drove southeast of Brooks to Tillebrook PP where we spent a half hour or so. The highlight here was a Fox Sparrow and we had excellent though fleeting views of this bird. Our Alberta Fox Sparrows are a very different subspecies from the Fox Sparrows seen on our recent Fur & Feathers trip to B.C. and far less frequently seen here too so this sighting was a real treat! We also spotted two Townsend's Solitaires here.
We continued east hoping for, but not finding, a Burrowing Owl but at Bantry Reservoir we came across a brightly coloured male Yellow-headed blackbird in the company of about 20 or so Red-winged Blackbirds - our second new year-bird for the day.
Shortly after our visit to Bantry Reservoir we circled back east and south, coming across a few interesting sightings along the way including a single Snowy Owl and a small group of about 10 Snow Buntings. We encountered several Common Grackles too which was our third new year-bird for the trip.
Other notable sightings during the day included American Kestrel, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Double-crested Cormorant and Snow Geese all near Kitsom Reservoir, and a pair of nesting Great-horned Owls near Namaka Lake.
Now it's time for a break from birding! Happy Easter everyone!