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Updated on January 17, 2019, 2:10 pm

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17 Jan: @ 14:01:56 
FFCPP Society Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Thursday 17-Jan-2019 [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
16 Jan: @ 17:34:58 
Re: An Alberta Big Year ['Eric Tull' [email protected] [Albertabird]]
16 Jan: @ 14:35:47 
FFCPP Society Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Wednesday 16-Jan-2019 [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
15 Jan: @ 20:27:20 
Re: An Alberta Big Year [Nicole Saxton [email protected] [Albertabird]]
15 Jan: @ 20:01:26 
Re: Home 8KR - Lady Mac - Red Crossbills [Connor Charchuk [email protected] [Albertabird]]
15 Jan: @ 19:37:53 
Home 8KR - Lady Mac - Red Crossbills [Caroline Lambert [email protected] [Albertabird]]
15 Jan: @ 14:42:14 
FFCPP Society Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Tuesday 15-Jan-2019 [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
15 Jan: @ 11:30:36 
Re: An Alberta Big Year [Pat Lucas [email protected] [Albertabird]]
14 Jan: @ 23:53:48 
Re: An Alberta Big Year [William James Wilson [email protected] [Albertabird]]
14 Jan: @ 21:13:42 
An Alberta Big Year [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
14 Jan: @ 17:26:37 
FFCPP Soc Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Monday 14-Jan-2019 [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
14 Jan: @ 15:04:51 
American Kestrel ['Malcolm McDonald' [email protected] [Albertabird]]
13 Jan: @ 20:44:59 
FFCPP Society Calgary - Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Sunday Jan 13, 2019 [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
13 Jan: @ 17:53:31 
Grande Prairie County - Wapiti Dunes Trails - Twp Rd 710, Jan 13, 2019 [David Rhody [email protected] [Albertabird]]
13 Jan: @ 10:52:33 
Re: Re: spotting scope and high end camera equipment for sale [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
13 Jan: @ 01:35:28 
Calgary Winter List update, January 11 2019 [Bob Lefebvre [email protected] [Albertabird]]
12 Jan: @ 23:32:05 
Good Day of Birding [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
12 Jan: @ 22:45:35 
Re: 5MR (or 8KR) birding [Caroline Lambert [email protected] [Albertabird]]
12 Jan: @ 19:56:21 
FFCPP Soc Fish Creek PP-Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Saturday 12-Jan-2019 [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
12 Jan: @ 11:53:30 
Goldfinches still here ['Shonna McLeod' [email protected] [Albertabird]]
12 Jan: @ 11:17:24 
Calgary winter list addition - Pacific Wren [Caroline Lambert [email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 21:21:29 
Re: 5MR (or 8KR) birding [Sandra Davenport [email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 20:37:10 
Re: 5MR (or 8KR) birding [1 Attachment] [Andrew Hart [email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 19:48:22 
Nature Calgary Filed trip. Shannon Terrace. 10 January 2019. [Andrew Hart [email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 18:09:17 
Re: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity [Ryan Demong [email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 17:58:00 
Re: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity [Sean Evans [email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 17:32:53 
Grande Prairie & environs: Jan 9 and 11, 2019 [David Rhody [email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 15:13:31 
Re: Alberta Mega Rarity [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 13:59:29 
Re: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity [Ryan Demong [email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 13:25:54 
Re: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity [Sean Evans [email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 13:08:28 
RE: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
11 Jan: @ 12:53:48 
Re: Alberta Mega Rarity [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
10 Jan: @ 20:04:19 
Fwd: 13th Annual Crowsnest Christmas Bird Count held on Jan 2 [Pat Lucas [email protected] [Albertabird]]
10 Jan: @ 17:50:09 
Fw: eBird Report - Calgary--Confederation Park, 10-Jan-2019 [Ryan Demong [email protected] [Albertabird]]
10 Jan: @ 15:21:32 
FFCPP Society Calgary--Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Thursday 10-Jan-2019 [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
10 Jan: @ 11:24:09 
Re: Tundra Bean-Goose Update [David Scott [email protected] [Albertabird]]
10 Jan: @ 10:57:51 
Re: Tundra Bean-Goose Update [korich [email protected] [Albertabird]]
10 Jan: @ 10:56:24 
Re: Tundra Bean-Goose Update [Sean Evans [email protected] [Albertabird]]
10 Jan: @ 10:47:39 
Tundra Bean-Goose Update [David Scott [email protected] [Albertabird]]
10 Jan: @ 08:46:27 
Re: 5MR (or 8KR) birding [Connor Charchuk [email protected] [Albertabird]]
10 Jan: @ 03:51:05 
Re: 2018 NMT Year - Calgary [Bob Parsons [email protected] [Albertabird]]
10 Jan: @ 00:08:14 
2018 NMT Year - Calgary [William James Wilson [email protected] [Albertabird]]
09 Jan: @ 22:12:43 
Fw: eBird Report - Calgary--Queen's Park Cemetery, 9-Jan-2019 [Ryan Demong [email protected] [Albertabird]]
09 Jan: @ 18:58:08 
5MR (or 8KR) birding [Caroline Lambert [email protected] [Albertabird]]
09 Jan: @ 15:51:52 
Robin [BARB COOTE [email protected] [Albertabird]]
09 Jan: @ 15:46:44 
Re: Probable Tundra Bean-Goose - Lethbridge [Ryan Demong [email protected] [Albertabird]]
09 Jan: @ 15:05:26 
Re: A years non-motorized transport (well sort of, in away) birding. [1 Attachment] [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
09 Jan: @ 14:25:50 
FFCPP Society Calgary--Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Wednesday, 09-Jan-2019 [[email protected] [Albertabird]]
09 Jan: @ 14:21:12 
Probable Tundra Bean-Goose - Lethbridge [David Scott [email protected] [Albertabird]]
09 Jan: @ 14:20:45 
Re: Probable Tundra Bean-Goose - Lethbridge [Connor Charchuk [email protected] [Albertabird]]





Subject: FFCPP Society Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Thursday 17-Jan-2019
Date: Thu Jan 17 2019 14:01 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
FFCPP Society Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Thursday
17-Jan-2019 09:15 - 11:51. Snowing, -12C



1. Canada Goose 88
2. Mallard 5
3. Downy Woodpecker 7
4. Hairy Woodpecker 2
5. Northern Flicker 1
6. Black-billed Magpie 12
7. Common Raven 6
8. Black-capped Chickadee 25
9. Red-breasted Nuthatch 6
10. White-breasted Nuthatch 3
11. American Dipper 1
12. House Finch 13
13. White-winged Crossbill 2



1 Meadow vole

4 Coyotes

2 White tailed deer



Leaders: Fred Bowen, Rob and Teresa Brown, Lori Mainland, David Mitchell,
Stephen Phelps





View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checkli...



Subject: Re: An Alberta Big Year
Date: Wed Jan 16 2019 17:34 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Hello HowardCongratulations on your 304 big year. That is an amazing achievement, as it takes tremendous dedication and effort to go a year of full-time bird chasing. I see several species on your list that I never managed to find in my time in Alberta.
You (and other Alberta birders) might be interested in submitting your list records to Canadian Listers' Corner. It is a free online yearly magazine that publishes birders' list totals from across Canada. You can view it, and submit your records, athttp://www.neilyworld.com/neil...
Good birding
Eric TullSidney, BC







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Subject: FFCPP Society Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Wednesday 16-Jan-2019
Date: Wed Jan 16 2019 14:35 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
FFCPP Society Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Wednesday
16-Jan-2019 09:15 - 12:00. Cloud and fog, -7C to -2C



1. Mallard 3
2. Downy Woodpecker 4
3. Hairy Woodpecker 1
4. Common Raven 18
5. Black-capped Chickadee 30
6. Mountain Chickadee 2
7. Boreal Chickadee 1
8. Red-breasted Nuthatch 3
9. White-breasted Nuthatch 3
10. House Finch 10
11. Common Redpoll 24



1 Mink

1 Coyote

6 Red squirrels



Leaders: Peter Hoyer, David Mitchell



View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checkli...



Subject: An Alberta Big Year
Date: Tue Jan 15 2019 20:27 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Congrats on a successful year Howard. That was a great read. 

Also congrats to James Fox & Gerry Fox, I am pretty sure they set a new Alberta Big Year Record. According to the top 100 stats they saw 320 species in 2018.

Good birding
Nicole S
currently in Calgary, AB



--------------------------------------------
On Mon, 1/14/19, [email protected] [Albertabird] wrote:

Subject: [Albertabird] An Alberta Big Year
To: [email protected]
Received: Monday, January 14, 2019, 8:13 PM












I
really enjoy reading stories on Albertabird.
So,
it seems only fair that I contribute my own.

Last
year (2018) I decided to do a personal big year in Alberta.
I did not hope to
break any records, merely to focus all my birding in
Alberta. This story may be
a bit long, so if you would rather listen than read, you
could join us at the Calgary
Bird Study Group meeting on February
6th.
The
Official List of the Birds of Alberta contains
all species known to occur, or to have occurred
historically, in the province
of Alberta. It is compiled by the Alberta Bird Record
Committee of the Royal
Alberta Museum. The Official List (2014) has 421 species
that have been recorded
in Alberta. At first glance, that is a surprisingly high
number. Of course,
some species have been reported only very few times. In
fact, it includes three
species that are known to be extinct or extirpated; Greater
Prairie-Chicken,
Eskimo Curlew, and Passenger Pigeon. The authors of the list
also created a
Findability Index from 1 to 6.
I
set a target of finding 300 species. I chose this target by
reviewing the Official
List, sorting the list by findability, and selecting a
number that would be a
challenge to achieve; to get there I would need both a lot
of effort and a bit
of luck.
Before
I begin, I first want to acknowledge and thank a few close
friends who are also
part of the story. My wife, Lyn, joined
me on many of my outings. Tony Timmons joined me many times
and I frequently
relied on him to confirm identifications. Andrew Hart, Dan
and Cindy Parliament
also joined me many times. Quite a few
other people, as well as Albertabird and eBird, were
indispensable in finding special
birds.
A
big year does not really begin on January
1st. It begins weeks or
months earlier when you begin to do the necessary research:
AND, as you develop
your resolve to make the commitment. I™ll skip that part
and jump right to
January 1st.
It
was “ 24 C when Lyn, Tony, Andrew and I began the year
by participating in the
Fish Creek bird count. On the 2nd was Gus
Yaki™s monthly Elbow River
survey. The 3rd was the Sundre (Snake™s Head)
Christmas Bird Count.
On the 5th I explored Exshaw area and Harvey
Heights. Next day was
the Exshaw Christmas Bird Count. You get the idea: if you
want to find birds it
is important to go out birding. But, just as important to
me, was to
participate in as many organized outings as possible. In
part because of the simple
formula: more eyes, more birds, but also, I wanted to
be an active member of
the Calgary birding community. After five days my total
stood at 34 (I had no
idea if this was good, bad or indifferent) and I had a few
nice birds: Northern
Pygmy-Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Steller's Jay, Snow
Bunting, and American Dipper.

As
we were doing the Exshaw CBC, I was in touch with James Fox
who arranged
permission for me to go on First Nations land near Grande
Cache for a Chestnut-backed
Chickadee that was a regular visitor to a feeder. Lyn and I
got home from Exshaw
at 3:00 PM and, within an hour, we had packed the car and
were driving north. I
wanted to get as many kilometres behind me as possible
before it got dark. We
stopped at Rocky Mountain House for the night and, next day
we made it to
Grande Cache by noon.
We were met by Tom McDonald, a
tremendous
ambassador for the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation. He led us to
his sister™s house
in the Band™s community. We got out of the car and
within two minutes the
target bird showed up. There were numerous feeders so there
were several other
species of birds there: Black-capped and Boreal Chickadee,
Steller™s and Gray
Jay, Pine Grosbeak, Common and one Hoary Redpoll, and ONE
Chestnut-backed
Chickadee.This was our first chase. Chestnut-backed
Chickadee is pretty
special in Alberta, so we were thrilled with this
tick.
Our next adventure was to
southeast Alberta. Greater Sage-grouse
is protected under the Species at Risk
Act and a Special Order intended to avoid disturbing
these birds during
breeding season. Our plan was to try for them in winter. On
January 14th,
Tony, Lyn and I drove to Medicine Hat. We stopped there for
lunch and drove on
to Manyberries. The secondary road was completely snow
covered and very poor
visibility but there was almost no traffic. When we got to
Manyberries we
didn™t really know the best roads to explore but we drove
slowly over the
back roads all afternoon. At one point we saw a raptor land
in a field some
distance away. It was a Gyrfalcon! A VERY nice, lucky find.
Later we saw a
Golden Eagle on the cross-bar of a lamp pole. It flushed and
flew toward the
south. As we watched it soaring across the field a larger
bird flushed and flew
toward us. It was a Greater Sage-Grouse! What amazing luck!

A few days later, Tony and I went
to Brown Lowery PP. This
can be a frustrating spot. Sometimes you can walk the entire
park and not see
anything. However, generally it is reliable for Three-toed
Woodpeckers. We got
there at 9:30 and, according to my eBird track, walked 4.4
Km in 3 hours and 7
minutes and got 11 species including five Three-toed and one
Black-backed
Woodpeckers. That was a very nice bird to add to the
year-list.
Harris™s Sparrow shows up in the
area occasionally, so when
one was reported near Lethbridge at a backyard feeder, off
we went. On January
21st, Tony, Lyn and I drove in howling winds to a
private residence
and asked if we could look over the fence. It was cold and
the only sparrows we
could see were House Sparrows. After shivering outside, the
owners invited us
in and we sat in the living room looking out the window
until we had a
30-second look at the target. Later in the summer Lyn and I
were in Tillebrook
Provincial Park and had a Harris™s Sparrow feeding at our
picnic site for at
least 30 minutes. You just never know! I guess; a bird on
the list is better
than one that you hope shows up another
time??
Perhaps
the easiest bird all year was on February
22nd. I was lying in bed
about 10:30 PM and heard a toot-toot-toot outside. I got up
and stood on the
back deck in my pajamas. Sure enough; Northern Saw-whet Owl!
I got a good
recording and went back to bed. Over the next few days I
hoped to actually see this
little fellow. I searched the trees and watched for mobbing
chickadees, but no luck. That was one of three species all
year that I had
to be satisfied with Heard Only.
We
usually go for White-tailed Ptarmigan at Highwood Pass near
the end of
November. And we frequently see this species while hiking in
the mountains in
summer. But Willow Ptarmigan does not come to this part of
Alberta. The best
place is north of Fort McMurray on the ice road toward Fort
Chipewyan. Lyn and
I drove to Fort Mac on March 15th. This is a bit
later than ideal
since the ice road was getting too soft to drive in the
daytime. In the night
the road froze enough to be passable, but, looking for a
white bird in the snow
after dark seemed like a long shot. We tried Hwy 63 north of
town without
success.
Next
morning, based on eBird reports, we explored the area around
the airport. Voil.
We found a flock of about 40 Willow Ptarmigan. They were
fairly distant, so the
photos are a bit weak, but we headed for home with another
important tick on
the list and with smiles on our face.
On
March 17th, I spent the morning scanning gulls at
Inglewood Bird
Sanctuary. (Not my strong suit!)I
had seen a post made the previous day on Albertabird of a
Dunlin at Seebe Dam.
I considered chasing this bird, but it seemed like the sort
of bird that would
be hard to find again. However, at noon after I got home
from IBS, I saw another
post by other birders who were able, with effort, to find
the Dunlin again. I
left immediately and headed west, arriving at Seebe Dam at
2:30. I scoped both
sides of the bridge. I even walked (stumbled) down the slope
under the bridge.
After more than 30 minutes, I was coming to the expected
conclusion that I
would not find this little fellow. I hiked to the dam
structure and looked
below the dam and through the fence toward the inlet
channel. It looked like
more prospective shorebird habitat. And, for about two
minutes, I had the bird
in my scope. I managed to get a poor image with my iPhone
through the scope.
The bird flew further up the inlet channel and I could not
re-find it. This is
another example of making a special effort to find a
reported bird, only to
have it show up later in the summer when it was in breeding
plumage and close
enough to get better photographs.
By
the end of March year-to-date list stood at
100.

When I was planning for the year,
one bird I really hoped to
find was Boreal Owl. It would be a true lifer for me.
Perhaps the best location
in the Calgary area for this species is Sibbald Trail. We
made a few nocturnal
outings without success. On one occasion we did hear a
Barred Owl. Like the
Saw-whet, this is a bird the you often see at one time or
another during the
year. But not this year. It also was a Heard Only.

I thought we would try a different
strategy. We went before
sunrise, rather than after sunset. And it worked!
Lyn and I left home
at 3:30 AM on April 27th and made our
first stop at 4:15. After three or four more stops, I was
beginning to feel we
would have the same success as previously: NONE. Then we
both said, Did you
hear that?Lyn continued to hear the toot-toot-toot
but I could
not. We drove 100 metres closer and, there is was; loud and
clear. Well,
relatively loud. In fact, there were two Boreal Owls.As
well as a
Barred Owl. By this time, it was starting to get light and
more birds joined
the dawn chorus; Varied Thrush (first-of-year, FOY),
American Robin, Pacific
Wren (FOY), and Red-breasted Nuthatch. A few other highlights
in April included; Long-eared Owl, Long-billed
Curlew, and Say's Phoebe, On
May 1st Dan and Cindy
picked Lyn and I up at
3:45 AM. Gus Yaki had arranged dates for people to visit a
blind and watch
Sharp-tailed Grouse on a lek near Nanton. We got there, as
instructed, before
sunrise. Tony and Andrew were already there. There were
about 40 males
performing. This was not the first-of-year, nor would it be
the last sighting
of Sharp-tailed Grouse, it was certainly the most
thrilling.
The next day, Andrew arrived at
7:00 AM and we drove to the
Riley landfill, a small town east of Edmonton. We easily
found the landfill,
both visually and by odour. There were thousands of gulls:
Franklin™s, Ring-billed,
California, and Herring. They dominated the landscape, and
the noise. There had
been a Slaty-backed Gull. Identifying this individual amid
the 1000s of other
gulls is a real credit to Gerald Romanchuk. When Andrew and
I arrived, we were
lucky to find another birder, Sean Evans, who had previously
been with Gerald
to see the Slaty-backed. After a few minutes Andrew landed
on a gull that
looked good and Sean agreed. We had our bird! We
hoped. After a few days
Andrew™s photos were confirmed by the regional eBird
reviewer. PHEW!
During May and June, I was out
almost every day. Nature
Calgary had several outings in the area. We traveled to
Tillebrook and Cypress
Hills Provincial Parks, including the short-grass prairie
hotspots in SE
Alberta on at least two occasions. The May species count in
Brooks was new to
us this year. We also visited the SW corner; including
Waterton Lakes National
Park and the Crowsnest Pass area. We debated between Cold
Lake and Lac La Biche
areas before deciding on the latter: Sir Winston Churchill
and Long Lake
Provincial Parks. Driving to these destinations included
brief stops en route
at many hotspots. We ended June with a trip to Banff and
Jasper.
Clearly, this time of year is the
busiest and you would like
to be everywhere at the same time. May and June added 121
species bringing the year-to-date
list stood to 273. The species added is too long to list
here. But here are a
few of the key species we were especially happy to find:

McCown's
Longspur, south of Cypress
Hills
Whimbrel, near
Taber
Red Knot,
and
Ruddy
Turnstone, together at Lake
Newell
Sprague's
Pipit, during the Brooks
species count
Northern
Mockingbird, and
Burrowing Owl,
on the drive home from Brooks
species count
Piping Plover,
east of Vegreville
Snowy Egret,
Whitford Lake
Connecticut
Warbler, Jackson Lake trail
near Lac La Biche
Great Egret,
Rochon Sands PP
Yellow-breasted Chat, Dinosaur
PP
Common
Poorwill, and
Eastern
Bluebird, Cypress Hills PP
Gray-crowned
Rosy-Finch, Parker™s Ridge
Golden-crowned
Sparrow, Willcox Pass
Yellow-bellied
Flycatcher, Jasper Sky
tram parking lot (heard) and Tepee rest area (seen by our
entire party) July, August and September were
still very busy but by this
time it was becoming more difficult to find new additions to
the list.
The highlights in July were Black
Swift in Johnson Canyon
and Great Crested Flycatcher at Islet Lake. The number of
Black Swift in
Johnson Canyon has declined dramatically over the past
twenty years. This is
one of the busiest trails in Banff National Park. To see
this bird, the best
strategy is to go while the adults are on the nest during
July. They nest is
small cavities in the cliff in a very damp environment.
Tony, Dan, Cindy, Lyn
and I got there before the press of tourists and
serendipitously scanned the
known roosting locations until we (probably Cindy) saw a
bird in a nest in a
dark (mini-) cave. We each had a look, took some quick
photos and left before
drawing the attention of dozens of tourists walking past. Of
the thousands of
people who walk past this location each summer, I expect a
very small number
are aware of these birds.
August brings fall warblers and
shorebirds. It also brought
what I feel is my best (luckiest) find of the year. Lyn and
I spent a couple of
hours in Pat Lucas™s excellent yard in the Crowsnest Pass
area. We were happy
to add Anna™s Woodpecker. As we left, David Scott arrived.
We had only driven a
few kilometers when I saw something out of the corner of my
eye. I pulled over,
not even sure that it was a bird or a bump on the tree. My
binoculars quickly
landed on a Lewis's Woodpecker! Lyn kept her eye on the
bird while I called Pat.
She and David showed up in a few minutes. In fact, we found
a second bird. Over
the next couple of days other birders found these birds and
a third, apparently
a juvenile.
During August and September, I was
able to fill in the
missing warblers and shorebirds.
On September 30
on a Nature Calgary outing at McElroy
Slough I found the 300th species of the
year; a Rusty Blackbird. I
embarrassed myself in front of the group with a little
victory dance in the
middle of the road.
In October, Lyn, Tony and I spent
a couple of days exploring
the Hanna area for geese. During the year I saw several
large flocks of Snow
Geese but was not able to pick out a Ross™s Goose with
confidence. There were
many large flocks of Snow (and other) Geese near Hanna and
Coronation, and after a few tries we got good looks at a
couple of Ross™s Geese with good photos.
The last four birds of the year to
reach the final total of
304 were:
301.
301 Ross's
Goose, south of Coronation
302.302 Mew
Gull, at Pearce Estate Park
303.
303
White-tailed
Ptarmigan, after two or three trips to Highwood Pass,
and
304.
304
Long-tailed
Duck, at Pine Coulee.
As I said at the beginning, the
key to success is
perseverance and luck. While I could look at a few misses
(Eurasian Wigeon,
Yellow Rail, Pacific Loon are birds you would normally
expect to find with a
bit of effort), the number of lucky finds greatly
outnumbered these three.
Not everyday was a success. And
sometimes I had to talk
myself into going out. But I will always remember this
year™s adventure and the
many people who were part of the journey. Howard
HefflerCalgary

















































































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Subject: Home 8KR - Lady Mac - Red Crossbills
Date: Tue Jan 15 2019 20:01 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Sounds like you™ve got some fantastic habitat in your 5 mile radius, Caroline! The behaviour you describe in the red crossbills is known as courtship feeding, and is fairly common throughout the finch family.
Many of the Edmonton birders have jumped on board with the 5 mile radius birding. I™ll be encouraging them to share their progress on this email list in addition to our Edmonton Nature Club list!
Happy birding,
Connor CharchukEdmontonOn Jan 15, 2019, at 18:37, Caroline Lambert [email protected] [Albertabird] <[email protected]> wrote:Lady Mac, or Mt Lady MacDonald, is the mountain I live on in Canmore. Itmakes up a huge percentage of my home 8KR circle, so, since the weatherwas good today and there hasn't been much snow, I thought I'd climb upit to see if I could find one or, being eternally optimistic, more ofthe grouse or ptarmigan species that are reputed to live on the mountain.On my way to the trailhead parking lot, I made a detour to see if Icould find the American Kestrel that showed up in a rare bird reportyesterday, near the Banff park gates. I drove through the gates, didn'tsee anything, turned around at a convenient turning spot at the edge ofmy 8KR circle, and on the way back noticed a small bird at the top of atree. It looked too small for kestrel, so I did a U-turn at HarvieHeights and drove back into the park. The bird was still there and I wasable to stop long enough to identify it as a Northern Shrike. That wasgood to find - I had spent a few unsuccessful hours the last couple ofdays trying to relocate the shrike that I had found on the Canmore/BanffCBC.The temperature at the trail head was -15C, and I wondered at my sanityin attempting this. I had started up the trail a few days ago when itwas warmer, but a group ahead of me was making such a racket I turnedaround after 1km and decided to wait for a weekday. I didn't have toworry about temperature - the trail goes pretty much straight up in avery unforgiving manner, and it wasn't long until I was feeling much toohot.The first half of the trail is very birdy - chickadees, nuthatches,crossbills, and siskins. I was very pleased to find a Townsend'sSolitaire as they are not easy to come by around town. I searchedthrough the crossbill flocks looking for Red Crossbills (theWhite-winged version has become this winter's junk bird), and waseventually rewarded with a pair. Curiously, I watched a food exchangebetween a male and a female-type. I don't know if this was a courtshipfeeding, or a male feeding a fledgling. As far as I know, they areopportunistic breeders, with length of day and food availability asprimary drivers for breeding, but mid January still seems early forfledglings, so I'm assuming this was a courtship feeding.Needless to say, that was the end of new species for my 8KR circle list.At the old platform on the shoulder of the mountain there weregrouse/ptarmigan tracks, but no grouse or ptarmigan to be seen. It's thethird time I've been up there in the last couple of years, and havenever found one of those apparently mythical grouse there. Oh well, itwas a nice day, it was good exercise, and I did add a couple ofunexpected species to the, as yet, meagre list.Caroline LambertCanmore








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Subject: Home 8KR - Lady Mac - Red Crossbills
Date: Tue Jan 15 2019 19:37 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Lady Mac, or Mt Lady MacDonald, is the mountain I live on in Canmore. It
makes up a huge percentage of my home 8KR circle, so, since the weather
was good today and there hasn't been much snow, I thought I'd climb up
it to see if I could find one or, being eternally optimistic, more of
the grouse or ptarmigan species that are reputed to live on the mountain.

On my way to the trailhead parking lot, I made a detour to see if I
could find the American Kestrel that showed up in a rare bird report
yesterday, near the Banff park gates. I drove through the gates, didn't
see anything, turned around at a convenient turning spot at the edge of
my 8KR circle, and on the way back noticed a small bird at the top of a
tree. It looked too small for kestrel, so I did a U-turn at Harvie
Heights and drove back into the park. The bird was still there and I was
able to stop long enough to identify it as a Northern Shrike. That was
good to find - I had spent a few unsuccessful hours the last couple of
days trying to relocate the shrike that I had found on the Canmore/Banff
CBC.

The temperature at the trail head was -15C, and I wondered at my sanity
in attempting this. I had started up the trail a few days ago when it
was warmer, but a group ahead of me was making such a racket I turned
around after 1km and decided to wait for a weekday. I didn't have to
worry about temperature - the trail goes pretty much straight up in a
very unforgiving manner, and it wasn't long until I was feeling much too
hot.

The first half of the trail is very birdy - chickadees, nuthatches,
crossbills, and siskins. I was very pleased to find a Townsend's
Solitaire as they are not easy to come by around town. I searched
through the crossbill flocks looking for Red Crossbills (the
White-winged version has become this winter's junk bird), and was
eventually rewarded with a pair. Curiously, I watched a food exchange
between a male and a female-type. I don't know if this was a courtship
feeding, or a male feeding a fledgling. As far as I know, they are
opportunistic breeders, with length of day and food availability as
primary drivers for breeding, but mid January still seems early for
fledglings, so I'm assuming this was a courtship feeding.

Needless to say, that was the end of new species for my 8KR circle list.
At the old platform on the shoulder of the mountain there were
grouse/ptarmigan tracks, but no grouse or ptarmigan to be seen. It's the
third time I've been up there in the last couple of years, and have
never found one of those apparently mythical grouse there. Oh well, it
was a nice day, it was good exercise, and I did add a couple of
unexpected species to the, as yet, meagre list.

Caroline Lambert
Canmore


------------------------------------
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Subject: FFCPP Society Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Tuesday 15-Jan-2019
Date: Tue Jan 15 2019 14:42 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
FFCPP Society Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Tuesday
15-Jan-2019 09:15 - 12:08. Mostly sunny, -7C to -1C



1. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 2
2. Northern Goshawk 2 Immature
3. Bald Eagle 2
4. Downy Woodpecker 12
5. Hairy Woodpecker 4
6. Black-billed Magpie 24
7. Common Raven 6
8. Black-capped Chickadee 50
9. Mountain Chickadee 3
10. Red-breasted Nuthatch 8
11. White-breasted Nuthatch 4
12. American Robin 8
13. Bohemian Waxwing 2
14. House Finch 20
15. Common Redpoll 25
16. White-winged Crossbill 21
17. Dark-eyed Junco 2



7 Red squirrels



Leaders: Donna Franke, David Mitchell, Stephen Phelps, John Thompson



View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checkli...



Subject: Re: An Alberta Big Year
Date: Tue Jan 15 2019 11:30 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
That is a very enjoyable account Howard! Good thing that you are retired and had plenty of time to pursue your goal.
Pat LucasCrowsnest Pass, AB








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Subject: An Alberta Big Year
Date: Mon Jan 14 2019 23:53 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Great story, Howard! Thanks for sharing it!

Bill Wilson
Calgary

On 1/14/2019 8:13 PM, [email protected] [Albertabird] wrote:

I really enjoy reading stories on Albertabird. So, it seems only fair that I contribute my own.

Last year (2018) I decided to do a personal big year in Alberta. I did not hope to break any records, merely to focus all my birding in Alberta. This story may be a bit long, so if you would rather listen than read, you could join us at the Calgary Bird Study Group meeting on February 6th.

The Official List of the Birds of Alberta contains all species known to occur, or to have occurred historically, in the province of Alberta. It is compiled by the Alberta Bird Record Committee of the Royal Alberta Museum. The Official List (2014) has 421 species that have been recorded in Alberta. At first glance, that is a surprisingly high number. Of course, some species have been reported only very few times. In fact, it includes three species that are known to be extinct or extirpated; Greater Prairie-Chicken, Eskimo Curlew, and Passenger Pigeon. The authors of the list also created a Findability Index from 1 to 6.

I set a target of finding 300 species. I chose this target by reviewing the Official List, sorting the list by findability, and selecting a number that would be a challenge to achieve; to get there I would need both a lot of effort and a bit of luck.

Before I begin, I first want to acknowledge and thank a few close friends who are also part of the story. My wife, Lyn, joined me on many of my outings. Tony Timmons joined me many times and I frequently relied on him to confirm identifications. Andrew Hart, Dan and Cindy Parliament also joined me many times. Quite a few other people, as well as Albertabird and eBird, were indispensable in finding special birds.

A big year does not really begin on January 1st. It begins weeks or months earlier when you begin to do the necessary research: AND, as you develop your resolve to make the commitment. I™ll skip that part and jump right to January 1st.

It was “ 24 C when Lyn, Tony, Andrew and I began the year by participating in the Fish Creek bird count. On the 2nd was Gus Yaki™s monthly Elbow River survey. The 3rd was the Sundre (Snake™s Head) Christmas Bird Count. On the 5th I explored Exshaw area and Harvey Heights. Next day was the Exshaw Christmas Bird Count. You get the idea: if you want to find birds it is important to go out birding. But, just as important to me, was to participate in as many organized outings as possible. In part because of the simple formula: more eyes, more birds, but also, I wanted to be an active member of the Calgary birding community. After five days my total stood at 34 (I had no idea if this was good, bad or indifferent) and I had a few nice birds: Northern Pygmy-Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Steller's Jay, Snow Bunting, and American Dipper.

As we were doing the Exshaw CBC, I was in touch with James Fox who arranged permission for me to go on First Nations land near Grande Cache for a Chestnut-backed Chickadee that was a regular visitor to a feeder. Lyn and I got home from Exshaw at 3:00 PM and, within an hour, we had packed the car and were driving north. I wanted to get as many kilometres behind me as possible before it got dark. We stopped at Rocky Mountain House for the night and, next day we made it to Grande Cache by noon.

We were met by Tom McDonald, a tremendous ambassador for the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation. He led us to his sister™s house in the Band™s community. We got out of the car and within two minutes the target bird showed up. There were numerous feeders so there were several other species of birds there: Black-capped and Boreal Chickadee, Steller™s and Gray Jay, Pine Grosbeak, Common and one Hoary Redpoll, and ONE Chestnut-backed Chickadee. This was our first chase. Chestnut-backed Chickadee is pretty special in Alberta, so we were thrilled with this tick.

Our next adventure was to southeast Alberta. Greater Sage-grouse is protected under the Species at Risk Act and a Special Order intended to avoid disturbing these birds during breeding season. Our plan was to try for them in winter. On January 14th, Tony, Lyn and I drove to Medicine Hat. We stopped there for lunch and drove on to Manyberries. The secondary road was completely snow covered and very poor visibility but there was almost no traffic. When we got to Manyberries we didn™t really know the best roads to explore but we drove slowly over the back roads all afternoon. At one point we saw a raptor land in a field some distance away. It was a Gyrfalcon! A VERY nice, lucky find. Later we saw a Golden Eagle on the cross-bar of a lamp pole. It flushed and flew toward the south. As we watched it soaring across the field a larger bird flushed and flew toward us. It was a Greater Sage-Grouse! What amazing luck!

A few days later, Tony and I went to Brown Lowery PP. This can be a frustrating spot. Sometimes you can walk the entire park and not see anything. However, generally it is reliable for Three-toed Woodpeckers. We got there at 9:30 and, according to my eBird track, walked 4.4 Km in 3 hours and 7 minutes and got 11 species including five Three-toed and one Black-backed Woodpeckers. That was a very nice bird to add to the year-list.

Harris™s Sparrow shows up in the area occasionally, so when one was reported near Lethbridge at a backyard feeder, off we went. On January 21st, Tony, Lyn and I drove in howling winds to a private residence and asked if we could look over the fence. It was cold and the only sparrows we could see were House Sparrows. After shivering outside, the owners invited us in and we sat in the living room looking out the window until we had a 30-second look at the target. Later in the summer Lyn and I were in Tillebrook Provincial Park and had a Harris™s Sparrow feeding at our picnic site for at least 30 minutes. You just never know! I guess; a bird on the list is better than one that you hope shows up another time??

Perhaps the easiest bird all year was on February 22nd. I was lying in bed about 10:30 PM and heard a toot-toot-toot outside. I got up and stood on the back deck in my pajamas. Sure enough; Northern Saw-whet Owl! I got a good recording and went back to bed. Over the next few days I hoped to actually see this little fellow. I searched the trees and watched for mobbing chickadees, but no luck. That was one of three species all year that I had to be satisfied with Heard Only.

We usually go for White-tailed Ptarmigan at Highwood Pass near the end of November. And we frequently see this species while hiking in the mountains in summer. But Willow Ptarmigan does not come to this part of Alberta. The best place is north of Fort McMurray on the ice road toward Fort Chipewyan. Lyn and I drove to Fort Mac on March 15th. This is a bit later than ideal since the ice road was getting too soft to drive in the daytime. In the night the road froze enough to be passable, but, looking for a white bird in the snow after dark seemed like a long shot. We tried Hwy 63 north of town without success.

Next morning, based on eBird reports, we explored the area around the airport. Voil. We found a flock of about 40 Willow Ptarmigan. They were fairly distant, so the photos are a bit weak, but we headed for home with another important tick on the list and with smiles on our face.

On March 17th, I spent the morning scanning gulls at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. (Not my strong suit!) I had seen a post made the previous day on Albertabird of a Dunlin at Seebe Dam. I considered chasing this bird, but it seemed like the sort of bird that would be hard to find again. However, at noon after I got home from IBS, I saw another post by other birders who were able, with effort, to find the Dunlin again. I left immediately and headed west, arriving at Seebe Dam at 2:30. I scoped both sides of the bridge. I even walked (stumbled) down the slope under the bridge. After more than 30 minutes, I was coming to the expected conclusion that I would not find this little fellow. I hiked to the dam structure and looked below the dam and through the fence toward the inlet channel. It looked like more prospective shorebird habitat. And, for about two minutes, I had the bird in my scope. I managed to get a poor image with my iPhone through the scope. The bird flew further up the inlet channel and I could not re-find it. This is another example of making a special effort to find a reported bird, only to have it show up later in the summer when it was in breeding plumage and close enough to get better photographs.

By the end of March year-to-date list stood at 100.


When I was planning for the year, one bird I really hoped to find was Boreal Owl. It would be a true lifer for me. Perhaps the best location in the Calgary area for this species is Sibbald Trail. We made a few nocturnal outings without success. On one occasion we did hear a Barred Owl. Like the Saw-whet, this is a bird the you often see at one time or another during the year. But not this year. It also was a Heard Only.

I thought we would try a different strategy. We went before sunrise, rather than after sunset. And it worked! Lyn and I left home at 3:30 AM on April 27th and made our first stop at 4:15. After three or four more stops, I was beginning to feel we would have the same success as previously: NONE. Then we both said, Did you hear that? Lyn continued to hear the toot-toot-toot but I could not. We drove 100 metres closer and, there is was; loud and clear. Well, relatively loud. In fact, there were two Boreal Owls. As well as a Barred Owl. By this time, it was starting to get light and more birds joined the dawn chorus; Varied Thrush (first-of-year, FOY), American Robin, Pacific Wren (FOY), and Red-breasted Nuthatch.

A few other highlights in April included; Long-eared Owl, Long-billed Curlew, and Say's Phoebe,

On May 1st Dan and Cindy picked Lyn and I up at 3:45 AM. Gus Yaki had arranged dates for people to visit a blind and watch Sharp-tailed Grouse on a lek near Nanton. We got there, as instructed, before sunrise. Tony and Andrew were already there. There were about 40 males performing. This was not the first-of-year, nor would it be the last sighting of Sharp-tailed Grouse, it was certainly the most thrilling.

The next day, Andrew arrived at 7:00 AM and we drove to the Riley landfill, a small town east of Edmonton. We easily found the landfill, both visually and by odour. There were thousands of gulls: Franklin™s, Ring-billed, California, and Herring. They dominated the landscape, and the noise. There had been a Slaty-backed Gull. Identifying this individual amid the 1000s of other gulls is a real credit to Gerald Romanchuk. When Andrew and I arrived, we were lucky to find another birder, Sean Evans, who had previously been with Gerald to see the Slaty-backed. After a few minutes Andrew landed on a gull that looked good and Sean agreed. We had our bird! We hoped. After a few days Andrew™s photos were confirmed by the regional eBird reviewer. PHEW!

During May and June, I was out almost every day. Nature Calgary had several outings in the area. We traveled to Tillebrook and Cypress Hills Provincial Parks, including the short-grass prairie hotspots in SE Alberta on at least two occasions. The May species count in Brooks was new to us this year. We also visited the SW corner; including Waterton Lakes National Park and the Crowsnest Pass area. We debated between Cold Lake and Lac La Biche areas before deciding on the latter: Sir Winston Churchill and Long Lake Provincial Parks. Driving to these destinations included brief stops en route at many hotspots. We ended June with a trip to Banff and Jasper.

Clearly, this time of year is the busiest and you would like to be everywhere at the same time. May and June added 121 species bringing the year-to-date list stood to 273. The species added is too long to list here. But here are a few of the key species we were especially happy to find:

McCown's Longspur, south of Cypress Hills

Whimbrel, near Taber

Red Knot, and

Ruddy Turnstone, together at Lake Newell

Sprague's Pipit, during the Brooks species count

Northern Mockingbird, and

Burrowing Owl, on the drive home from Brooks species count

Piping Plover, east of Vegreville

Snowy Egret, Whitford Lake

Connecticut Warbler, Jackson Lake trail near Lac La Biche

Great Egret, Rochon Sands PP

Yellow-breasted Chat, Dinosaur PP

Common Poorwill, and

Eastern Bluebird, Cypress Hills PP

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Parker™s Ridge

Golden-crowned Sparrow, Willcox Pass

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Jasper Sky tram parking lot (heard) and Tepee rest area (seen by our entire party)


July, August and September were still very busy but by this time it was becoming more difficult to find new additions to the list.

The highlights in July were Black Swift in Johnson Canyon and Great Crested Flycatcher at Islet Lake. The number of Black Swift in Johnson Canyon has declined dramatically over the past twenty years. This is one of the busiest trails in Banff National Park. To see this bird, the best strategy is to go while the adults are on the nest during July. They nest is small cavities in the cliff in a very damp environment. Tony, Dan, Cindy, Lyn and I got there before the press of tourists and serendipitously scanned the known roosting locations until we (probably Cindy) saw a bird in a nest in a dark (mini-) cave. We each had a look, took some quick photos and left before drawing the attention of dozens of tourists walking past. Of the thousands of people who walk past this location each summer, I expect a very small number are aware of these birds.

August brings fall warblers and shorebirds. It also brought what I feel is my best (luckiest) find of the year. Lyn and I spent a couple of hours in Pat Lucas™s excellent yard in the Crowsnest Pass area. We were happy to add Anna™s Woodpecker. As we left, David Scott arrived. We had only driven a few kilometers when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I pulled over, not even sure that it was a bird or a bump on the tree. My binoculars quickly landed on a Lewis's Woodpecker! Lyn kept her eye on the bird while I called Pat. She and David showed up in a few minutes. In fact, we found a second bird. Over the next couple of days other birders found these birds and a third, apparently a juvenile.

During August and September, I was able to fill in the missing warblers and shorebirds.

On September 30 on a Nature Calgary outing at McElroy Slough I found the 300th species of the year; a Rusty Blackbird. I embarrassed myself in front of the group with a little victory dance in the middle of the road.

In October, Lyn, Tony and I spent a couple of days exploring the Hanna area for geese. During the year I saw several large flocks of Snow Geese but was not able to pick out a Ross™s Goose with confidence. There were many large flocks of Snow (and other) Geese near Hanna and Coronation, and after a few tries we got good looks at a couple of Ross™s Geese with good photos.

The last four birds of the year to reach the final total of 304 were:

301. 301 Ross's Goose, south of Coronation

302. 302 Mew Gull, at Pearce Estate Park

303. 303 White-tailed Ptarmigan, after two or three trips to Highwood Pass, and

304. 304 Long-tailed Duck, at Pine Coulee.

As I said at the beginning, the key to success is perseverance and luck. While I could look at a few misses (Eurasian Wigeon, Yellow Rail, Pacific Loon are birds you would normally expect to find with a bit of effort), the number of lucky finds greatly outnumbered these three.

Not everyday was a success. And sometimes I had to talk myself into going out. But I will always remember this year™s adventure and the many people who were part of the journey.

Howard Heffler
Calgary



Subject: An Alberta Big Year
Date: Mon Jan 14 2019 21:13 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
I really enjoy reading stories on Albertabird.  So, it seems only fair that I contribute my own.


Last year (2018) I decided to do a personal big year in Alberta. I did not hope to break any records, merely to focus all my birding in Alberta. This story may be a bit long, so if you would rather listen than read, you could join us at the Calgary Bird Study Group meeting on February 6th.

The Official List of the Birds of Alberta contains all species known to occur, or to have occurred historically, in the province of Alberta. It is compiled by the Alberta Bird Record Committee of the Royal Alberta Museum. The Official List (2014) has 421 species that have been recorded in Alberta. At first glance, that is a surprisingly high number. Of course, some species have been reported only very few times. In fact, it includes three species that are known to be extinct or extirpated; Greater Prairie-Chicken, Eskimo Curlew, and Passenger Pigeon. The authors of the list also created a Findability Index from 1 to 6.

I set a target of finding 300 species. I chose this target by reviewing the Official List, sorting the list by findability, and selecting a number that would be a challenge to achieve; to get there I would need both a lot of effort and a bit of luck.

Before I begin, I first want to acknowledge and thank a few close friends who are also part of the story. My wife, Lyn, joined me on many of my outings. Tony Timmons joined me many times and I frequently relied on him to confirm identifications. Andrew Hart, Dan and Cindy Parliament also joined me many times. Quite a few other people, as well as Albertabird and eBird, were indispensable in finding special birds.

A big year does not really begin on January 1st. It begins weeks or months earlier when you begin to do the necessary research: AND, as you develop your resolve to make the commitment. I™ll skip that part and jump right to January 1st.

It was “ 24 C when Lyn, Tony, Andrew and I began the year by participating in the Fish Creek bird count. On the 2nd was Gus Yaki™s monthly Elbow River survey. The 3rd was the Sundre (Snake™s Head) Christmas Bird Count. On the 5th I explored Exshaw area and Harvey Heights. Next day was the Exshaw Christmas Bird Count. You get the idea: if you want to find birds it is important to go out birding. But, just as important to me, was to participate in as many organized outings as possible. In part because of the simple formula: more eyes, more birds, but also, I wanted to be an active member of the Calgary birding community. After five days my total stood at 34 (I had no idea if this was good, bad or indifferent) and I had a few nice birds: Northern Pygmy-Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Steller's Jay, Snow Bunting, and American Dipper.

As we were doing the Exshaw CBC, I was in touch with James Fox who arranged permission for me to go on First Nations land near Grande Cache for a Chestnut-backed Chickadee that was a regular visitor to a feeder. Lyn and I got home from Exshaw at 3:00 PM and, within an hour, we had packed the car and were driving north. I wanted to get as many kilometres behind me as possible before it got dark. We stopped at Rocky Mountain House for the night and, next day we made it to Grande Cache by noon.

We were met by Tom McDonald, a tremendous ambassador for the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation. He led us to his sister™s house in the Band™s community. We got out of the car and within two minutes the target bird showed up. There were numerous feeders so there were several other species of birds there: Black-capped and Boreal Chickadee, Steller™s and Gray Jay, Pine Grosbeak, Common and one Hoary Redpoll, and ONE Chestnut-backed Chickadee. This was our first chase. Chestnut-backed Chickadee is pretty special in Alberta, so we were thrilled with this tick.

Our next adventure was to southeast Alberta. Greater Sage-grouse is protected under the Species at Risk Act and a Special Order intended to avoid disturbing these birds during breeding season. Our plan was to try for them in winter. On January 14th, Tony, Lyn and I drove to Medicine Hat. We stopped there for lunch and drove on to Manyberries. The secondary road was completely snow covered and very poor visibility but there was almost no traffic. When we got to Manyberries we didn™t really know the best roads to explore but we drove slowly over the back roads all afternoon. At one point we saw a raptor land in a field some distance away. It was a Gyrfalcon! A VERY nice, lucky find. Later we saw a Golden Eagle on the cross-bar of a lamp pole. It flushed and flew toward the south. As we watched it soaring across the field a larger bird flushed and flew toward us. It was a Greater Sage-Grouse! What amazing luck!


A few days later, Tony and I went to Brown Lowery PP. This can be a frustrating spot. Sometimes you can walk the entire park and not see anything. However, generally it is reliable for Three-toed Woodpeckers. We got there at 9:30 and, according to my eBird track, walked 4.4 Km in 3 hours and 7 minutes and got 11 species including five Three-toed and one Black-backed Woodpeckers. That was a very nice bird to add to the year-list.


Harris™s Sparrow shows up in the area occasionally, so when one was reported near Lethbridge at a backyard feeder, off we went. On January 21st, Tony, Lyn and I drove in howling winds to a private residence and asked if we could look over the fence. It was cold and the only sparrows we could see were House Sparrows. After shivering outside, the owners invited us in and we sat in the living room looking out the window until we had a 30-second look at the target. Later in the summer Lyn and I were in Tillebrook Provincial Park and had a Harris™s Sparrow feeding at our picnic site for at least 30 minutes. You just never know! I guess; a bird on the list is better than one that you hope shows up another time??


Perhaps the easiest bird all year was on February 22nd. I was lying in bed about 10:30 PM and heard a toot-toot-toot outside. I got up and stood on the back deck in my pajamas. Sure enough; Northern Saw-whet Owl! I got a good recording and went back to bed. Over the next few days I hoped to actually see this little fellow. I searched the trees and watched for mobbing chickadees, but no luck. That was one of three species all year that I had to be satisfied with Heard Only.

We usually go for White-tailed Ptarmigan at Highwood Pass near the end of November. And we frequently see this species while hiking in the mountains in summer. But Willow Ptarmigan does not come to this part of Alberta. The best place is north of Fort McMurray on the ice road toward Fort Chipewyan. Lyn and I drove to Fort Mac on March 15th. This is a bit later than ideal since the ice road was getting too soft to drive in the daytime. In the night the road froze enough to be passable, but, looking for a white bird in the snow after dark seemed like a long shot. We tried Hwy 63 north of town without success.

Next morning, based on eBird reports, we explored the area around the airport. Voil. We found a flock of about 40 Willow Ptarmigan. They were fairly distant, so the photos are a bit weak, but we headed for home with another important tick on the list and with smiles on our face.

On March 17th, I spent the morning scanning gulls at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. (Not my strong suit!) I had seen a post made the previous day on Albertabird of a Dunlin at Seebe Dam. I considered chasing this bird, but it seemed like the sort of bird that would be hard to find again. However, at noon after I got home from IBS, I saw another post by other birders who were able, with effort, to find the Dunlin again. I left immediately and headed west, arriving at Seebe Dam at 2:30. I scoped both sides of the bridge. I even walked (stumbled) down the slope under the bridge. After more than 30 minutes, I was coming to the expected conclusion that I would not find this little fellow. I hiked to the dam structure and looked below the dam and through the fence toward the inlet channel. It looked like more prospective shorebird habitat. And, for about two minutes, I had the bird in my scope. I managed to get a poor image with my iPhone through the scope. The bird flew further up the inlet channel and I could not re-find it. This is another example of making a special effort to find a reported bird, only to have it show up later in the summer when it was in breeding plumage and close enough to get better photographs.

By the end of March year-to-date list stood at 100.


When I was planning for the year, one bird I really hoped to find was Boreal Owl. It would be a true lifer for me. Perhaps the best location in the Calgary area for this species is Sibbald Trail. We made a few nocturnal outings without success. On one occasion we did hear a Barred Owl. Like the Saw-whet, this is a bird the you often see at one time or another during the year. But not this year. It also was a Heard Only.


I thought we would try a different strategy. We went before sunrise, rather than after sunset. And it worked! Lyn and I left home at 3:30 AM on April 27th and made our first stop at 4:15. After three or four more stops, I was beginning to feel we would have the same success as previously: NONE. Then we both said, Did you hear that? Lyn continued to hear the toot-toot-toot but I could not. We drove 100 metres closer and, there is was; loud and clear. Well, relatively loud. In fact, there were two Boreal Owls. As well as a Barred Owl. By this time, it was starting to get light and more birds joined the dawn chorus; Varied Thrush (first-of-year, FOY), American Robin, Pacific Wren (FOY), and Red-breasted Nuthatch.

A few other highlights in April included; Long-eared Owl, Long-billed Curlew, and Say's Phoebe,

On May 1st Dan and Cindy picked Lyn and I up at 3:45 AM. Gus Yaki had arranged dates for people to visit a blind and watch Sharp-tailed Grouse on a lek near Nanton. We got there, as instructed, before sunrise. Tony and Andrew were already there. There were about 40 males performing. This was not the first-of-year, nor would it be the last sighting of Sharp-tailed Grouse, it was certainly the most thrilling.


The next day, Andrew arrived at 7:00 AM and we drove to the Riley landfill, a small town east of Edmonton. We easily found the landfill, both visually and by odour. There were thousands of gulls: Franklin™s, Ring-billed, California, and Herring. They dominated the landscape, and the noise. There had been a Slaty-backed Gull. Identifying this individual amid the 1000s of other gulls is a real credit to Gerald Romanchuk. When Andrew and I arrived, we were lucky to find another birder, Sean Evans, who had previously been with Gerald to see the Slaty-backed. After a few minutes Andrew landed on a gull that looked good and Sean agreed. We had our bird! We hoped. After a few days Andrew™s photos were confirmed by the regional eBird reviewer. PHEW!


During May and June, I was out almost every day. Nature Calgary had several outings in the area. We traveled to Tillebrook and Cypress Hills Provincial Parks, including the short-grass prairie hotspots in SE Alberta on at least two occasions. The May species count in Brooks was new to us this year. We also visited the SW corner; including Waterton Lakes National Park and the Crowsnest Pass area. We debated between Cold Lake and Lac La Biche areas before deciding on the latter: Sir Winston Churchill and Long Lake Provincial Parks. Driving to these destinations included brief stops en route at many hotspots. We ended June with a trip to Banff and Jasper.


Clearly, this time of year is the busiest and you would like to be everywhere at the same time. May and June added 121 species bringing the year-to-date list stood to 273. The species added is too long to list here. But here are a few of the key species we were especially happy to find:
McCown's Longspur, south of Cypress Hills
Whimbrel, near Taber
Red Knot, and
Ruddy Turnstone, together at Lake Newell
Sprague's Pipit, during the Brooks species count
Northern Mockingbird, and
Burrowing Owl, on the drive home from Brooks species count
Piping Plover, east of Vegreville
Snowy Egret, Whitford Lake
Connecticut Warbler, Jackson Lake trail near Lac La Biche
Great Egret, Rochon Sands PP
Yellow-breasted Chat, Dinosaur PP
Common Poorwill, and
Eastern Bluebird, Cypress Hills PP
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, Parker™s Ridge
Golden-crowned Sparrow, Willcox Pass
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Jasper Sky tram parking lot (heard) and Tepee rest area (seen by our entire party)


July, August and September were still very busy but by this time it was becoming more difficult to find new additions to the list.


The highlights in July were Black Swift in Johnson Canyon and Great Crested Flycatcher at Islet Lake. The number of Black Swift in Johnson Canyon has declined dramatically over the past twenty years. This is one of the busiest trails in Banff National Park. To see this bird, the best strategy is to go while the adults are on the nest during July. They nest is small cavities in the cliff in a very damp environment. Tony, Dan, Cindy, Lyn and I got there before the press of tourists and serendipitously scanned the known roosting locations until we (probably Cindy) saw a bird in a nest in a dark (mini-) cave. We each had a look, took some quick photos and left before drawing the attention of dozens of tourists walking past. Of the thousands of people who walk past this location each summer, I expect a very small number are aware of these birds.


August brings fall warblers and shorebirds. It also brought what I feel is my best (luckiest) find of the year. Lyn and I spent a couple of hours in Pat Lucas™s excellent yard in the Crowsnest Pass area. We were happy to add Anna™s Woodpecker. As we left, David Scott arrived. We had only driven a few kilometers when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I pulled over, not even sure that it was a bird or a bump on the tree. My binoculars quickly landed on a Lewis's Woodpecker! Lyn kept her eye on the bird while I called Pat. She and David showed up in a few minutes. In fact, we found a second bird. Over the next couple of days other birders found these birds and a third, apparently a juvenile.


During August and September, I was able to fill in the missing warblers and shorebirds.


On September 30 on a Nature Calgary outing at McElroy Slough I found the 300th species of the year; a Rusty Blackbird. I embarrassed myself in front of the group with a little victory dance in the middle of the road.


In October, Lyn, Tony and I spent a couple of days exploring the Hanna area for geese. During the year I saw several large flocks of Snow Geese but was not able to pick out a Ross™s Goose with confidence. There were many large flocks of Snow (and other) Geese near Hanna and Coronation, and after a few tries we got good looks at a couple of Ross™s Geese with good photos.


The last four birds of the year to reach the final total of 304 were:
301. 301 Ross's Goose, south of Coronation
302. 302 Mew Gull, at Pearce Estate Park
303. 303 White-tailed Ptarmigan, after two or three trips to Highwood Pass, and
304. 304 Long-tailed Duck, at Pine Coulee.


As I said at the beginning, the key to success is perseverance and luck. While I could look at a few misses (Eurasian Wigeon, Yellow Rail, Pacific Loon are birds you would normally expect to find with a bit of effort), the number of lucky finds greatly outnumbered these three.


Not everyday was a success. And sometimes I had to talk myself into going out. But I will always remember this year™s adventure and the many people who were part of the journey.

Howard Heffler
Calgary



Subject: FFCPP Soc Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Monday 14-Jan-2019
Date: Mon Jan 14 2019 17:26 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
FFCPP Soc Fish Creek PP--Votier's Flats, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Monday
14-Jan-2019 09:15 - 12:00pm. Clear skies, a truly beautiful day for
birding. Temperatures from -10 to 4C.





Note: Ice grips strongly recommended!



1. Rock Pigeon-2
2. Downy Woodpecker-12
3. Hairy Woodpecker-2
4. Northern Flicker-1
5. Blue Jay-3
6. Black-billed magpie-11
7. Common Raven-10
8. Black-capped Chickadee-80
9. Mountain Chickadee-2 (at feeders)
10. Boreal Chickadee-1(at feeders)
11. Red-breasted Nuthatch-16
12. White-breasted Nuthatch-7
13. Waxwing sp.-small group heard only
14. House Finch-5
15. White-winged Crossbill-5
16. Common Redpoll-5





Eastern Gray Squirrel-2

Mule Deer-9

Red Squirrel-11





Leaders: Peter Hoyer, Doug Maxwell, Jennifer Solem, Wayne Walker



Subject: American Kestrel
Date: Mon Jan 14 2019 15:04 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Following up on an eBird posting of an AMERICAN KESTREL by Lorna Aynbinder
we went out this morning (January 14th) and found it along RR 274, south of
SR 564 near Delacour. Also the reported two SNOWY OWLS had doubled
overnight to four. An added bonus was seeing a female NORTHERN HARRIER at
the NE corner of SR 791 and Twp Rd 250. This was the second one we had seen
in two days as yesterday there was a juvenile along SR 799 south of Blackie,
perhaps the same one that had been previously reported at Frank Lake.



Malcolm & Joan McDonald

Calgary



Subject: FFCPP Society Calgary - Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Sunday Jan 13, 2019
Date: Sun Jan 13 2019 20:44 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
One of the birders from the Sunday morning group lost one of her binocular
lens caps at Carburn Park. If anyone found it, please let me know - thanks!



FFCPP Society Calgary - Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Sunday Jan 13,
2019 8:59 AM - 11:50 AM


1. Cackling Goose 3

2. Canada Goose 1000
3. Mallard 300
4. Redhead 20
5. Ring-necked Duck 2
6. Greater Scaup 2

7. Lesser Scaup 1
8. Harlequin Duck 1
9. Bufflehead 60
10. Common Goldeneye 180

Bufflehead x Common Goldeneye (hybrid) 1

11. Barrow's Goldeneye 2
12. Common Merganser 10

13. Ring-necked Pheasant 2
14. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 15
15. Killdeer 3
16. Bald Eagle 3
17. Downy Woodpecker 3
18. Hairy Woodpecker 1
19. Northern Flicker 5
20. Black-billed Magpie 12
21. American Crow 21
22. Common Raven 6
23. Black-capped Chickadee 40
24. Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
25. White-breasted Nuthatch 4
26. Brown Creeper 2
27. American Robin 1

28. House Finch 2
29. Common Redpoll 10
30. House Sparrow 10

Mammals:



White-Tailed Deer 11

Eastern Grey Squirrel 24

Muskrat 1



Leaders, Dan Arndt, Gavin McKinnon, Robb Bell



FFCPP Society Calgary - Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Sunday Jan 13,
2019 1:15 to 3:00 PM

1. Canada Goose-3

2. Mallard-250

3. Redhead-10

4. Ring-necked Duck-1 reported by Tony T.

5. Greater Scaup-2

6. Bufflehead-80

7. Common Goldeneye-120

8. Common Merganser-12

9. Bald Eagle-2 juveniles

10. Downy Woodpecker-4

11. Northern Flicker-6

12. Merlin-1

13.Black-billed Magpie-8

14. Common Raven-4

15. Black-capped Chickadee-36

16. White-breasted Nuthatch-4

17. House Sparrow-6



Mammals White-tailed Deer-10

Eastern Gray Squirrel-8

Meadow Vole-1



Leaders: Jennifer Solem, Bernie Diebolt



Subject: Grande Prairie County - Wapiti Dunes Trails - Twp Rd 710, Jan 13, 2019
Date: Sun Jan 13 2019 17:53 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
I was out for a couple of hours today in the Wapiti Dunes Trail system just south of Grande Prairie. I'm always on the lookout for owls, but once again did not see any. It was a beautiful sunny morning with no wind and temperatures just below freezing at -1C. Following are my sightings of 7 species, as posted on e-Bird:
Canada Jay 2

Blue Jay 1

Black-billed Magpie 3

Common Raven 48

Black-capped Chickadee 5

Common Redpoll 8

White-winged Crossbill 5
View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checkli...

Good birding!
David RhodyGrande Prairie








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Subject: Re: spotting scope and high end camera equipment for sale
Date: Sun Jan 13 2019 10:52 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Hi all
Still have 1 Ultima 80mm scope and
several cameras and lenses for sale

Richrd Klauke

On 2019-01-08 10:45, [email protected] [Albertabird] wrote:
> Still have the Ultimate 80mm scopes.
> 100mm sold.
> Richard Klauke
>
>
>
> Links:
> ------
> [1]
> https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/g...
> [2]
> https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/g...
> [3]
> https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/g...
> [4] https://yho.com/1wwmgg
> [5]
> https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/g...
> [6]
> https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/g...
> [7]
> https://groups.yahoo.com/neo;_...
> [8] https://info.yahoo.com/privacy...
> [9] https://info.yahoo.com/legal/u...


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Subject: Calgary Winter List update, January 11 2019
Date: Sun Jan 13 2019 1:35 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Seven new species have recently been reported on Albertabird within the Calgary Birding Circle, bringing the total to 95 species reported since December 1:Northern Pygmy-Owl on the Priddis Christmas Bird CountEvening Grosbeak, Priddis CBCShort-eared Owl, east of Calgary, Malcolm and Joan McDonaldWild Turkey, west of Millarville, by the McDonaldsRuffed Grouse, Bow Valley Provincial Park, Neil and Ethan DentonGreater Scaup, Carburn Park, many observers. (Not reported in 2017-18.)Pacific Wren, BVPP, Ethan Denton.(Not reported in 2017-18.)You can see the complete list here, and also navigate to see the winter lists for Edmonton, Bow Valley, and the whole Province. The Alberta total is 153, Calgary 95, Edmonton 82, and Bow Valley 59.
Last winter there were 103 species reported in the Calgary circle, so we are getting close to that total. There are at leastseven species that have been seen in the circle this winter, but not yet reported on Albertabird:Wood DuckWilson's SnipeCooper's HawkNorthern Hawk-OwlNorthern Saw-whet OwlSong SparrowCommon GrackleIf you have seen any of the above since December 1 in the Calgary area, please report your sighting here with the date and details.
As far as I can tell the following 13 species have not been seen this winter in the circle. Some of them were seen last year, and others may be around but are really hard to find.Spruce GrouseWhite-tailed PtarmiganBarred OwlLong-eared OwlBlack-backed WoodpeckerSteller's JayPine GrosbeakGray-crowned Rosy-FinchPurple FinchHoary RedpollLapland LongspurLincoln's SparrowTundra Bean-GooseOnly 48 days left to go find these!
Bob Lefebvre, Calgary










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Subject: Good Day of Birding
Date: Sat Jan 12 2019 23:32 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
This morning, David Scott and I headed up towards Brown-Lowery Prov. Park
for some birding. When David picked me up at 07:00 we decided on a target of
10 new year-birds and 35 species for the day. Lofty goals, but it is
challenging to aim high. Believe it or not, our first bird of the day was a
Bald Eagle at Pine Coulee Reservoir. We wanted to drive the Flying E Road
and at the SW corner of the reservoir we had a "go to" spot for Sharp-tailed
Grouse. It turned out our spot failed us. We picked up the usual suspects
along the Flying E Road (Common Raven & Magpie) and added another Bald Eagle
and a Golden Eagle to the count, as well as a couple Rough-legged Hawks. By
the time we arrived at Brown-Lowery PP we had a tally of 3 Bald Eagles, 1
Golden Eagle and 8 Rough-legged Hawks but still hadn't hit the 10 species
mark.

Brown-Lowery was good to us. As usual, the trail was icy and I wonder if it
is ever sunny there, but it was still a nice, calm day. We picked up a male
American Three-toed Woodpecker and White-winged Crossbills within minutes of
starting. Soon after we added Boreal Chickadee, Mountain Chickadee, Pileated
Woodpecker and Canada Jay to our day. David ended up with 4 year-birds and
me with 5. Neither of us needed Mountain Chickadee, but I needed the
White-winged Crossbills.

We checked out a few areas along Plummer's Road and added Evening Grosbeaks
to both our year lists.

Just after 1:00 PM we arrived at Carburn Park (with 16 species so far) to
check out all the ducks being reported during the past month. A bit of
searching gave us the pair of Greater Scaup, Harlequin Duck, Ruddy Duck,
Ring-necked Duck for our year-lists. I also needed Bufflehead for the year.
Other birds adding to our day-count included Killdeer, Common Goldeneye,
Redhead, Common Merganser, American Crow, White-breasted Nuthatch and a few
others. When we left Carburn Park we had 31 species so far. Our next stop
was Weed Lake, where we found a male Gadwall and female Blue-winged Teal,
both year-birds for us. South of Langdon we found our first Short-eared Owl
since 2017. We thought we would have to settle for 34 species, but a
half-hour into our drive home to Lethbridge we picked up a Great Horned Owl
sitting on a power line = 35 species for the day. Target achieved. I ended
up with 14 year-birds and David had 12. What a great day of birding!



Ken Orich

Lethbridge



Subject: 5MR (or 8KR) birding
Date: Sat Jan 12 2019 22:45 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Well, I created my home 8KR circle, and Connor has nothing to worry
about. About 3/4 of the area in my circle is inaccessible mountain
terrain :-). There are two metrics for competing, according to Jen
Sanford's website. One is to see the most species within 8km of home,
where I'm guessing my location is not particularly competitive. The
other is to see the highest percentage of species relative to the number
seen in your *county*. Given eBird's strange counties for Alberta, I
might have more of a chance there!

I also created an 8KR circle for Hay Meadows in Kananaskis, since I
spend an inordinate amount of time there during eagle migration,
counting anything that goes by, not just the eagles.

Caroline Lambert
Canmore


On 2019-01-11 19:21, Andrew Hart [email protected] [Albertabird] wrote:
>
> Caroline has a way of getting you motivated!
>
> So I plotted mine (attached).
>
> I am obviously just lucky. My circle includes :
>
> * Carburn Park
> * Beaverdam Flats
> * Most of Fish Creek PP
> * IBS
> * Most of the Glenmore Reservoir
> * Reader Rock Gardens
> * All of the Elbow River in Calgary, downstream of the reservoir
> * A good chunk of the Bow River in Calgary
>
> Maybe I should advertise for 5MR birders on Air NB.
>
> Andrew Hart
>
> Calgary
>
>
> On 2019-01-10 7:45 a.m., Connor Charchuk [email protected]
> [Albertabird] wrote:
>>
>> Thanks for sharing, Caroline.
>>
>>
>> I plotted my 5MR and immediately decided I needed to move! I live in
>> central Edmonton, so it?s going to be a lot of urban birding for me
>> this year! I have made a patch on eBird to track how I do:
>>
>> https://ebird.org/site/patch
>>
>> Mostly I?m excited at the prospect of never being more than a
>> 20-minute drive away from a birding destination, and finding new
>> places to bird that other people haven?t yet discovered!
>>
>> The competitive bone in my body is trembling already. If anyone is
>> interested in tracking Alberta 5MR lists let me know and we can maybe
>> set up a friendly comp ;)
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Connor Charchuk
>> Edmonton
>>
>>> On Jan 9, 2019, at 17:57, Caroline Lambert [email protected]
>>> [Albertabird]
>>> >
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> David Broska's post about Non-Motorized Transport birding reminded me of
>>> another way to bird while keeping your carbon footprint low. It's called
>>> 5MR birding, where 5MR means 5 Mile Radius. It's a thing, really. Here's
>>> a link that explains the concept:
>>>
>>> http://www.iusedtohatebirds.co...
>>>
>>> You can even find a Facebook group for 5MR birders:
>>>
>>> https://www.facebook.com/group...
>>>
>>> And here's a humourous take on 5MR birding:
>>>
>>> http://seagullsteve.blogspot.c...
>>>
>>> Of course, here in Alberta it should be 8KR birding. And considering the
>>> species diversity in Alberta, I think a slightly larger circle would be
>>> justified - here in Canmore an 8KR circle would leave you with barely
>>> enough species to keep up the enthusiasm. Personally, I think a 4HR (4
>>> Hour Radius) circle might be the sweet spot - so I can justify chasing a
>>> certain Tundra Bean-Goose :-).
>>>
>>> On the other hand, the person who has seen the most species in Canmore
>>> is one who cannot drive - Ethan Denton. So maybe 8KR birding can
>>> actually improve your species lists!
>>>
>>> Caroline Lambert
>>> Canmore
>>>
>>
>
>



Subject: FFCPP Soc Fish Creek PP-Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Saturday 12-Jan-2019
Date: Sat Jan 12 2019 19:56 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
FFCPP Soc Fish Creek PP-Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Saturday
12-Jan-2019 09:00 -12:00. Overcast under a Chinook Arch, calm, temperatures
ranging -2 to 4C.



1. Cackling Goose-3
2. Canada Goose-1 000
3. Trumpeter Swan-1
4. Mallard-400
5. Canvasback-3
6. Redhead-17
7. Ring-necked Duck-1
8. Greater Scaup-2
9. Harlequin Duck-1
10. Bufflehead-50
11. Common Goldeneye-80
12. Common Merganser-5
13. Bald Eagle-2 ad
14. Accipiter sp-1
15. Killdeer-1
16. Rock Pigeon-2
17. Downy Woodpecker-8
18. Northern Flicker-4
19. Black-billed Magpie-15
20. American Crow-17
21. Common Raven-5
22. Black-capped Chickadee-30
23. White-breasted Nuthatch-4
24. European Starling-1
25. House Sparrow-20





Eastern Tray Squirrel-6

Muskrat-2

White-tailed Deer-14 (2 swimming across the river)





Leaders: Jennifer Solem, Robert Worona, Wayne Walker



Subject: Goldfinches still here
Date: Sat Jan 12 2019 11:53 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
The pair of American Goldfinches are still here this morning.

Shonna McLeod

Braeside Calgary



Subject: Calgary winter list addition - Pacific Wren
Date: Sat Jan 12 2019 11:17 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
During the BowKan CBC on Jan 5, I covered Bow Valley Provincial Park
with the Dentons. Ethan spotted a Pacific Wren along the Flowing Waters
trail that neither Neil nor I saw. I went back a couple of days later
and found it hiding in the undergrowth along the stream. While it sat
just long enough for a good binocular view, it was too fidgety for a
photo. Anyhow, although I added it to the Bow Valley winter list, I
forgot that BVPP is in the overlap region with the Calgary winter
circle, so here's the due notification that it can also go on the
Calgary winter list. Ethan may have one more species to add as well.

Caroline Lambert
Canmore


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Subject: 5MR (or 8KR) birding
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 21:21 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Hi Andrew

You're obviously more technologically advanced than I am - could you let
me know how you plotted your circle please.

You look like you have all the good desitnations included.

Sandra Davenport

Calgary


On 1/11/2019 7:21 PM, Andrew Hart [email protected] [Albertabird] wrote:
>
> Caroline has a way of getting you motivated!
>
> So I plotted mine (attached).
>
> I am obviously just lucky. My circle includes :
>
> * Carburn Park
> * Beaverdam Flats
> * Most of Fish Creek PP
> * IBS
> * Most of the Glenmore Reservoir
> * Reader Rock Gardens
> * All of the Elbow River in Calgary, downstream of the reservoir
> * A good chunk of the Bow River in Calgary
>
> Maybe I should advertise for 5MR birders on Air NB.
>
> Andrew Hart
>
> Calgary
>
>
> On 2019-01-10 7:45 a.m., Connor Charchuk [email protected]
> [Albertabird] wrote:
>>
>> Thanks for sharing, Caroline.
>>
>>
>> I plotted my 5MR and immediately decided I needed to move! I live in
>> central Edmonton, so it™s going to be a lot of urban birding for me
>> this year! I have made a patch on eBird to track how I do:
>>
>> https://ebird.org/site/patch
>>
>> Mostly I™m excited at the prospect of never being more than a
>> 20-minute drive away from a birding destination, and finding new
>> places to bird that other people haven™t yet discovered!
>>
>> The competitive bone in my body is trembling already. If anyone is
>> interested in tracking Alberta 5MR lists let me know and we can maybe
>> set up a friendly comp ;)
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Connor Charchuk
>> Edmonton
>>
>>> On Jan 9, 2019, at 17:57, Caroline Lambert [email protected]
>>> [Albertabird]
>>> >
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>> David Broska's post about Non-Motorized Transport birding reminded me of
>>> another way to bird while keeping your carbon footprint low. It's called
>>> 5MR birding, where 5MR means 5 Mile Radius. It's a thing, really. Here's
>>> a link that explains the concept:
>>>
>>> http://www.iusedtohatebirds.co...
>>>
>>> You can even find a Facebook group for 5MR birders:
>>>
>>> https://www.facebook.com/group...
>>>
>>> And here's a humourous take on 5MR birding:
>>>
>>> http://seagullsteve.blogspot.c...
>>>
>>> Of course, here in Alberta it should be 8KR birding. And considering the
>>> species diversity in Alberta, I think a slightly larger circle would be
>>> justified - here in Canmore an 8KR circle would leave you with barely
>>> enough species to keep up the enthusiasm. Personally, I think a 4HR (4
>>> Hour Radius) circle might be the sweet spot - so I can justify chasing a
>>> certain Tundra Bean-Goose :-).
>>>
>>> On the other hand, the person who has seen the most species in Canmore
>>> is one who cannot drive - Ethan Denton. So maybe 8KR birding can
>>> actually improve your species lists!
>>>
>>> Caroline Lambert
>>> Canmore
>>>
>>
>
>


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Subject:
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 20:37 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Caroline has a way of getting you motivated!

So I plotted mine (attached).

I am obviously just lucky. My circle includes :

* Carburn Park
* Beaverdam Flats
* Most of Fish Creek PP
* IBS
* Most of the Glenmore Reservoir
* Reader Rock Gardens
* All of the Elbow River in Calgary, downstream of the reservoir
* A good chunk of the Bow River in Calgary

Maybe I should advertise for 5MR birders on Air NB.

Andrew Hart

Calgary


On 2019-01-10 7:45 a.m., Connor Charchuk [email protected]
[Albertabird] wrote:
>
> Thanks for sharing, Caroline.
>
>
> I plotted my 5MR and immediately decided I needed to move! I live in
> central Edmonton, so it?s going to be a lot of urban birding for me
> this year! I have made a patch on eBird to track how I do:
>
> https://ebird.org/site/patch
>
> Mostly I?m excited at the prospect of never being more than a
> 20-minute drive away from a birding destination, and finding new
> places to bird that other people haven?t yet discovered!
>
> The competitive bone in my body is trembling already. If anyone is
> interested in tracking Alberta 5MR lists let me know and we can maybe
> set up a friendly comp ;)
>
> Cheers,
>
> Connor Charchuk
> Edmonton
>
>> On Jan 9, 2019, at 17:57, Caroline Lambert [email protected]
>> [Albertabird]
>> > wrote:
>>
>> David Broska's post about Non-Motorized Transport birding reminded me of
>> another way to bird while keeping your carbon footprint low. It's called
>> 5MR birding, where 5MR means 5 Mile Radius. It's a thing, really. Here's
>> a link that explains the concept:
>>
>> http://www.iusedtohatebirds.co...
>>
>> You can even find a Facebook group for 5MR birders:
>>
>> https://www.facebook.com/group...
>>
>> And here's a humourous take on 5MR birding:
>>
>> http://seagullsteve.blogspot.c...
>>
>> Of course, here in Alberta it should be 8KR birding. And considering the
>> species diversity in Alberta, I think a slightly larger circle would be
>> justified - here in Canmore an 8KR circle would leave you with barely
>> enough species to keep up the enthusiasm. Personally, I think a 4HR (4
>> Hour Radius) circle might be the sweet spot - so I can justify chasing a
>> certain Tundra Bean-Goose :-).
>>
>> On the other hand, the person who has seen the most species in Canmore
>> is one who cannot drive - Ethan Denton. So maybe 8KR birding can
>> actually improve your species lists!
>>
>> Caroline Lambert
>> Canmore
>>
>
>



Subject: Nature Calgary Filed trip. Shannon Terrace. 10 January 2019.
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 19:48 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Ten of us assembled on a brisk, but clear, morning at Shannon Terrace.
The temperature was about -6 deg C, rising to -4 deg C by the end, under
mainly sunny skies with no wind.

It was a quiet, tough, birding trip. The birds we did see generally
made us work hard to find them.

Chickadees (easily visible), WW Crossbills and Bohemian Waxwings
(flitting through the tree tops) were the most abundant species.

We saw a total of 11 species (Ebird list below).

"Near misses" could be said to be

A Junco that may or may not have flitted past us.
A Townsend's solitaire that could have been briefly heard, but no-one
wanted to commit to it.
A Pileated Woodpecker. We saw signs of recent activity, but no
accompanying woodpecker.

Andrew Hart

Calgary

*Ebird list*
Downy Woodpecker 5
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Black-billed Magpie 3
Common Raven 2
Black-capped Chickadee 30
Boreal Chickadee 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 4
White-breasted Nuthatch 6
Bohemian Waxwing 20
White-winged Crossbill 50
Pine Siskin 6



Subject: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 18:09 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Oh no worries. We are back at Peenaquin Park watching a constant inflow of Canada Geese landing. And it keeps getting darker and darker...Ryan.

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
On Fri, 11 Jan 2019 at 17:04, Sean Evans [email protected] [Albertabird]<[email protected]> wrote:










Sorry Ryan I did not see your note as it got covered by Richard™s reply. I ended up going to a ranch and asking to get access to the river. I was granted access but could not see the target goose. I could see the river from the end of RR 212Sent from my iPhoneOn Jan 11, 2019, at 2:13 PM, [email protected] [Albertabird] <[email protected]> wrote:





















OOPS this was supposed to be a private message
Sorry
On 2019-01-11 11:31, [email protected] wrote:
> Hi Ted
> Just wondering if you heard about the MEGA in ALberta.
> TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE
>
> Richard





























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Subject: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 17:58 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Sorry Ryan I did not see your note as it got covered by Richard™s reply. I ended up going to a ranch and asking to get access to the river. I was granted access but could not see the target goose. I could see the river from the end of RR 212

Sent from my iPhone
On Jan 11, 2019, at 2:13 PM, [email protected] [Albertabird] <[email protected]> wrote:























OOPS this was supposed to be a private message

Sorry

On 2019-01-11 11:31, [email protected] wrote:

> Hi Ted

> Just wondering if you heard about the MEGA in ALberta.

> TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE

>

> Richard





















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Subject: Grande Prairie & environs: Jan 9 and 11, 2019
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 17:32 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Today (January 9) I hiked around the trails of South Bear Creek in Grande Prairie, under cloudy and -10C conditions, and saw 8 species, as follows:
Downy Woodpecker 1

Blue Jay 1

Black-billed Magpie 6

Common Raven 39

Black-capped Chickadee 8

Red-breasted Nuthatch 2

Bohemian Waxwing 280 (estimate)

White-winged Crossbill 5
View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checkli...

On January 9. I drove north and west of the city in search of a Gyrfalcon which I'd heard about, but failed to see it in the end. Observations for the day included 1 bald eagle, 1 snowy owl and a flock of an estimated 250 common redpolls gritting on a gravel road. I studied the flock carefully for hoarys, but did not see any. I posted this sighting on e-Bird, but they chose not to list it on the Grande Prairie page although they didn't challenge me on it. In fact, I had never seen such a large flock of redpolls before this.
I'm working away on my 2019 list, but have only managed 18 species so far. Winter birding is not nearly as productive here as for you southerners!
Good birding!
David RhodyGrande Prairie










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Subject: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 15:13 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
OOPS this was supposed to be a private message
Sorry
On 2019-01-11 11:31, [email protected] wrote:
> Hi Ted
> Just wondering if you heard about the MEGA in ALberta.
> TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE
>
> Richard


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Subject: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 13:59 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Where are you precisely Sean? We will come help you spot.Ryan.

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
On Fri, 11 Jan 2019 at 12:48, Sean Evans [email protected] [Albertabird]<[email protected]> wrote:










I am at a viewing point overlooking the river NE of where the goose was seen ad there are 10™s of thousands of geese below me and off into the distance. Unless it returns to that same general area this will be hard to refind.Sean EvansSherwood ParkSent from my iPhoneOn Jan 11, 2019, at 12:01 PM, [email protected] [Albertabird] <[email protected]> wrote:






















Hi Richard,The Tundra Bean Goose wasn™t there this morning, much to the disappointment of a lot of birders who travelled to find it. Ken OrichLethbridge From: [email protected] <[email protected]> Sent: January 11, 2019 11:31 AMTo: [email protected]: [Albertabird] Re: Alberta Mega Rarity Hi TedJust wondering if you heard about the MEGA in ALberta.TUNDRA BEAN GOOSERichard






























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Subject: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 13:25 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
I am at a viewing point overlooking the river NE of where the goose was seen ad there are 10™s of thousands of geese below me and off into the distance. Unless it returns to that same general area this will be hard to refind.
Sean EvansSherwood Park

Sent from my iPhone
On Jan 11, 2019, at 12:01 PM, [email protected] [Albertabird] <[email protected]> wrote:
























Hi Richard,The Tundra Bean Goose wasn™t there this morning, much to the disappointment of a lot of birders who travelled to find it.Ken OrichLethbridgeFrom: [email protected] <[email protected]>
Sent: January 11, 2019 11:31 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [Albertabird] Re: Alberta Mega Rarity Hi Ted
Just wondering if you heard about the MEGA in ALberta.
TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE

Richard





















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Subject: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 13:08 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Hi Richard,

The Tundra Bean Goose wasn't there this morning, much to the disappointment
of a lot of birders who travelled to find it.



Ken Orich

Lethbridge



From: [email protected]
Sent: January 11, 2019 11:31 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [Albertabird] Re: Alberta Mega Rarity





Hi Ted
Just wondering if you heard about the MEGA in ALberta.
TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE

Richard



Subject: Re: Alberta Mega Rarity
Date: Fri Jan 11 2019 12:53 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Hi Ted
Just wondering if you heard about the MEGA in ALberta.
TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE

Richard


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Subject: Fwd: 13th Annual Crowsnest Christmas Bird Count held on Jan 2
Date: Thu Jan 10 2019 20:04 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Below are the results of the 13th Crowsnest Pass Christmas Bird Count as
reported to the 23 folks who braved the conditions that day. Weirdly, it
was blowing again!.:

In the Table below you can see which species we found this year and how
many of each one we counted. The column on the far right of the table
shows the number of years in 13 years total that we have found that species
on the count, giving you an idea about how likely that bird will be found
here this time of year.

As you can see, winter waterfowl are minimal in the Pass. We find Mallard
every year and maybe a few birds of another species, but this year there
were no others.

Birds usually common in winter months that we did find this year were Wild
Turkey, Rock Pigeon, Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Woodpecker (Downy, Hairy, N.
Flicker & Pileated), Merlin, Jay (Canada, Steller™s & Blue), Magpie,
Clark™s Nutcracker, Crow, Raven, Chickadee (Mountain & Black-capped),
Nuthatch (Red-breasted and White-breasted) and Waxwing. Also found were
Townsend™s Solitaire, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch, House Finch, Redpoll, Pine
Siskin, Junco and House Sparrow.

Of special note are Wild Turkey, which seem to be spread very generously
around the Pass. We rarely find Killdeer but this year there were a
whopping 5 of them. We have very high numbers of Waxwing and Junco. And
then there are the intriguing American Dipper which totalled 51 this year.
This is not our highest total but is still a very generous number and most
likely the highest in Alberta. In the winter they seem to concentrate on
the unfrozen sections of the Crowsnest River when the smaller tributaries
upstream are frozen.

Common winter birds which we did not find this year are Common Goldeneye,
Eurasian Collared-Dove, Starling, and Evening and Pine Grosbeak.

Brand new for this year is White-winged Crossbill.

In count week we also found Northern Pygmy-Owl, Northern Shrike, Pine
Grosbeak and Rough-legged Hawk.

Pat Lucas
Crowsnest Pass, AB



[image: image.png]



Subject: Fw: eBird Report - Calgary--Confederation Park, 10-Jan-2019
Date: Thu Jan 10 2019 17:50 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
I spent a little time in Confederation Park today. The rusty blackbird did not magically appear until I did a second sweep of the creek. I found it north of 13th street bathing among all the robins. It was within the dammed off area.Ryan

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

----- Forwarded message ----- From: "[email protected]" To: "[email protected]" Cc: Sent: Thu, 10 Jan 2019 at 16:25 Subject: eBird Report - Calgary--Confederation Park, 10-Jan-2019 Calgary--Confederation Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA
10-Jan-2019 3:08 PM - 3:45 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.173 kilometer(s)
13 species

Mallard 30
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Blue Jay 1
Black-billed Magpie 8
Common Raven 2
Black-capped Chickadee 10
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
American Robin 3
House Finch 3
Dark-eyed Junco 8
Rusty Blackbird 1 Continuing bird. Seen bathing north of 13th street with robins.

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checkli...

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)



Subject: FFCPP Society Calgary--Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Thursday 10-Jan-2019
Date: Thu Jan 10 2019 15:21 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
FFCPP Society Calgary--Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Thursday
10-Jan-2019 09:15 - 12:18. Partly cloudy, -6C to +3C



1. Snow Goose 1
2. Canada Goose 1200
3. Mallard 450
4. Canvasback 3
5. Redhead 18
6. Ring-necked Duck 3
7. Greater Scaup 2
8. Bufflehead 70
9. Common Goldeneye 90
10. Ruddy Duck 1
11. Ring-necked Pheasant 1
12. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 12
13. Killdeer 4
14. Bald Eagle 6
15. Downy Woodpecker 8
16. Northern Flicker 4
17. Black-billed Magpie 6
18. American Crow 55 A true Murder!
19. Common Raven 6
20. Black-capped Chickadee 30
21. Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
22. White-breasted Nuthatch 4
23. Brown Creeper 2
24. Bohemian Waxwing 2
25. House Finch 2
26. Dark-eyed Junco 2
27. House Sparrow 6



1 Beaver

1 Muskrat

12 White tailed deer

19 Eastern gray squirrels



Leaders: Fred Bowen, Rob and Teresa Brown, Dermot Lane, Lori Mainland, David
Mitchell, Stephen Phelps



View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checkli...



Subject: Re: Tundra Bean-Goose Update
Date: Thu Jan 10 2019 11:24 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Thanks for the update, Ken, and to all for the congratulatory messages. As I've noted elsewhere, I was in the right place at the right time.
In response to Sean's inquiry, you park near the north end of the park, at this location:https://goo.gl/maps/qC68ujam5t...
You can then walk a short distance down to the river and follow it in either direction. South is usually more productive. When I saw the goose, it was at this location:https://goo.gl/maps/9x5C2dYb2L... not sure precisely where it was this morning.
If the goose continues its usual pattern of behaviour, it's likely best to search at 8:30 in the morning, as Ken notes. One might possibly spot it when it returns at the end of the day, though we don't know when that typically is. I suppose one could also search for it during the day in the fields around Lethbridge, but that could be a long and fruitless hunt.
Good luck!
David ScottLethbridge, AB






On Thursday, January 10, 2019, 9:40:15 AM MST, David Scott wrote:

Hello again,
I've recently heard from Luis Villamil that the goose has been spotted again this morning at Lethbridge's Peenaquim Park. To be sure, the goose may fly at any time (as it did yesterday), so there's no guarantee that it will stick around.
Good birding,
David ScottLethbridge, AB



Subject: Tundra Bean-Goose Update
Date: Thu Jan 10 2019 10:57 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
If anyone is planning to travel to see it, you will want to arrive by 08:30. It took off before 09:30. Yesterday, the geese didn't return to the river until just before dark.
Ken Orich
Lethbridge


Sent from Samsung Mobile

-------- Original message --------From: "David Scott [email protected] [Albertabird]" Date:2019-01-10 09:40 (GMT-07:00) To: Yahoogroups Subject: [Albertabird] Tundra Bean-Goose Update
Hello again,

I've recently heard from Luis Villamil that the goose has been spotted again this morning at Lethbridge's Peenaquim Park. To be sure, the goose may fly at any time (as it did yesterday), so there's no guarantee that it will stick around.

Good birding,

David Scott
Lethbridge, AB



Subject: Tundra Bean-Goose Update
Date: Thu Jan 10 2019 10:56 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Hi David,
Can you please describe where the goose was seen within the park, where you parked etc? I am unfamiliar with the area but will probably try my luck. I might not have many daylight hours however so ever moment will count.
Also, those are great photos btw and ace spotting to notice that goose among all of those Canada™s.
Sean EvansSherwood Park


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On Thursday, January 10, 2019, 9:40 AM, David Scott [email protected] [Albertabird] <[email protected]> wrote:











Hello again,I've recently heard from Luis Villamil that the goose has been spotted again this morning at Lethbridge's Peenaquim Park. To be sure, the goose may fly at any time (as it did yesterday), so there's no guarantee that it will stick around.Good birding,David ScottLethbridge, AB

















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Subject: Tundra Bean-Goose Update
Date: Thu Jan 10 2019 10:47 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Hello again,
I've recently heard from Luis Villamil that the goose has been spotted again this morning at Lethbridge's Peenaquim Park. To be sure, the goose may fly at any time (as it did yesterday), so there's no guarantee that it will stick around.
Good birding,
David ScottLethbridge, AB



Subject: 5MR (or 8KR) birding
Date: Thu Jan 10 2019 8:46 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Thanks for sharing, Caroline.
I plotted my 5MR and immediately decided I needed to move! I live in central Edmonton, so it™s going to be a lot of urban birding for me this year! I have made a patch on eBird to track how I do:
https://ebird.org/site/patch
Mostly I™m excited at the prospect of never being more than a 20-minute drive away from a birding destination, and finding new places to bird that other people haven™t yet discovered!
The competitive bone in my body is trembling already. If anyone is interested in tracking Alberta 5MR lists let me know and we can maybe set up a friendly comp ;)
Cheers,
Connor CharchukEdmonton

On Jan 9, 2019, at 17:57, Caroline Lambert [email protected] [Albertabird] <[email protected]> wrote:David Broska's post about Non-Motorized Transport birding reminded me ofanother way to bird while keeping your carbon footprint low. It's called5MR birding, where 5MR means 5 Mile Radius. It's a thing, really. Here'sa link that explains the concept:http://www.iusedtohatebirds.co... can even find a Facebook group for 5MR birders:https://www.facebook.com/group... here's a humourous take on 5MR birding:http://seagullsteve.blogspot.c... course, here in Alberta it should be 8KR birding. And considering thespecies diversity in Alberta, I think a slightly larger circle would bejustified - here in Canmore an 8KR circle would leave you with barelyenough species to keep up the enthusiasm. Personally, I think a 4HR (4Hour Radius) circle might be the sweet spot - so I can justify chasing acertain Tundra Bean-Goose :-).On the other hand, the person who has seen the most species in Canmoreis one who cannot drive - Ethan Denton. So maybe 8KR birding canactually improve your species lists!Caroline LambertCanmore








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Subject: 2018 NMT Year - Calgary
Date: Thu Jan 10 2019 3:51 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Great stories all round!!
Bob P Edmonton
On Wed, Jan 9, 2019 at 11:17 PM William James Wilson [email protected] [Albertabird] <[email protected]> wrote:




























Dave Broska's excellent post reminded me to post my own year. Thank you for letting us know what you saw, Dave, and where! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Please let us know what you find this year! I'm looking forward to your report.



As always, another year of NMT (non-motorized transport) birding has ended only to start all over again January 1. All species were seen by bicycle out and back on day trips from home, often locking the bike up somewhere and walking around.
Total species identified = 246 (244 sighted plus Common Nighthawk and Purple Finch heard only). This is my fourth-highest total, after 247 in 2015, 256 in 2016, and 249 in 2017. Total distance cycled = 8,000 km.
Total species identified within the Calgary city limits = 220 (218 sighted plus the same two heard only). Mike Harrison™s record of 240 within the Calgary city limits therefore stands firm!
As I™ve said many times, we can™t reach a high year total without help from our friends, so thank you especially to Bob Storms and Ray Wershler for their many live reports.
A strong contender for most interesting ride might be on Sept 4. After some time birding at Confederation Park, I got a call from Ray saying he™d found a Ruddy Turnstone at the south access to Weed Lake. This was too good to miss, so I
stopped at home to restock on food and water and pick up the scope and tripod, then cycled east. Just as I was approaching Langdon, Ray called to say the turnstone was gone, but he™d been to the slough on Glenmore Trail just east of Hwy 24, and there was a
Buff-breasted Sandpiper there. His dad and other people were still looking at it, so that was an easy decision - skip Weed Lake and head straight for the Hwy 24 slough! One km before the slough, my rear tire went flat. I™m not fast at that, so in the half
hour it took to change the tire I had great mental images of Buff-breasted Sandpipers flying up from sloughs and disappearing into the distance. Aarrrgghhh. When I got to the slough, though, they had a scope on the sandpiper and all I had to do was look through
it. There was even an extra one (TWO Buff-breasted Sandpipers!), plus a Ross™s Goose, a Snow Goose (Blue form), and some White-fronted Geese. The sandpiper, the Ross™s and the White-fronts were all new for the year. Not a bad exchange for missing a turnstone!
Some other highlights “ Hammond™s Flycatcher singing atop a spruce snag along the Chickadee Trail at Brown Lowery Provincial Park on June 5 (but not seen again), a Golden Eagle landing atop a spruce at the lookout at Brown Lowery on October
16, near the height of Golden Eagle migration, and a Winter Wren (i.e., not a Pacific Wren, which nests at Brown Lowery) in Carburn Park on November 1.
One big miss: I was in Quebec City for four days in September, and a Northern Parula Warbler showed up in Fish Creek park in Calgary the day I left, and left the day I got back. We can't win them all. (Quebec City was nice, though.)

Also, one time my bicycle had an adventure without me. One day while I was walking around Confederation Park looking for migrating passerines, with my bike safely locked up leaning against a tree near the creek (but not locked to the tree),
I got a call from Bob Storms and Ian Maton saying that By-law Services had just taken my bike, loaded it into the back of their pick-up truck, and driven off with it. I was heading very quickly back to the spot when they called again to say that they had rescued
it and it was again leaning against a tree (albeit a different one). Bob and Ian had gone up to the road where the By-law Officer had parked his truck, and luckily saw the truck drive by with my bike in the back. Ian went running down the road after it, waving
his arms wildly, and fortunately the officer saw him and stopped. It turned out that a bike had been leaning against a tree up by the road for several days, and a homeowner on the road had reported it as possibly stolen and abandoned. By the time the officer
arrived, someone had taken the bike (maybe the bike owner? or maybe someone stealing a stolen bike?). The officer didn™t know about this, figured my bike must be the one reported, and carried it back to his truck - along with my pack and helmet, which were
locked to the bike. So thank you Bob and Ian for saving my bike! It and I are eternally grateful, and I rode it very gingerly for the next few days to let it recover from its adventure.
All the best for 2019, everyone, and good birding!
Bill Wilson

Calgary



































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Subject: 2018 NMT Year - Calgary
Date: Thu Jan 10 2019 0:08 am
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Dave Broska's excellent post reminded me to post my own year. Thank you for letting us know what you saw, Dave, and where! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Please let us know what you find this year! I'm looking forward to your report.
As always, another year of NMT (non-motorized transport) birding has ended only to start all over again January 1. All species were seen by bicycle out and back on day trips from home, often locking the bike up somewhere and walking around.
Total species identified = 246 (244 sighted plus Common Nighthawk and Purple Finch heard only). This is my fourth-highest total, after 247 in 2015, 256 in 2016, and 249 in 2017. Total distance cycled = 8,000 km.
Total species identified within the Calgary city limits = 220 (218 sighted plus the same two heard only). Mike Harrison™s record of 240 within the Calgary city limits therefore stands firm!
As I™ve said many times, we can™t reach a high year total without help from our friends, so thank you especially to Bob Storms and Ray Wershler for their many live reports.
A strong contender for most interesting ride might be on Sept 4. After some time birding at Confederation Park, I got a call from Ray saying he™d found a Ruddy Turnstone at the south access to Weed Lake. This was too good to miss, so I stopped at home to restock on food and water and pick up the scope and tripod, then cycled east. Just as I was approaching Langdon, Ray called to say the turnstone was gone, but he™d been to the slough on Glenmore Trail just east of Hwy 24, and there was a Buff-breasted Sandpiper there. His dad and other people were still looking at it, so that was an easy decision - skip Weed Lake and head straight for the Hwy 24 slough! One km before the slough, my rear tire went flat. I™m not fast at that, so in the half hour it took to change the tire I had great mental images of Buff-breasted Sandpipers flying up from sloughs and disappearing into the distance. Aarrrgghhh. When I got to the slough, though, they had a scope on the sandpiper and all I had to do was look through it. There was even an extra one (TWO Buff-breasted Sandpipers!), plus a Ross™s Goose, a Snow Goose (Blue form), and some White-fronted Geese. The sandpiper, the Ross™s and the White-fronts were all new for the year. Not a bad exchange for missing a turnstone!
Some other highlights “ Hammond™s Flycatcher singing atop a spruce snag along the Chickadee Trail at Brown Lowery Provincial Park on June 5 (but not seen again), a Golden Eagle landing atop a spruce at the lookout at Brown Lowery on October 16, near the height of Golden Eagle migration, and a Winter Wren (i.e., not a Pacific Wren, which nests at Brown Lowery) in Carburn Park on November 1.
One big miss: I was in Quebec City for four days in September, and a Northern Parula Warbler showed up in Fish Creek park in Calgary the day I left, and left the day I got back. We can't win them all. (Quebec City was nice, though.)
Also, one time my bicycle had an adventure without me. One day while I was walking around Confederation Park looking for migrating passerines, with my bike safely locked up leaning against a tree near the creek (but not locked to the tree), I got a call from Bob Storms and Ian Maton saying that By-law Services had just taken my bike, loaded it into the back of their pick-up truck, and driven off with it. I was heading very quickly back to the spot when they called again to say that they had rescued it and it was again leaning against a tree (albeit a different one). Bob and Ian had gone up to the road where the By-law Officer had parked his truck, and luckily saw the truck drive by with my bike in the back. Ian went running down the road after it, waving his arms wildly, and fortunately the officer saw him and stopped. It turned out that a bike had been leaning against a tree up by the road for several days, and a homeowner on the road had reported it as possibly stolen and abandoned. By the time the officer arrived, someone had taken the bike (maybe the bike owner? or maybe someone stealing a stolen bike?). The officer didn™t know about this, figured my bike must be the one reported, and carried it back to his truck - along with my pack and helmet, which were locked to the bike. So thank you Bob and Ian for saving my bike! It and I are eternally grateful, and I rode it very gingerly for the next few days to let it recover from its adventure.
All the best for 2019, everyone, and good birding!
Bill Wilson
Calgary



Subject: Fw: eBird Report - Calgary--Queen's Park Cemetery, 9-Jan-2019
Date: Wed Jan 9 2019 22:12 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
I went today to find that Harris's Sparrow that everyone has been raving about in Queen's Park Cemetary. It took some effort however. There was a lot of activity and my counts are on the liberal side for redpolls, crossbills, and waxwings.I did eventually find the sparrow on the east side of the steep bank as you travel north to the end of the creek. Again with Juncos.I don't have my computer with me to upload any pictures unfortunately.I went to Confederation Park also and was wondering if anyone knows where specifically the Rusty Blackbird has been seen? It is such a large park and I was freezing cold today out there. ˜“Ryan Demong.

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
----- Forwarded message ----- From: "[email protected]" <[email protected]> To: "[email protected]" <[email protected]> Cc: Sent: Wed, 9 Jan 2019 at 21:03 Subject: eBird Report - Calgary--Queen's Park Cemetery, 9-Jan-2019 Calgary--Queen's Park Cemetery, Calgary, Alberta, CA
9-Jan-2019 11:03 AM - 1:01 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.734 kilometer(s)
16 species

Canada Goose 60
Mallard 2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 2
Blue Jay 2
Black-billed Magpie 16
Common Raven 3
Black-capped Chickadee 16
Red-breasted Nuthatch 8
Brown Creeper 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Bohemian Waxwing 20
House Finch 2
Common Redpoll 20
White-winged Crossbill 20
Dark-eyed Junco 20
Harris's Sparrow 1 Continuing bird. Seen at NW corner of creek and shrubberies.

View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checkli...

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (https://ebird.org/home)








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Subject: 5MR (or 8KR) birding
Date: Wed Jan 9 2019 18:58 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
David Broska's post about Non-Motorized Transport birding reminded me of
another way to bird while keeping your carbon footprint low. It's called
5MR birding, where 5MR means 5 Mile Radius. It's a thing, really. Here's
a link that explains the concept:

http://www.iusedtohatebirds.co...

You can even find a Facebook group for 5MR birders:

https://www.facebook.com/group...

And here's a humourous take on 5MR birding:

http://seagullsteve.blogspot.c...

Of course, here in Alberta it should be 8KR birding. And considering the
species diversity in Alberta, I think a slightly larger circle would be
justified - here in Canmore an 8KR circle would leave you with barely
enough species to keep up the enthusiasm. Personally, I think a 4HR (4
Hour Radius) circle might be the sweet spot - so I can justify chasing a
certain Tundra Bean-Goose :-).

On the other hand, the person who has seen the most species in Canmore
is one who cannot drive - Ethan Denton. So maybe 8KR birding can
actually improve your species lists!

Caroline Lambert
Canmore


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Posted by: Caroline Lambert
------------------------------------

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Subject: Robin
Date: Wed Jan 9 2019 15:51 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Is anyone interested in counting Robins?  We have one in Varsity Village - NW Calgary now. :). Haven™t seen one in winter before.
Barb Coote
Varsity
Calgary


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Subject: Probable Tundra Bean-Goose - Lethbridge
Date: Wed Jan 9 2019 15:46 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
That is an epic bird indeed. I would love to try to find it. However, I have recently moved to Calgary due to some unfortunate events, and has left me temporarily without a vehicle. If anyone would like some money for fuel to go find this goose, let me know!Ryan Demong.

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

On Wed, 9 Jan 2019 at 13:21, Connor Charchuk [email protected] [Albertabird] wrote:
Awesome find David, no doubt about the ID.

Goodluck to all those who try for this bird over the coming days!
Connor CharchukEdmonton


On Jan 9, 2019, at 13:14, Dan A [email protected] [Albertabird] wrote:

Thanks for getting the word out, David! Great find!

Dan
Calgary

Daniel Arndt
Cell:(403) 836-7405
bowvalleytours.com
Flickr.com/photos/ubermoogle
www.birdscalgary.com
From:[email protected] on behalf of David [email protected][Albertabird]
Sent:Wednesday, January 9, 2019 1:11:23 PM
To:Yahoogroups
Subject:[Albertabird] Probable Tundra Bean-Goose - Lethbridge
Hello all,
This morning, I came across an unusual goose at Peenaquim Park in Lethbridge. It seems that it is likely Alberta's first record of Tundra Bean-Goose! For photos and more information, see the eBird checklist:https://ebird.org/view/checkli...
Multiple birders will be searching for the goose this afternoon and I expect will report on eBird if their efforts prove successful.
Good birding,
David ScottLethbridge, AB








Subject:
Date: Wed Jan 9 2019 15:05 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Hello Sandra, As I was often under significant movement restrictions, the majority of my birding this year was NMT. I check that my total list was 220 species versus the 184 that I saw on my NMT list.
Best regards,
David Broska
Yemen



Subject: FFCPP Society Calgary--Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Wednesday, 09-Jan-2019
Date: Wed Jan 9 2019 14:25 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
FFCPP Society Calgary--Carburn Park, Calgary, Alberta, CA; Wednesday,
09-Jan-2019 09:15 - 12:20. Cloudy, -9C to -5C



1. Snow Goose 1
2. Cackling Goose 3
3. Canada Goose 1150
4. Trumpeter Swan 1
5. Mallard 500
6. Canvasback 3
7. Redhead 18
8. Ring-necked Duck 2
9. Greater/Lesser Scaup 2
10. Harlequin Duck 1
11. Bufflehead 60
12. Common Goldeneye 120
13. Barrow's Goldeneye 4
14. Common Merganser 13
15. Ruddy Duck 1
16. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 2
17. Killdeer 2
18. Sharp-shinned Hawk 1
19. Bald Eagle 3
20. Downy Woodpecker 4
21. Northern Flicker 9
22. Northern Shrike 1 Juvenile
23. Black-billed Magpie 7
24. Common Raven 17
25. Black-capped Chickadee 30
26. Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
27. White-breasted Nuthatch 2



12 White tailed deer

9 Eastern gray squirrels

1 Muskrat



Leaders: Peter Hoyer, David Mitchell, Ron Ostrander, Leao Vermeylen, Gus
Yaki



View this checklist online at https://ebird.org/view/checkli...



Subject: Probable Tundra Bean-Goose - Lethbridge
Date: Wed Jan 9 2019 14:21 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Hello all,
This morning, I came across an unusual goose at Peenaquim Park in Lethbridge. It seems that it is likely Alberta's first record of Tundra Bean-Goose! For photos and more information, see the eBird checklist:https://ebird.org/view/checkli...
Multiple birders will be searching for the goose this afternoon and I expect will report on eBird if their efforts prove successful.
Good birding,
David ScottLethbridge, AB



Subject: Probable Tundra Bean-Goose - Lethbridge
Date: Wed Jan 9 2019 14:20 pm
From: Albertabird AT yahoogroups.com
 
Awesome find David, no doubt about the ID. 

Goodluck to all those who try for this bird over the coming days!

Connor Charchuk
Edmonton

> On Jan 9, 2019, at 13:14, Dan A [email protected] [Albertabird] wrote:
>
>
> Thanks for getting the word out, David! Great find!
>
> Dan
> Calgary
>
> Daniel Arndt
> Cell: (403) 836-7405
> bowvalleytours.com
> Flickr.com/photos/ubermoogle
> www.birdscalgary.com www.birdscalgary.com>
> From: [email protected] > on behalf of David Scott [email protected] [Albertabird] >
> Sent: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 1:11:23 PM
> To: Yahoogroups
> Subject: [Albertabird] Probable Tundra Bean-Goose - Lethbridge
>
>
>
> Hello all,
>
> This morning, I came across an unusual goose at Peenaquim Park in Lethbridge. It seems that it is likely Alberta's first record of Tundra Bean-Goose! For photos and more information, see the eBird checklist: https://ebird.org/view/checkli...
>
> Multiple birders will be searching for the goose this afternoon and I expect will report on eBird if their efforts prove successful.
>
> Good birding,
>
> David Scott
> Lethbridge, AB
>
>
>
>
>



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