|Northern Shoveler, Anas clypeata, looking a little goofy|
|Swainson's Hawk, Buteo swainsoni|
There were relatively few shorebirds to be found, perhaps due to high water levels, but we did see a number of Marbled Godwits, several Wilson's Snipe, and a huge flock of Wilson's Phalaropes. We also found a Long-billed Curlew which was very cooperative while we admired the cinnamon belly through the scope and double checked our field guide.
|Wilson's Snipe, Gallinago delicata|
|Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus, Digiscoping skills are slowly improving!|
Birding by ear is not an area of strength for me but I had lots of practice and a good teacher on this trip. We found many sparrows including Savannah, Clay-coloured, Vesper, Lark and Chipping, but the "small bird" highlight for me was a large flock of Cliff Swallows swooping around our heads and under us through a culvert! Just a short distance down the road from that experience we found three Horned Larks, another new bird for me.
|Horned Lark, Eremophila alpestris|
Another great day out on the prairie and I found once again that participating in a bird count is a wonderful way to hone one's birding skills. I'll wrap this post up with a map of the route we took through the area and a list of species seen.
View Calgary Area Bird Count 2011 Route in a larger map
|19||Great Blue Heron|