Friday, February 27, 2015

Feathers on Friday

Thanks to Prairie Birder for the FoF idea.

Other Feathers on Friday posts:


The Cats and the Birds

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Weekly What Bird Wednesday

If you would like to join me for my W.W.B.W. leave a guess in the comments below or make your own weekly what bird post.

This weeks bird will just be text. Thanks to The Cats and The Birds for the idea of just text.
The bird is a medium small songbird, brown back and head, white underparts. It has a dark band across it's chest, a slender body and long wings. It's summer range is about halfway up the US all the way to Alaska. I migrates in Southern US, Central America and South America.

Other What Bird Wednesday posts:

Ethan | BirdBoy

The Cats and the Birds

Last weeks bird was a Long-eared Owl, the master of camouflage.

Monday, February 23, 2015

January Rarity Hunt

I had been checking BirdTrax a lot, there were a lot of rarity birds being seen in Winnipeg. Some were annual rarities, one or two being seen every year, while some were very, very rare, like the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, only one or two sightings before this in Winnipeg. I asked Christian Artuso if he would take us out, kindly he accepted. After one attempt to get together was spoiled by bad weather, we planned again.
This was a good opportunity to get 200 species on my life list. Of course, rarity hunting is a hit and miss thing, you can't predict exactly where a bird will be, but you can know pretty well.
We were aiming to look for the Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Varied Thrush and Townsend's Solitaire.

We met up with Christian at the place the Eurasian Tree Sparrow was being seen. Feeders and seed were all over the yard, which was at the corner of Aberdeen Ave. and Shaughnessy Street.
We waited a few minutes, a flock of House Sparrows showed up, just what we were looking for. The Eurasian Tree Sparrow often is with the flock of House Sparrows.
Scanning the birds with our binoculars, Christian was the one who first spotted it. The Eurasian Tree Sparrow. This was my 200th bird.
We watched it for a while, unfortunately the light was still dim, so we did not get the greatest pictures.

Here is the flock of House Sparrows.

The Eurasian Tree Sparrow among the House Sparrows. It has a very brown cap, and a black cheek spot. We went into the van to warm up for a minute and came out to watch it again.

There were also quite a few White-throated Sparrows, a year bird for me.

After watching it a while, we headed over to Planet Street and the surrounding roads, Mercury Bay, Jupiter Bay, Saturn Bay, Mars drive, and Neptune Bay was where the Varied Thrush had been seen most often. We stopped quickly at Christian's house so he could drop off his vehicle, and quickly look around to see if an Eastern Screech owl was there. We drove around, and walked around, finding quite a few birds. One of the highlights was a small flock of Hoary Redpolls.
Hoary Redpolls
Hoary Redpoll taking off
I saw this loaded spruce tree, with lots and lots of cones. I later identified it as a Colorado Blue Spruce
Colorado Blue Spruce
There were also a few robins here, which was a year bird for me at the time.
American Robins
There were also some Bohemian Waxwings around, eating berries.
We patrolled back and forth from planet to planet ;), there were many bright red berry Mountain Ash trees.

We found some starlings also. We thought the Varied Thrush was really out of it's range, chilling (literally) at Neptune.

After a fruitless search at the planets we left our solar system to see if we could find the Townsend's Solitaire that had been sighted.
We checked from berry tree to berry tree, to see if it was feeding with the Bohemian Waxwings or Robins.

Bohemian Waxwing

Bohemian Waxwing

Swallowing berry.
After a while of searching, and the numbers of robins going up and up, we still couldn't find it. There were maybe fifty robins feeding in the bushes.
American Robin

American Robin

American Robin
We finally called it a day. We hit one out of three of our target species, a successful day! And, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow was the rarest, the others apparently show up once a year or so.
Once again, thanks to Christian for taking us out! It was a fantastic time, as always. I'm not sure if we've ever not seen a lifer on an outing with Christian.

Friday, February 20, 2015


I updated my Life list and year lists if you want to check it out. I no longer am including the number of species on the page name, because I have to update it every time I see a new bird.
I also added more photos on the Bird Photo's page, my brother William is adding captions to all of the new pictures I added.
I may change one or two other things also. Please let me know if there is something wrong with the new menu. Thanks!

Feathers on Friday

We have had four types of finches at our feeders the past few days, Common Redpolls, American Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, and a Hoary Redpoll.
I was surprised to see the goldfinches already getting their breeding plumage, a male already has the black on it's face and it's bright yellow feathers are coming in.
I don't know why, but I've always really loved Pine Siskins, so it's nice to have them around.
I believe we have a Hoary Redpoll too, from what I can tell. It's stripes are a lot fainter, it's rump is white, it does not have a red wash, and there's only one that looks like that in our yard.
I hope I will make a post soon, as well as a post for the rarity hunt. I also am planning to update my blog, my life list and year lists and such, so stay tuned! And here is my FoF photo:

American Goldfinch with seed in beak

Here is Prairie Birder's post.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Weekly What Bird Wednesday

If you would like to join me for my W.W.B.W. leave a guess in the comments below or make your own weekly what bird post.

Leave your guess in the comments
Despite everyone's beliefs, last weeks was a Black-Capped Chickadee as Matthew and Nelmo suggested.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Feathers on Friday

A Chipping Sparrow from this summer.
Chipping Sparrow
Thanks to Prairie Birder for the FOF idea.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Weekly What Bird Wednesday

If you would like to join me for my W.W.B.W. leave a guess in the comments below or make your own weekly what bird post.

Can you guess this bird from spring?
Leave your guess in the comments

The Cats and the Birds actually guessed last weeks! I wasn't expecting anyone to get it. It was a Great Blue Heron footprint, by the Red River Floodway. Click here for the Spring Has Sprung Part 4 post, which I kind of hinted to. If you scroll down a bit there will be a picture of two Great Blue Herons. We found the footprint nearby on the road.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Feathers on Friday

A Yellow-Rumped Warbler from spring, can't wait till they are back!
Thanks to Prairie Birder for the FOF idea.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Weekly What Bird Wednesday

If you would like to join me for my W.W.B.W. leave a guess in the comments below or make your own weekly what bird post.

Well... I suppose it's not actually a bird, but a bird footprint! Can you guess at least which family this bird is from? We saw this when Spring had Sprung in 2014 (hint hint).
Leave your guess in the comments.
Nope! None of last weeks guessers were right. It was a Blue Jay!