One of the best
is it can be done almost anywhere,
starting in your own backyard!!!
lifelist includes the birds either Larry or I have seen
(though, not necessarily both of us,
but we soon hope to rectify that!!!)
Our combined total is 289
(saw & identified) & counting...
American Golden Plover
American Three-toed Woodpecker
American Tree Sparrow
American White Pelican
Black & White Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blue Grouse (Dusky Grouse)
Canada Goose (Greater & Lesser)
Cape May Warbler
Gray (Hungarian) Partridge
Great Blue Heron
Great Horned Owl
Greater Sage Grouse
Greater White-fronted Goose
House Sparrow (Weaver Finch)
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Northern "Yellow-shafted" Flicker
Northern "Red-shafted" Flicker
Northern Hawk Owl
Northern Pintail Duck
Northern-Rough Winged Swallow
Northern Shoveler Duck
Pacific-sloped Flycatcher (we heard it, but only Ryan saw it)
Snow Goose (White-phase & Blue phase)
Upland SandpiperVaried Thrush
Check out The Birding Photo Galleries
me a beautiful gift:
"The Birder's Life List & Master Reference" (Jeffrey Whiting) and "The Birder's Field Notebook", both beautifully bound in hard cover. Now I have to start entering all our sightings!
On my way to Regina the end
of May, 2004, I saw my first RUDDY TURNSTONES, plus some STILT
SANDPIPERS -- both along the northern edge of Reed Lake, just west of
the small Prairie town of Morse, Saskatchewan. The Ruddy
Turnstone was very near the top of my "want to see" list, so I was
ecstatic. The following weekend, we went out again so Larry &
Ryan could see them... the Ruddy Turnstone co-operated and was there,
but the Stilt Sandpipers had moved on. They did get their chance
to see the Stilt Sandpipers though, during their southward migration
the beginning of August, 2004... at Reed Lake.
Our Summer 2004 trip to
Waterton Lakes National Park (far SW corner of Alberta) brought us
another lifer very near the top of our list of "want to see" birds ---
we saw not one but several LAZULI BUNTINGS!! What a beautiful
We were at the Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park in April, 2003 and we finally saw a BROWN CREEPER!! A LIFER!!! The added bonus was we were only a few feet away from it and were able to watch it go about its business for as long as we wanted... it wasn't going anywhere other than to the next tree!!
Seeing a Common Loon on the Swift Current Filtration Plant Reservoir in the Spring of 2002 was very exciting for us!! Not only did we see 6 Common Loons there, but an Osprey as well, at the same time! Spring Migration and Fall Migration is always exciting -- one never knows just what you'll see, from one year to the next:-) We have seen the Common Loons at the Filtration Plant Reservoir every year since!
During the 2002 Fall Migration, we saw 2 Pacific Loons on Lake Diefenbaker, at the Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park. THAT WAS VERY EXCITING, and the Spring of 2003 we saw at least one Whimbrel there!! In late June, 2003 we saw two Whimbrels at the Saskatchewan Landing - very exciting as they should have been up north by then!!! Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park has provided us with several lifers over the last few short years and we saw another couple lifers there on July 1, 2003: A few BOBOLINKS (they were near the top of our "want to see" list!) and and Eastern Phoebe!!!
A 2002 Highlight for me was seeing my very first BLUE JAY in September -- while at Good Spirit Lake attending a meeting (it pays to get up early and go for a nice walk before breakfast, binoculars in hand!!! The early birder does get the lifer!!!) Fall 2007 we had our very own 2 Blue Jays in our own backyard right here in Swift Current! We were thrilled to say the least! They stayed all winter and into mid-Spring. When they left us in early May (2008) we hoped they would return in the Fall but to our dismay, they did not. We did, however, see one at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park during the 2008-09 winter (only 30 miles north of Swift Current.)
While in Waterton (Summer of 2001), we took a day trip to Lethbridge, and also paid a visit to the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre, in Coaldale (10 minutes east of Lethbridge) -- where we seen many species of raptors. It was a "tweet" to see these magnificent birds up close and personal, many for the very first time (and probably the only time we will see them!) Some of these birds are being rehabilitated, to be released back into the wild, but some, through injury or whatever, are permanent residents of the Centre... The goal of the Centre is to release as many as possible! Hubby says, however, we cannot include these in our lifelist because we didn't see them in their natural habitats... Darn!! Some of the birds we did see at the Centre were: Burrowing Owl, Great Horned Owl, Great Gray Owl, Long-Eared Owl, Saw-Whet Owl, Short-Eared Owl, Barn Owl, Barred Owl, Tawny Owl (from England), Ferruginous Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Harris Hawk, Swainson's Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Saker Falcon (from SE Europe & into Asia - a great favourite with falconers), Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, and Turkey Vulture.
...that next to the hummingbirds, the Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Golden-crowned Kinglets are two of the smallest birds in North America (smaller than the smallest warbler...) The first times we saw these lovely little birds were: the Ruby-crowned Kinglet in Cypress Hills (2000 June...) and the Golden-crowned Kinglet in Cypress Hills (2002 January) -- they are very small!! And, the Golden-crowned Kinglet is actually just a bit smaller than the Ruby-crowned Kinglet!! Very Beautiful little birds!!! (And we have had both the Ruby-crowned AND the Golden-crowned Kinglets in our immediate neighbourhood on a couple occasions!)