Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tunkwa Lake - May 2009 - Part 3

Sometimes, in fact usually, the best way to observe birds is to pick a likely spot and then just sit and watch and see who shows up, so after lunch, that is exactly what I did. Of course we had picked the likely spot when we parked....so all I had to do was sit. A steady stream of birds continued to arrive at the pond.......starting with this Savannah Sparrow
This White Crowned Sparrow also showed up, in fact there had been a whole bunch of them busy bathing earlier in the morning....I had watched the activity from my bed in the camper. Several Song Sparrows also showed up....but can't post pictures of everybody!

I carry a little hummingbird feeder with me and when I heard one buzz through the campsite, I quickly put it out. It didn't take long for this male Rufous Hummingbird to show up. I have seen Calliope Hummingbirds here in the past but didn't seen any during this short visit.

A pair of American Crow were busy nest building. The one above has a mouthful of building materials.

If you look very carefully you can just make out one of the crows in this Juniper bush, the nest itself is in the lower part of the picture.

Yellow Rump Warblers were a constant...the above shot shows where they get their name!

This fellow had grabbed himself a bug for lunch......

while this one is drying off after an afternoon bath.

Although not quite as numerous as the Yellow-rumped, there were a lot of these Orange Crowned Warblers around as well. I was sitting on a picnic table, the branches of this little spruce tree were almost touching the seat of the table......

by sitting very still, this warbler was so close I could have reached out and touched it. I also saw a Yellow Warbler, and a male Wilson's Warbler, but didn't manage photos of either.

all of a sudden this male Hairy Woodpecker flew in and landed on this little dead pine tree that was right behind our camper .......

he flew down to this cut off stump where he feasted on ants that I had seen running around on it earlier......

he then flew over to a fallen aspen log that was laying in the water, and proceeded to work from one end of it to the other.

one last 'Hairy Woodpecker' picture! By now it was time to get up and stretch my legs and go for a bit of a 'wander'....

In the more open area, just past my wooded pond, I could see some Mountain Bluebirds flying around, above we have one of the males......

and this is one of the females.

this pair of American Kestrals had just finished enjoying a little 'afternoon delight!'

My wanders took me down to the bluff that over looked the lake. When I looked down, this Canada Goose was sitting on a nest on a rock at the base of the bluff.
By then it was time to head back for supper (Mushroom stuffed Chicken breasts, roast potatoes, corn on the cob and Cesar salad - we don't believe in 'roughing' it just 'cause we aren't at home!)
After dinner it was time to go our separate ways....Ernie and Shantz headed off for a long walk, while April (the old shih tzu) and I went for a more leisurely amble.

Ernie and Shantz found a couple of Western Meadowlarks and took this picture - I don't think he even realized there was a Mountain Bluebird there as well!

While April and I wandered down by the lake, I could hear a bird call that I knew I should know! Suddenly the light dawned - Sandhill Cranes! I looked up and there was a flock of 20 birds, they flew around in circles a couple of times, checking out the camping area I guess, and then headed off across the lake, presumably to the unpopulated area on the far shore.

on our way back to the camper, the geese were once more heading into the campground for their evening grazing.......

There was one Cackling Goose in the group. The Cackling Goose is the smaller goose on the right hand side of the picture, actually a sub-species of Canada Geese.

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