I had a late start to my morning as I was really tired from all the driving over the past 2 days. I decided I would leisurely bird may way through the SW corner of the province and into Saskatchewan. I had to set route or plan, just driving and birding.
It was a great decision. My first new bird of the year was also a new bird for me in Canada. I had several YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS in various marshes. Other new birds included WESTERN KINGBIRDS and SWAINSON’S HAWK.
Photos: Yellow-headed Blackbird, Western Kingbird, Swainson’s Hawk
While I was driving along I noticed a sign for a wildlife viewing platform at Whitewater Lake. I decided this would be a good chance to look for some waterbirds. On my way I watched a Coyote getting harassed by a few MARBLED GODWITS as well as a few angry Willets.
Photo: Hungry Coyote, angry Marbled Godwit
Once I arrived at the viewing area I knew it was going to be productive. There were birds everywhere! While most of the birds were not new for the year, they were still exciting. There was excellent waterfowl diversity, and several Western Grebes. New for the year were FRANKLIN’S GULLS, 3-4 CATTLE EGRETS, 1 SNOWY EGRET, WHITE-FACED IBIS (5-6), and several EARED GREBES (# 298). I was not expecting egrets, so that was a definite bonus. The ibis where my first for Canada.
Photos: Cattle Egret, White-faced Ibis, Eared Grebes
Overall the birding today was fantastic. Other interesting sightings included Snow Geese (in 2 locations), 1 Loggerhead Shrike and several Upland Sandpipers.