White-tailed Ptarmigan Trip

Got up at five this morning to drive out to the Highwood Pass in search of White-tailed Ptarmigan. We met up with Ethan Denton at the Stoney Nakoda Casino and continued on. It was not long after we spotted the first Ptarmigan followed shortly after by three others. In total there were four Ptarmigan present. Continuing on the way back we saw flocks of Pine Grosbeaks and Bohemian Waxwings. We drove out towards Longview and saw some Rough-legged Hawks and many Common Ravens. We continued back to Calgary where we stopped at Weaselhead Natural Area it was fairy quiet but we saw some Common Redpolls and a close flyby Bald Eagle

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The first out of fourWhite-tailed  Ptarmigan we spotted.

Bird ID: Greater or Lesser Yellowlegs

Identification of yellowlegs can be difficult in other situations the answer can be obvious. Here are some ID tips for sepperating them. The Greater Yellowlegs compared to the Lesser is noticably larger, the bill is longer and slightly upturned. Greater Yellowlegs give a  sharp three not call where as the Lesser give a softer two-note call.

 

Greater Yellowlegs

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Identification:

  • Larger bird (30-40cm)
  • Longer upturned bill
  • Gray at base of the bill (sometimes)
  • Sharper three-note call
  • More barring on flanks

 

Lesser Yellowlegs

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Identification:

  • Smaller bird (25-30cm)
  • Shoerter more poined bill
  • No gray at base of bill.
  • Softer two-note call (sometimes three)
  • Less barring on flanks

 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

There is no better way to celebrate Thanksgiving that getting two lifers! Even better when the two lifers are in the same location at the same time. Thet were Harris’s Sparrow a uncommon migrant through the Calgary area and a Golden-crowned Sparrow a regional rairity.

Harris’s Sparrow #488

The owner of the property was kind enough to let us into his yard to see these birds. We spent around forty minute there seeing all the members of the Zonotrichia genus.

Golden-crowned Sparrow #489