Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 10/09/2015


Photo taken on October  8, 2015


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8 October 2015


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A gorgeous splash of colour

A gorgeous splash of colour
All three photos posted this morning were taken yesterday, 8 October 2015. Friend Sandy had asked if I wanted to go with her to join friends down at the Irrigation Canal in the city, for a birding walk. This was a long walk - three and a half hours - along both sides of the canal. It was a beautiful fall day with enough trees still dressed in gold to give some colourful reflections. When we arrived at the meeting place, we were greeted by a couple of beautiful flowerbeds full of vibrant colour. I hadn't expected to see garden plants still in bloom on 8 October.

The water level of the canal was very low, creating just a narrow strip of water with a wide mud bank on either side, that had attracted a number of Greater Yellowlegs and a single American Golden-plover. The latter was a new bird for me and, though I could only get a very distant, poor shot, I've posted it this morning. To me, a juvenile American Golden Plover looks so similar to a juvenile Black-bellied Plover (from photos I've seen), but the ID for the bird we saw was given as American Golden-plover. Much of the time, there were pale, dead grasses in the background and this bird was almost impossible to see.

The list of the 31 bird species seen (not all by me) from our leaders, Dan and David:

1. Canada Goose - 60+
2. Mallard - 150+
3. Northern Shoveler - 1
4. Green-winged Teal - 2
5. Hooded Merganser - 3 males
6. Common Merganser - 20+
7. Double-crested Cormorant - 4
8. Bald Eagle - 1, immature
9. Red-tailed Hawk - 1 (Harlan’s subspecies)
10. Rough-legged Hawk - 5 (4 dark phase, 1 light phase)
11. AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER
12. Killdeer - 1
13. Greater Yellowlegs - 38+
14. Long-billed Dowitcher - 11
15. Ring-billed Gull - 400+
16. Herring Gull - 2
17. Rock Pigeon - 32+
18. Downy Woodpecker - 1
19. Hairy Woodpecker - 2
20. Northern Flicker - 2
21. Merlin - 2
22. Black-billed Magpie - 15+
23. American Crow - 6
24. Common Raven - 2
25. Black-capped Chickadee - 7
26. White-breasted Nuthatch - 1
27. American Robin - 8
28. European Starling - 18+
29. Yellow-rumped Warbler - 2
30. American Tree Sparrow - 1
31. House Finch - 1

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