27 February 2011

A good birding day

Yesterday (26 Feb 2011) I accompanied birding buddies Dave and Bob on a walk around Tommy Thompson Park, in the hopes of seeing the pair of juvenile King Eider reported there.  Which we did, with good stable views with the birds on the water in the open sounds in East Cove.

Resorting to on-line GPX viewers (because today is not a good gpx-viewer software day), I get:
Length: 11.25 km
Duration: 4 hours, 3 minutes, 8 seconds
Vertical up: 172m
Vertical down: 108m
Average Speed: 2.74 kph
And no, I don't know how we managed sixty more metres up than down.

In total, there were 19 species:
  • american coot
  • barrow's goldeneye -- see that "walk out the peninsula between Cell 2 and Cell 3"?  There's a small aread of open water at the end of it, and it was full of ducks, which I managed to flush.  One of them was the Barrow's.
  • black duck
  • bufflehead
  • canvasback duck -- courtesy of Dave, who picked it out of a haze of common goldeneye, mergansers, and misc. mallards in Cell 2.
  • common goldeneye
  • common merganser
  • common redpoll -- much looking at a flock of about 30 could not pick out a Hoary Redpoll.
  • gadwall
  • greater scaup
  • hooded merganser
  • king eider -- right where they were supposed to be in East Cove, swimming, eating fish, and spending enough time on the surface together that they might as well have been posing.  Several excellent views of the pair together via Dave's scope.
  • long-eared owl -- courtesy of Norm Mur, who pointed out we'd walked right past it.  (I will now expect owls perching at knee height and check that level, too.)
  • long-tailed duck
  • mallard duck
  • mute swan
  • northern shrike  -- courtesy of Bob's "what's that in the tree?"
  • red-throated merganser
  • saw-whet owl -- courtesy of a birder named Alvan, who pointed it out in a tree we'd already looked at.  There are times when "if they were easy to see, they'd be extinct" is scant comfort.
A very good day for the end of February.

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