Saturday, 9 November 2013

Roughlegged's Prairie Falcon, Snow Geese. (20131109) Dan and I head out for Owls.

Dan and I thought we would take a run for first of the year Snowy Owls, we are not optimistic given the number of Owls we have seen in recent years, but we have to go look. There weren't any GHO's out on the poles early and that was not a promising sign. We did find a freshly killed badger on the highwy that we stopped to take it off the roadway as it was right on a curve. It was a shame to lose such a beautiful animal.
Just after good light started, we spotted this nice Muley buck.
We stopped by Lake MacGregor to see if there were any Snow Geese still around, and we found a couple of rafts. we had to re-position to see if we could get a little closer.
we estimated that there were likely about 5000 Snow geese and at least that many Canada Geese. There were a couple of other birds as well like a White Fronted goose or two, and Dan believes there were even a couple of Cackler's in the area. This is shot of quite a few of the Snow geese in flight.
We had flushed up about 30 Grey Partridge and it was still early in the day. The other birds that we were finding everywhere were Rough Legged Hawks.
We were seeing these birds soaring, sitting, squatting, and staring. They provided a great deal of entertainment.
It is great to see so many of these predators from the north, they are also referred to as "Winter Hawks"!
Keeping an eye out Dan spotted this bird headed toward us in time for us to get the truck stopped and grab acouple of images.
I'll post a second shot fo this bird, as we spotted a second falcon later in the day but it was far less cooperative. This was Dan's first time of seeing more than one of these deadly missiles in the same day.
One of the great spottings of the day was this very late Richardson's Ground Squirrel, a terrific surpise:)
I'll wrap this post letting you know that we found more Grey's and probably 30 Sharptails in the balance of the morning. We encountered Snow Buntings a few times and could even throw some Horned Larks into the mix. A very successful morning considering we didn't find any owls.  Here is yet another RLH with Lunch.
Can you make it out for a "track" with me tomorrow?

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