Thursday, 22 May 2014

Lewis's Woodpecker, RUFFED grouse, Sandhill Crane (20140518-19) Rare Bird!

After the Sunday walk I spoke with Jamie about hitting K Country for a little drive to see if we could find anything new. The morning was dreary and drizzly and the afternoon was looking just as dismal. On the way out we actually ran into hail twice. We were hoping that after such a set of storms we might see something out and about in the aftermath. Our first "spot " was this Sandhill Crane. we are hoping that they stay for the summer. It was a long way off, so the quality is hindered.
We were investigating my drumming grouse locations with the hope of finding somone one home. At Jackson's log, he wasn't home, but there was drumming nearby. Then a hen flew right over my shoulder and landed close to Jackson's log. I followed as it walked westrward behind the first row of spruce trees. Next thing Jamie shows me another bird walking across the road. This was the rooster. We watched him as he followed the lady up to a different log, and he went into full presentation mode.
I have never seen this presentation with with a Ruffed. This my second Grouse first presentation this year.  Here he is shortly after leaving his log, still in full presentation mode.
 I want to mention here that these shots were taken in VERY difficult light conditions. We were laying on our bellies, shooting under the bottom strand of barbed wire in a spruce grove with light at an ultimate premium. Here is the object of his affection. The hen popped up into a tree.

Here is a shot of the rooster as he puts his "ruff" away for day to day living.
Our next "find" was less dramatic, but it is always nice to fidn a Snipe on a post.
Now I will do something I don't normally do and that is add a couple of shots from a follow up trip the next night. This next bird was the reason for the follow up. We spotted a Lewis's Woodpecker. They are a rare sighting here in Alberta. So after getting a couple of Identification only shots on Sunday I headed out on Monday to see if I could get a better image.
These are still realative poor shots as the conditions on Monday were little better than Sunday. I will offer up another image of this beautiful bird.
I will be trying for more shots of this bird in the coming week, and see if it hangs around in the area. On the way home on Monday I picked up this Brewers Blackbird.
I'll finish this post up with a dinner complete with a Swainson's Hawk.
We had a super long weekend here in Canada with some real surprises. I hope everyone got out for a little outdoors this weekend!

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