Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 10, 2012 Birding Saskatchewan

I arrived in Saskatoon this morning to overcast, cold, and snow flurries! Unlike my visit in 2010 and began my scouting for Whooping Cranes. There had been a group of 17 cranes observed during the past week near Muskiki Lake. This is the same area that in September 2010 there were up to 40 Whopping Cranes!   The rolling landscape made it difficult to see any distance and any large white bird could easily hide. After an hour of scanning and driving back roads I stopped to view a small flock of Sandhills feeding and spotted a couple of large white birds in a recently harvested field. As I watched them I noticed a few more and suddenly a total of 11 Whooping Cranes walked into sight, 10 adult and 1 juvenile. I watched them feed, rest and interact for almost 2 hours. Always an amazing sight! With my scope I noted two of the adult were banded, one having a yellow band on its right leg and some kind of transmitter? on its left leg. The second individual was colour banded also with a blue over yellow band on its left leg and a white and blue colour band on its right leg.  Hopefully I'll be able to tract down where these Whooping Crane were banded. 
There were thousands of geese scattered over area, mainly Canada and Snow Geese. Most of the lakes and ponds had many ducks including Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Lesser Scaup, and Ruddy Duck.



American Tree Sparrow



Western Meadowlark


A flock of Western Meadowlarks sitting along a fence line.


A flock of Whooping Cranes near Miskiki Lake, Sask.


Whooping and Sandhill Cranes in flight.

A total of 11 Whooping Crane (10 adult, 1 juvenile) were present feeding in the area.

Despite being a well known endangered species the Whooping Crane still needs protection.


A flock of Sandhill Cranes feeding and resting.



1 comment:

Sandra said...

Lucky you! Sandhills and whooping cranes in one day!