Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ancient Murrelet meets its end in Okanagan Lake

This morning I woke up to a report of an Ancient Murrelet washed up on Okanagan Beach. There were no specifics in the report so I scoured the entire beach from the Penticton Yacht club over to the S.S. Sicamous. It was probably close to -20 with the windchill coming off the lake, so it's no surprise I missed the little dude covered in ice. Highlgihts of my walk include a single YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER at the yacht club and a single RUDDY DUCK hiding behind a tugboat with some coots and a PIED-BILLED GREBE.

Later in the day my Dad got a call from the woman who first found the bird. We followed her instructions right to the bird. As you can see it was fairly hard to spot!

Dad got out the ax and we rescued the specimen from the ice... I wonder if the Little Blue Heron will suffer the same fate this week? Someone should be checking regularly!

From the ice to our sink! (then to the freezer)

Typical Cannings Family dinnertime moment:

Dad; "Achk! There's an ancient murrelet feather in my potatoes!"


  1. I could easily write one hundred compliments and words of appreciation, Russell, but here I am wondering if you might re-consider one little verb:
    "Follow my progress as I GUN for 380 .... ?"
    Perhaps you've been spending a lot of time with Americans? Maybe I should not be so sensitive? As we approach Christmas Bird Count season, started as an alternative to using GUNS, your choice of "gun" as a verb startled me!
    This note comes from a peaceful Canadian fan and admirer of "all things Cannings", no matter what your choice of verbs --
    Denise Brownlie (who has not ever used "gun" as a verb in all my years as an English teacher and a writer)

  2. Thanks for the comment Denise! I am aware of the gruesome history of Christmases past, however I can assure you that no birds will be harmed by me or my colleagues as I attempt to push the record higher. Although I have never in my life discharged a fire-arm, I do from time to time employ playful colloquialisms that reflect my generation’s ingrained love for action and tongue-in-cheek sarcasm. Thanks again for the post, and I’ll be sure to “watch only” as the Big Year draws to a close.

    Russ C