Monday, November 22, 2010

Little Blue Heron, White-winged Scoter, Northern Parula, Gyrfalcon and Lesser Black-backed Gull in just over 24 hours in the Okanagan---what a mix!

This weekend I joined up with 2 ol' birding friends in Avery Bartels and Ilya Povalyaev (now of Calgary, AB!). We birded West Kelowna region Saturday morning and after a few hours of squinting into the wind and snow we finally found the LITTLE BLUE HERON at a Beach Access of Whitworth Road. In its weakened state, I doubt it will survive the next couple nights. Also in the area, we spotted 4 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS heading south-- a nice Okanagan year-bird and only my 2nd fall sighting.

The rest of the day was spent in the south where we failed to turn up the parula thanks in part to a bitter north wind that shook the trees constantly. Avery turned up a HERMIT THRUSH and roosting GREAT HORNED OWL though!

Nov 21- We started off back at Inkaneep PP and it didn't take long to nab the NORTHERN PARULA which is still energetically feeding away but like the heron it was looking kinda cold! Afterwards we headed south to Osoyoos, picking up a gorgeous GYRFALCON along Black Sage Road! What a bird and my third close-encounter with this species this year (4 total I think!).

[crappy shot of it flyin away!]

Later that day, back in Kelowna we sighted the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (probably recently returned from an unknown breeding site). This bird winters in Kelowna every winter (for the past 8+ years I think).

All in all, a great weekend despite the cold!


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