Red Deer River Naturalists

The Red Deer river Naturalists are a group dedicated to learning about and preserving natural history. They have regular programs with speakers and many field trips.

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Early Morning Bird Walk May 1

        Our second early morning bird walk of the season took place at the Gaetz Lake Sanctuary. This is an approximately 100 hectare area within the city of Red Deer. It's made up of a wide variety of habitat due to varying soil types. The area is mostly river valley and includes the escarpments. More than half of this natural area has never been developed in any way. There was no logging so there are old growth forests of spruce and aspen. Much of the area is thick brush. Other areas are tangled willow. The center piece of the area are the two oxbow lakes so there is plenty of marsh around the lake shores. These lakes for the most part are very shallow. There may be the odd hole which would be three meters deep.

       So with a natural area which is extremely variable, birding is very productive. This morning the temperature was about minus 2 C. Skies were mostly clear and it was calm. There was fog in the area before we started but it had burned off before we got in the field.

        A new viewing deck has just been completed so this is a view of the west lake taken from a port in the stand.

       Five avid bird walkers showed up this morning. Here's a shot of Judy looking out on the lake. The bird blind is built so that birds on the lake will not be disturbed.

      So our sightings were many and varied. Here they are in the order we saw them. American robin, eastern phoebe, mallard, canvas back, bufflehead, red-necked grebe, cinnamon teal, whitethroated sparrow, Canada geese, black-capped chickadee, Savannah sparrow, Dark-eyed junco, ring-billed gull, pine siskin, common loon, song sparrow, American crow, red-winged blackbird, house finch, tundra swan, northern flicker, yellow-rumped warbler, redhead, lesser scaup, American coot, blue-winged teal, common goldeneye, yellow-headedblackbird...a total of 28. We also saw one poor little old red squirrel. 

     Next week, May  8, we will visit Bower Woods.We will meet in the northeast corner of the Bower Mall parking lot to be ready to roll at 7:00 AM.

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