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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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Don't Bet on the Birds

      I lead a birding group on Saturday afternoons in Red Deer. I like to get the group focused on something so I quite often mention what we might see in an area.

      Saturday we were at Heritage Ranch in Red Deer .Before we started I suggested we might see the usual suspects like chickadees, nuthatches and magpies. I also suggested that there could be possible sightings of kinglets and brown creepers. Kinglets would be in the top of spruce trees so would be almost impossible to see. You might hear a soft tinkly sound. Creepers are well camouflaged and you could miss them if they were right beside you. So off we go with our eyes and ears ready to make sightings.

     We did have a good afternoon but we didn't see any of the birds I suggested we watch.

     We did see a chickadee on the way down to the river. On the river we saw mergansers and I didn't expect them. We also found a few mallards which were no surprise. A km down the river there was a sandbar covered with gulls. Then, there's a hawk like bird sitting high up in an old spruce spar. We had a good look and then it flew off. It turned out to be a sharp shinned hawk.

     Half way up the trail we found a male and female downy and then out of nowhere a piloted woodpecker crashed the party.

    After that one lonely raven flew over.

    So you see my predictions were not even close.

    It would have been a bonus if we'd seen a kinglet or creeper.

    How are your predictions?

    The pileated woodpecker was very close and Jurgen got a great photo.



  1. Thanks Keith for re-activating this blog, which i will be following regularly. Thanks also for providing great leadership on your bird walks.

  2. Thanks for commenting and come out and join us . We are having a lot of fun.