Thursday, January 12, 2012

They do get easier.....

The first look is always the toughest, is it not? After chasing the Rusty Blackbird around Martindale Flats for the entire month of December, all for just one look, then checking for it almost every day for the first week of this year (finally, with success), I have now seen it for the last three days.

I seem to recall having the same adventure with the Willet that was present at the foot of Bowker a couple of years ago.... it took seven visits before I finally saw it, but I had it on every subsequent trip.

Anyway, back to the present....

I am now at the point where, as Mike McGrenere put it, the law of diminishing returns kicks in with a vengeance. In the entire month of January 2011, I found 124 species. So far this month, as of the 12th, I am at 122. At just short of half of my years goal, it has quickly become a game of target birding.

One of the birds I have been missing is (was) Northern Harrier. Agnes Lynn had tipped me off to a male that had been hanging around Maber Flats, so I figured I should give it a try, having missed the species at Martindale, Vantreight, and other spots. It took all of 10 seconds of scanning Maber Flats to locate the Northern Harrier, cruising over the flats.

What happened next I should have guessed at, as I stopped in at Martindale on the way back (hoping for Snow Goose or Tundra Swan), and the first bird I encountered was another stunning male Northern Harrier. No extra-pale geese were in evidence, and all the swans were a little on the large side, so I guess those two will have to wait.

Still missing for the month is Red Crossbill. This is a bird I usually have on the first, but haven't run into it yet. I am also still missing the murrelets, so with the Coho schedule being a little more accomodating this weekend (we can actually go down and come back on the same day!!!!), I think that may be a possibility for a day trip.

Anyway, stay tuned!

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