My New Crossley ID Guide!

On Friday, our mail box finally held had what I’d been anxiously awaiting, a parcel slip for the package from Birdcalls Radio. In town, my mother and I picked up the parcel, which I opened as soon as I got back to the truck. Attached to the front of the book, “The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds”, was a very nice note from Chris Bosak, host of Birdcalls Radio. Thank you so very much to Mr. Crossley for donating a copy of his wonderful new book, and to Chris Bosak for hosting the contest for young birders and for being willing to ship to Canada! (By the way, here is a really good interview with Mr. Bosak that just came out.)

The Crossley ID Guide is wonderful, and has beautiful photography. I am hoping the book will help me ID some of the very tricky shorebirds we get in the spring and autumn.

Our next stop in town was the library, and I showed the guide to the librarian who is interested in ordering the guide, as well as the western guide when it’s published.

The autographed page,

The cover with the very nice note from Mr. Bosak,

My favorite two-page spread,

Feathers on Saturday and Grouse Dance Cancellation

I would have posted on Friday but our internet was very slow!

Unfortunately the grouse dance I was planning to go to yesterday was canceled. The president of our local naturalist society went on the first trip last week and said there were only six birds when there are usually two to three dozen. He decided that it would be best to cancel any further trips to avoid disturbing the birds. Now we are wondering if the mild winter had something to with the decline in the grouse population numbers.

On Thursday on our way home from music lessons, I spotted a pair of Turkey Vultures at an old abandoned building. Turkey Vultures make their nests in old buildings, so I’m going to keep an eye on this pair,

Feathers on Friday and Sharp-tailed Grouse Lek Update

As I posted on Thursday, today I was supposed to be at a Sharp-tailed Grouse lek in Wainwright, Alberta, for their spring dance. My plans got changed slightly, since the weather was cold and rainy and there were too many people signed up. Our naturalist society decided to add another group next Friday for the overflow, and I put my name in since my schedule is flexible. I’m hoping that the weather will be better, and it’s good to see that there are so many others interested in watching the Grouse!

Now for Feathers on Friday.

A male and female Northern Shoveler I saw yesterday afternoon,

Sharp-tailed Grouse Dance

Each year our local naturalist society makes the hour-long drive to the Canadian Forces Base at Wainwright, Alberta to see the annual Sharp-tailed Grouse dance at their lek. The field trip is arranged by the Wainwright Naturalist Society, and they also maintain the several blinds where we sit and observe. This part of the province has the highest counts and density of breeding Sharp-tailed Grouse.

I’m signed up and will be leaving for the base at 4 am Friday morning if the weather permits. If so, it’ll be the fourth consecutive year I’ve watch the Sharp-tailed Grouse dance. After we watch the birds as the sun rises, we drive back to the base where we have an amazing pancake breakfast in the mess hall. The day is one of the highlights of our naturalist society activities and of my birding year.

I will have a full post on my trip to see the grouse about a day or so later, because when I get home around 10 am I’m always pretty tired!

Here is a photo of a Sharp-tailed Grouse I took last year. I hope to take better photos this year with a better camera,