Peregrine for the Win

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting outside, working on a blog post and enjoying the sounds of the geese and cranes on the slough (pond) across the road. At one point, I looked up from my laptop and saw a good-sized raptor hunting over the cattails in the slough.

I grabbed my binoculars and saw a bird that looked a lot like a Peregrine Falcon. I ran and got my scope and camera to get a better look. It was a Peregrine Falcon and was getting closer.

It eventually flew right over our house and headed west. This is one of the best species I’ve seen around our house and I’m so glad I decided to work outside.

The first time I saw a Peregrine Falcon was back in 2013 in Ontario. This is my first sighting for Alberta, and I can even add it to my “Yard List”.

View my eBird checklist from yesterday here.

Peregrine Falcon!IMG_9821

The same photo, just cropped,IMG_9821

Here’s a photo of the huge flock of Sandhill Cranes that was circling above me as the falcon flew over,IMG_9822IMG_9825

Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

Sandhill Crane migration has been very active lately — these cranes landed just across the road from our house earlier this week,

IMG_9741

More Feathers on Friday Posts:

Bird Boy

Birds in Your Backyard

The Cats and the Birds

Wolf Song Blog

Kathie’s Birds

Must-see birds: September

I got the idea for a northern Alberta version of “Must-see birds” from Pat Bumstead’s and Bob Lefebvre’s Birds Calgary blog. Matthew Sim, who is another young birder, had the idea for the “Must-see birds” posts and writes them all.

September is the month of migrants. Many of the shorebirds have left, and so have our hummingbirds. I wanted to find the best Alberta birds for Must-see birds September (all photos by me):

1. Sandhill Crane

The Sandhill Crane is a large wading bird with gray body, white cheek patches, and a red cap on the adults. The Sandhill Cranes are starting to migrate, so look for them flying high in the sky,

2. Osprey

I spotted this Osprey at Kehewin Lake on the way to 4H camp. I took this picture as we zoomed past the nest platform in our truck. The Osprey is a large raptor with a white head, a black eye stripe and dark upper parts,

3.  Bald Eagle 

I saw this Bald Eagle yesterday as I was riding my bike, and as soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for this post. The Bald Eagle has a dark brown body, yellow bill, and a white head and tail,

4. American Kestrel

The American Kestrel has two facial strips (I think they look like sideburns), a rust colored tail and blue-gray wings. This kestrel has caught what I think is a mouse and was flying around with it,

5. Lesser Yellowlegs

The Lesser Yellowlegs is a large sandpiper with a short straight bill, yellow legs, and a spotted back. A good field mark is the white rump,

Evening Birding

I went out Tuesday evening in search of owls, I didn’t have any luck, but instead I was able to find about  20 Lesser Yellowlegs, one Merlin, one Western Meadowlark, countless Canada Geese and 26 Sandhill Cranes. It was a great night for birding even though the skies are now getting dark before 9 pm.

Some of the Lesser Yellowlegs feeding,

A Lesser Yellowlegs,

As I was watching the Yellowlegs, I saw a flock of Sandhill Cranes. They were in a neighbors wheat field eating the grain,

I love these two pictures of the cranes where you can see just their heads,

To end my post I thought I should add a picture of the beautiful sunset we had last night. Though I saw many great species of birds I never heard or saw any owls,