Pelagic Birding

Today we woke up at 4:30 am to leave on the Westport Seabirds trip to Gray’s Canyon. The sea conditions were very good. It was just after sunrise when we left the Marina. We saw high numbers Glaucus-winged Gull x Western Gull hybrids and Brown Pelicans. for the first stretch we saw many Pigeon Guillemots and two Heermann’s Gulls. The first Common Murres were soon accompanied  by Sooty Shearwaters and two quickly flying Cassin’s Auklets.

Sooty Shearwater

In the distance we could see the shape of a Pink-footed Shearwater. We made our way to a fishing boat that had many seabirds including my lifer Black-footed Albatross and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. A Northern Fulmar also stayed close to our boat.

Northern Fulmar

A we went further out we saw more Black-footed Albatrosses and four Leach’s Storm-Petrel. We began chumming at the depth of 2,500 feet. We had  both Storm-Petrel species and five more Black-footed Albatross.

Black-footed Albatross

After about three hours around Gray’s Canyon we headed back it was rather slow bu we did see a Tufted Puffin in the distance. We arrived back just after 3:30 on the way in we saw a squabble of Heermann’s Gulls and just under 1000 Brown Pelicans perched on the walls of the Marina.

Heermann’s Gulls
Brown Pelican

All in all I got ten life birds and got seasick  twice so it was a very good day (but not the seasickness).




Great Canadian Birdathon 2017 (in pictures)

On May 19 the members of the Saw-it Owls began our birdathon. I would like to thank all the people that contibuted to our birdathon efforts.

Purple Martin, Chestermere, AB
Eastern Kingbird, Chestermere, AB
Horned Grebe, McElroy Slough
Wilson’s Phalaropes, McElroy Slough
Black-bellied Plovers, Weed Lake
Least Flycatcher, Carburn Park
Spotted Sanpiper, Carburn Park
American White Pelicans, Carburn Park
Wilson’s Snipe, Horse Creek Road Marshes
Swainson’s Hawk, Sibbald Creek Trail
Barrow’s Goldeneye, Cochrane, AB
Killdeer, Banff National Park, Martin Stables
Ring-necked Duck, Cave and Basin Marsh
Harlequin Duck, Lake Minnewanka

In total we had seen 115 species of birds.

Other team members

Bird Boy

Spring Migration in Alberta

There has been a lot of bird activity in southern Alberta recently. I have been frequently driving to the prairies and mountains to go birding. There are many species that I am not so used to. I have lived in Alberta for two years but, I was at Point Pelee last year in migration. I have seen a Say’s Pheobe and Wilson’s Phalarope wich are very exciting to me.

A Hammond’s Flycatcher seen Policeman’s Creek in Canmore. It is not normally found in Canmore in April.
A Wilson’s Phalarope at a pond near Nanton


A Sharp-tailed Grouse at a lek in southern Alberta


Lesser Yellowlegs, Langdon Corner Slough


Snow Goose, Weaselhead Natural Area

I hope this influx of bird will continue until next weekend for the Great Canadian Birdathon you can support the avian life in Canada by donating.

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