Sixteen participants came out to today’s Sandhill Crane outing, including some guests from the Central Okanagan Naturalists Club. The weather was cool in the early hours with a mix of sun and cloud.
A good day was had by all, the highlight was watching the flights of the large flocks of cranes as they continued their journey to their breeding grounds. Thanks to Liis Jeffries and Vic Newton for coordinating the outing.
For a list of bird species seen on the day click here: NNS Sandhill Crane 17APR2022 bird list
Of course the Sandhill Cranes were the primary focus of the trip and we were not disappointed – flocks were seen on the ground and in the air as they continued their northward spring migration.
Another highlight was a big flock of 29 American White Pelicans passing overhead.
And another unusual species for our area is the Snow Goose. The group found 14 at a pond next to the Douglas Lake Ranch headquarters.
Other waterfowl were plentiful too …..
The only shorebirds seen were Killdeer and Greater Yellowlegs.
An interesting diversity of raptors was recorded, including Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk and American Kestrel.
A few migrant passerine birds were also found, although the major spring migration was yet to come. Yellow-rumped Warblers are usually the first warblers to appear in spring and sparrows like Dark-eyed Juncos arrive at the same time. Lincoln’s Sparrow is one of our less common sparrows, so always good to see.
The count data from our outing goes into the database for the Douglas Lake Plateau Important Bird & Biodiversity Area (IBA). The Nicola Naturalist Society, along with the Kamloops Naturalist Club, are the monitors for this IBA – the largest in BC.