06 July 2010

Perfect Day Atlassing

Besides just being out there, what makes a perfect atlassing day?

The steeples from Picture Valley Road #2
Fantastically beautiful country-side.

Greg - it's more than just his 4x4 truck.
More great company and conversation --

Like the anthropology of bits of metal and stuff found on the railroad tracks and railroader ethnology (he's a railroader, retired).

Passable roads !! Woot !!
No impassable mud holes - yah!

My car wouldn't have made it, that's for sure, but this here is just fine!

Previously undocumented Bank Swallow Colony
Mysteries solved

The previous week, Ruth and I recorded hundreds of swallows on a point count down by the Kootenay River. This colony site is around a hill and on the edge of the benchlands in 3 bluffs dug out courtesy of gravel mining.

130 nest holes (approx.) and over 200 birds make up this swallow's version of an ideal home.

American Kestrel nest
Finding a spirit guide's nest

Aka one of my favorite species - the Sparrow Hawk.
Sooo, sweet to see the female pop in to the nest and duck down with only her tail feathers visible in the shadow of the hole - they're much longer than you think!

And such an obvious and wonderful location!
That is one fantastic flat I tell ya:
American Kestrel,
two Lewis' Woodpecker nests -- one in a tree signed "private property" !!!,
and earlier in the year, one of the two Saw-whet Owl nests we found, now long gone.

Waiting for the Williamson's Sapsucker
And finally, confirming nesting of a previously staked out rarity.

NY! = nest with young. Yup, told ya. This might be the first WISA on the east bank of the Kootenay.

Dianne Cooper

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