COQUIHALLA LAKES, KAWKAWA LAKE BIRDS-- NOV. 17TH

WAYNE WEBER contopus at home.com
Tue Nov 20 08:19:00 PST 2001


Birders,

On my way from Kamloops to Vancouver on Saturday, Nov. 17, I stopped
at the Coquihalla Lakes (next to the toll booth on Highway 5) and at
Kawkawa Lake near Hope, with some interesting results.

The Coquihalla Lakes were completely unfrozen, which is unusual for
mid-November. However, disappointingly, there were NO waterbirds on
the lakes. The most noteworthy sightings were a WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL
which I heard flying over, and a RUFFED GROUSE, which I don't see
often at this location.

The total list for Coquihalla Lakes was 8 species:

Ruffed Grouse  1
Steller's Jay  3
Gray Jay  5  (I fed them some leftover McDonald's hashbrowns)
Common Raven  2
Mountain Chickadee  6
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL  1

In addition, I heard two RED SQUIRRELS  calling.

I decided to stop at Kawkawa Lake, which sometimes has some unusual
waterfowl in late fall, and left Highway 5 at Exit 183.  Because the
weather was so mild, I rolled my window down, as I often do in summer,
to listen for songbirds along the way. About 2 km from Exit 183, along
the Kawkawa Lake Road, I heard some loudly-calling kinglets and
chickadees. As I screeched to a halt, I soon found the source of the
commotion: a NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL was sitting about 15 feet up in a
leafless Red Alder beside the road. He was being roundly scolded by
about 6 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 3 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, and 2
WINTER WRENS. The owl was unfazed by my close approach, and was still
sitting in the tree when I left.

About 6 km farther down the road, Kawkawa Lake was worth the time I
spent there, as usual.  The highlights were a female LONG-TAILED DUCK
(or OLDSQUAW, for you diehards), 19 HOODED MERGANSERS, and 4 species
of grebes on this small lake. I tallied a total of 25 species at
Kawkawa Lake, as follows:

Common Loon  2
Pied-billed Grebe  3
Horned Grebe  1
Red-necked Grebe  1
Western Grebe  7
Great Blue Heron  1
Mallard  8
American Wigeon  1 male
LONG-TAILED DUCK  1 female
Bufflehead  5 (2 males, 3 females)
Hooded Merganser  19
Ruddy Duck  3 females
American Coot  100
Glaucous-winged Gull  1 adult
Northern Flicker  1
Steller's Jay  1
Northwestern Crow  2
Common Raven  1
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Chestnut-backed Chickadee  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch  2
Winter Wren  5
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
European Starling  1
Song Sparrow  1

In addition to the birds, I heard one DOUGLAS SQUIRREL and one PACIFIC
TREE-FROG  calling.

Not bad, for two half-hour stops and a 10-minute stop (at the
Pygmy-Owl)!

Wayne C. Weber
Kamloops and Delta, B.C
contopus at home.com





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