I added three species to my year list in the Peace River since the last update; Barred Owl, Saw-Whet Owl, and Snowy Owl. On one weekend I saw two Great Gray Owls, 7 Hawk Owls, and a Barred Owl. I finished with 205 species this year which is the most I have in the Peace in a single year. I added 7 new species to my Peace list, 5 of them lifers. Sabine’s Gull, Long-billed Curlew, Black-backed Woodpecker, Long-tailed Jaeger, Common Tern, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and Black-bellied Plover. My list is at 241. I also saw a Lynx a few weeks ago. Only my third one.
Top five highlights of the year in no particular order
Finally seeing a Black-backed Woodpecker. Was easily my most missed species up here.
Seeing three Great Gray Owls in a span of about an hour. There were a few around last winter.
Finding a Lesser Black-backed Gull. The first record of one in the peace and just lucked out one morning Always nice to get a self-found lifer.
Seeing some high arctic breeders such as Arctic Tern, Long-tailed Jaeger, and Sabine’s Gull.
Lastly, getting out more. It was a weird year and a few of my other hobbies I couldn’t do as much or not at all. Fortunately, birding is great for social distancing!
Top five photos in no particular order
Just want to end by saying thanks to everyone that posts reports to the site. I enjoy reading them all, especially in the winter! All the best in 2021.
I have got Yellow Rail three times. I did not get one this year. All three times were at Watson Slough. With the Site C dam construction, the highway noise is brutal so it's difficult to hear one. I used to love driving the highway from Fort St. John to Hudson's Hope but now I will avoid it, unfortunately. So much habitat has been wiped out.
I’ve bombed on the Yellow Rail both times I was at Watson
Ed, I have found it one of the most difficult 'Peace birds' to get excluding some of the alpine species. I've tried every year except for this one and usually, I don't succeed or it takes a few tries. Doesn't help the rails are more active when the mosquitoes become a huge nuisance.