Prairie Potholes

2018/05/24:  Tofield 69 km
2018/05/25:  Wainwright 148 km
2018/05/26:  Marsden 72 km
2018/05/27:  Battleford 115 km
2018/05/28:  North Battleford 11 km
2018/05/29:  Langham 108 km
2018/05/30:  Saskatoon 36 km

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Highway 14 near Edmonton, next corner 143km ahead

Since leaving Edmonton, we have taken mainly the 14 and 40 highways, although our back roads route out of Edmonton included about 6 km of gravel. This has taken us across the prairie on a reasonably minor road. Stops at gas stations for drinks and snack food has lead to interesting interactions with the locals.

The prairie had surprises for me. Firstly the roads are not straight, despite looking that way on the map; lakes and valleys disturb the surveyors’ desire for straight lines. Secondly, there DSCN5583are lots of ponds, called sloughs by the locals. These are formed in prairie potholes which are depressions left at the retreat of the last ice age.  These host a surprising diversity of our feathered friends. I have made a selection of our snap shots of these that I append below.

I include only birds that are not very familiar to Margo or to me. We live in Vancouver, Canada which is in a different migration flyway , so it is not surprising we see a different mixture of birds. I assume that most of these birds do not overwinter on the Canadian prairies as it is very cold here in the winter, and hence they are migratory birds.

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P.S. We invite all enthusiastic twitchers to help with identification!

5 responses to “Prairie Potholes

  1. 1. Northern Pintail (male and female)
    2. Horned Grebe
    3. Ruddy Duck (male)
    4. American Avocet
    5. Red winged blackbird
    6. Horned Grebe (or possibly Eared grebe)
    7. Yellow-headed black bird
    8. Ruddy Duck (male and female)

  2. D’oh! My mistake. In the last one, the rear duck is a Ruddy Duck. The one in front is probably a Greater Scaup

  3. Hooray for the Bikemoose! Many thanks!

  4. Hey! We met in Foam Lake and it’s so great to read about your travels! I am in North Battleford now and will defenitely take Hwy 40/14 to Edmonton…I am writing a comment under this post because I found it so interesting to hear the explanation for all the “Lakes/poddles”! Thanks for that! I’ll scan your website for more information and am looking forward to meeting you again in Vancouver! Safe travels! Anni

    • margomactaggart

      We look forward to meeting you again too. Ride safely and please keep in touch! Margo and Chris

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