Tranquille Area Birding, Mammals, and Tracks Jan. 31, 2021

Isaac and I had an excellent morning in the Tranquille area yesterday morning. The beavers were out at their pond and one of them went about its business quite near to us. A birding highlight was a single female Red-breasted Merganser in a back back of Kamloops Lake. On the Tranquille Creek delta area we noticed fresh small rodent tracks in perfect snow showing individual claw marks. In addition, the weather was quite mild warming from just below freezing to plus 4 degrees during our time there.

It didn’t seem to care that there was ice on its forehead

Tranquille, Thompson-Nicola, British Columbia, CA
Jan 31, 2021 7:50 AM – 10:09 AM
Protocol: Traveling
5.7 kilometer(s)
21 species

Canada Goose  151
Trumpeter Swan  17
Gadwall  2
Mallard  35
Common Goldeneye  1

Common Merganser  12

Red-breasted Merganser  1

The second I’ve seen in Kamloops and first I’ve been able to photograph. Very uncommon in this region.

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  7
Ring-billed Gull  1
Common Loon  2
Bald Eagle  9

juvenile

Red-tailed Hawk  2
Northern Pygmy-Owl  1

Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  10
Black-billed Magpie  6
Common Raven  5
Black-capped Chickadee  5
European Starling  25
American Robin  65   
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon)  6
Spotted Towhee  1

Birds seen in the area but not within the Tranquille hotspot area in ebird:

Song Sparrow 1

American Kestrel 1

Small rodent tracks at Tranquille
It’s not too often that individual claw marks from a small rodent can be seen. Perfect snow for tracking.

We stopped at Rattlesnake Bluffs on the way home for two California Bighorn Sheep rams along the road there. A small group of 5-10 ewes were seen higher up as well.

A ram in fine form.

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