With most of my efforts over the weekend focused around the house, I knew I would be hard-pressed to get any birding in over my time off. While I had begun to feel a bit rusty having not ventured out much the past month, there were just a few things on the home front that needed dealing with. As it turned out, I was able to get out late yesterday afternoon, if only for about an hour. As it turned out, it was well worth it. Because of the rain earlier in the day I decided against heading out on any trails, if only to keep my feet dry and avoid mosquitoes. Instead, I made a bee-line (more or less) for a marshy area on the other side of Wood Buffalo. Its a spot I only came to appreciate recently...and it never disappoints. Yes, some my think of this as good old northern Alberta swamp...but I see opportunity.
Turns out, the avian goddesses were with me since I was painfully aware of not having added any species to my year list in at least 5 weeks. No waterfowl to be found anywhere, but I did spy a couple of birds on an old scraggly tree out in the water that had me hopeful. Through the glasses, I made out what I thought might be Eastern Kingbirds but it was difficult to make out enough detail as I was looking into the sun.
Fortune then smiled on me as a couple passing cyclists spooked the pair into a tree on the other side of the road. From my new vantage point, I was able to get a much better view of them. The black bill and white tips on the tail feathers confirmed my initial suspicions.....Eastern Kingbirds, who I'm sure were having a smorgasbord with all the insects brought by the rain earlier in the day.
....and is if to make doubly sure July wouldn't expire without an addition to the yearly bird list, I encountered a small group of Barn Swallows in a residential area on the walk home.